Ted Gatsas

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Ted Gatsas
Ted Gatsas (1).jpg
Member of the Executive Council of New Hampshire
from the 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byChris Pappas
55th Mayor of Manchester
In office
January 5, 2010 – January 2, 2018
Preceded byFrank Guinta
Succeeded byJoyce Craig
Member of the New Hampshire Senate
from the 16th district
In office
December 2000 – January 2009
Personal details
Born (1950-05-22) May 22, 1950 (age 68)
Manchester, New Hampshire,
U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Cassandra Gatsas
Alma materUniversity of New Hampshire,
Manchester

Theodore "Ted" Gatsas (born May 22, 1950) is an American politician and member of the Republican party who had served as Mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire from 2010 to 2018.[1] He was a member of the New Hampshire Senate, representing the 16th District from 2000 until he resigned in 2009 after being elected mayor.[2]

Gatsas was educated at Manchester Central High School. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire at Manchester with a Bachelor of Science degree. He then started Staffing Network, a PEO, with his brother Michael. Gatsas was elected alderman in the Manchester city council in 1999, and later elected to the New Hampshire Senate in 2000. He became President of the Senate in 2005 by cutting a deal mid-term with the minority Democrats to remove two-term Republican Senate President Tom Eaton. He was elected Senate Minority Leader after the Democrats took control of the State Senate in 2006.

Gatsas is Greek American. The Greek Orthodox Church Metropolitan of Boston, Metropolitan Methodios, gave the invocation at his 2015 inauguration.[3]

Political career[edit]

Mayor of Manchester[edit]

Gatsas first was elected mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire in 2009, defeating Democrat Mark Roy in the nonpartisan election 10,668 to 8,128.[4] Gatsas won a huge victory over Chris Hebert in the 2011 mayoral contest, taking nearly 70% of the vote.[5] In 2013, Gatsas was again re-elected, defeating Patrick Arnold, but by less than 1,000 votes.[6] In 2015, Gatsas faced his stiffest challenge ever, when he beat Democratic Alderwoman Joyce Craig by only 64 votes, after a recount.[7] In a 2017 rematch, Craig defeated Gatsas, 53% to 47%, thus becoming the first woman to serve as Mayor of Manchester.[8][9]

2016 New Hampshire gubernatorial race[edit]

Ted Gatsas entered the race for the Republican Party nomination for Governor of New Hampshire.[10] Having never lost an election, Gatsas was seen as a strong contender in the field, but came in third behind eventual victor Chris Sununu and the relatively unknown State Representative Frank Edelblut in the five-person field. Gatsas won slightly more than 1,000 votes more than fourth-place finisher Jeanie Forrester. Gatsas lost in every city and town in New Hampshire except for Manchester and the Manchester suburbs Goffstown and Hooksett.[11] A year after his loss, he had to personally repay $68,000 to his campaign contributors due to finance law irregularities.[12]

The contest between Gatsas and Sununu was bitter. When filing for his campaign bid, Sununu accused the Manchester Police Department of failing to adequately fight the drug crisis, which drew a stern rebuke from Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard. Gatsas called on Sununu to apologize.[13]

West High School incident and defamation lawsuit[edit]

In June 2017, it was revealed that the rape of a 14-year-old girl had occurred at the city's West High School in September 2015.[14] A public uproar ensued when it became apparent that neither the county district attorney, City Hall, the police department or the Manchester school system had reported the rape of the girl to the public.[15] When Joyce Craig criticized Gatsas's handling of the 2015 rape, he accused her of trying to politicize the crime.[16]

Then-Mayor Gatsas first told the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper that "we were not told a rape occurred at West". Gatsas subsequently claimed he was not told of the "severity" of the incident and emails released from a school district employee show that Gatsas was informed of a "sexual assault" at the school.[17] It came to light that the School Board, City Hall, and the Police Department considered it the job of another department to inform the public.[18] The revelation of the rape and the failure to inform the public of the crime led to changes in police and school administration policy.[19][20]

Gatsas was criticized for not revealing that the rape had occurred, and accused of not revealing the crime as he was in a tough reelection battle. Records show Gatsas subsequently sued two political activists, one of which chaired Joyce Craig's previous run for Mayor, who accused him of covering up the rape for political advantage.[21] The lawsuit was dismissed after Mayor Gatsas lost the election.[22]

Domestic violence prosecution[edit]

It was found in the final days of the Gatsas administration that the City Solicitor's office had failed to successfully prosecute domestic violence cases.[23] The City Solicitor, Tom Clark, was appointed by the Board of Aldermen in 1995, well before Gatsas became mayor, and had been reappointed by the Board of Aldermen multiple times.[24] Police Chief Nick Willard, who had figured in the high school rape controversy, appealed directly to the Attorney General of New Hampshire for help.[25] The chairman of the Board of Aldermen, Pat Long, said "As an elected official I feel a sense of responsibility".[26] The Manchester police department helps in the prosecution of domestic violence cases.[27] The scandal led to the early retirements of city prosecutors and the temporary take-over of the department by the state. A stand-out in the battle against opiates who had attracted national attention, Chief Willard, subsequently was named U.S. Marshal by President Donald Trump.[28]

Executive Council[edit]

In March 2018, Ted Gatsas announced his bid for the office of Executive Councillor from District Four. Gatsas won the Republican nomination by beating Jane Cormier.[29][30] Gatsas defeated Democrat Gray Chynoweth in the general election, claiming 48.9% of the vote to Chynoweth's 47.4%.[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy of Manchester elects Republican mayor Ted Gatsas". Archived from the original on November 4, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
  2. ^ http://www.tedgatsas.com/news.php?id=111[dead link]
  3. ^ "Metropolitan Methodios Offered Invocation at Mayor Ted Gatsas' Inauguration". Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  4. ^ "Citywide results" (PDF). City of Manchester.
  5. ^ "Official Results" (PDF). City of Manchester.
  6. ^ "Citywide results by Ward" (PDF). City of Manchester.
  7. ^ "CITY OF MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE NON-PARTISAN MUNICIPAL GENERAL ELECTION November 3, 2015 OFFICIAL RESULTS" (PDF). City of Manchester.
  8. ^ "NON-PARTISAN MUNICIPAL GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 7, 2017" (PDF). City of Manchester.
  9. ^ FEELY and MICHAEL COUSINEAU, Paul. "Gatsas wins fourth term as Manchester mayor following recount". Union Leader. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  10. ^ DiStaso, John. "Updated: WMUR first: Manchester Mayor Gatsas running for governor". Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  11. ^ "Results: Chris Sununu Wins Republican Primary for New Hampshire Governor". New York Times. September 19, 2016.
  12. ^ "NH Primary Source: Citing oversight, Gatsas personally repays $68,000 in 2016 campaign contributions". WMUR.
  13. ^ Rayno, Garry (June 8, 2016). "Sununu sparks war of words with Manchester PD over drug crisis". Union Leader.
  14. ^ Hayward, Mark. "Manchester man sentenced to 10 to 20 years in West High sex assault". Union Leader.
  15. ^ "Parents Outraged to Learn of Rape at New Hampshire School 2 Years Later". NECN.
  16. ^ "Gatsas: Mayoral rival Craig is 'politicizing' 2015 West High rape". Union Leader. June 28, 2017.
  17. ^ DiStaso, John (2017-06-26). "Gatsas acknowledges receiving email, phone call on 2015 sexual assault from school official". WMUR. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  18. ^ West, Mark (June 23, 2018). "Officials speak out on silence following rape at West High". Union Leader.
  19. ^ . WMUR https://www.wmur.com/article/west-high-school-rape-prompts-policy-change-in-manchester-schools/10226011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ "As News of Rape in Manchester School Becomes Public, Officials Explore New Policies". New Hampshire Public Radio. June 28, 2017.
  21. ^ "Mayor accused of sexual assault cover-up sues his detractors". Concord Monitor. July 19, 2017.
  22. ^ Feely, Paul. "Judge tosses defamation lawsuit filed by Gatsas over Manchester West High rape". Union Leader.
  23. ^ Landrigan, Kevin (July 1, 2017). "County Attorney Hogan: 'We didn't know' of mishandling of Manchester domestic violence cases". Union Leader.
  24. ^ Enstrom, Kirk (July 1, 2017). "City Solicitor announces retirement after scathing report on domestic violence cases". WMUR. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  25. ^ "NH1.com - News, Entertainment Stories, & Videos in NH". NH1.com. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  26. ^ Corwin, Emily. "In Wake Of City Solicitor's Resignation, Gatsas Overseeing Manchester Prosecutors". Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  27. ^ Robidoux, Carol. "City solicitor retires amid allegations of incompetence". Manchester Ink Link.
  28. ^ "Trump Nominates Manchester Police Chief Willard for U.S. Marshal for N.H." New Hampshire Public Radio.
  29. ^ "Gatsas stresses experience, bipartisanship in announcing run for Executive Council". WMUR.
  30. ^ "2018 New Hampshire Executive Council primary election results". WMUR.com. WMUR. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  31. ^ Landrigan, Kevin. "Gatsas, Chynoweth to square off for Executive Council seat". Union Leader. Union Leader. Retrieved October 18, 2018.