Meet The Candidate-Jim Verschueren Of Dover NH


Candidate for New Hampshire House of Representatives
from Dover Ward I, House District 13

Born and raised in Michigan, I have lived in New Hampshire since 1975 and in Dover in my current home on 6th Street since 1983. I received a B.A. in French from Oakland University in Michigan and an M.S. from the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. Between my undergraduate and graduate schooling I served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer English teacher in French-speaking Cameroun.

My professional career was in nonprofit educational administration. I retired in 2009 from the Dover Adult Learning Center where I served as executive director for nine years. Prior to that I worked in increasingly responsible positions for the international Elderhostel program from 1983 to 2000. Earlier this year I served as Interim Director for Strafford County Head Start.

Currently I am an active member of the Rotary Club of Dover, Vice President of Friendship Force of the Greater Seacoast, a steward at the Joe Parks Riverwalk Garden, and a leader at the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Portsmouth.

After Peace Corps and graduate school I went to Washington, D.C. There I met my future wife, Donna Thomas. We were married in 1973. Our two sons, Ben and Paul, are both Dover High School graduates. Paul is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Ben of Brown University and Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute. Both sons are married and each has two children, making me a very happy grandpa.

Donna died of pancreatic cancer in 2005, just a few days after our 32nd wedding anniversary. In 2009 I made a second life-long commitment. Carlo Nittoli and I are deeply appreciative of New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” motto, particularly as it applies to same-sex loving couples. We had a ceremony of civil union in December 2009 at our Unitarian-Universalist Church in Portsmouth. My sons and his brother and nephew were our attendants. The civil union became a marriage on January 6, 2010.

This is my first venture into elective politics. I have taken this step because when I retired I made a commitment to myself to give back to the community that has so enriched my life. I want our community to be strong and our people to live together in a spirit of goodwill and mutual respect.

My vision for the future is one of respectful governance “from the middle.” I believe that there are workable solutions to virtually all the issues we face, including those that most divide us. The biggest issue in the election this year is whether we will restore balance and integrity to our legislative bodies. For the past two years we have seen legislative time and effort squandered on issues unrelated to our primary need to improve our economic outlook. We have seen ideologically driven decisions that weaken our economic prospects such as the tax cut on tobacco, the cut in funding for the University System, and the constitutional amendment to ban any future effort to impose an income tax.

Jim Verschueren
102-B Sixth Street, Dover, NH 03820