Sievers '10 wins race for county treasurer

by Rebecca Cress | 11/7/08 4:03am

Democrat Vanessa Sievers '10 defeated Republican incumbent Carol Elliott for Grafton County treasurer in Tuesday's election. The results were not released by the Office of the New Hampshire Secretary of State until Thursday.

Sievers secured 50.65 percent of the vote, earning 21,389 votes to Elliott's 20,803 votes, according to the Office of the Secretary of State's web site. Sievers won 70.53 percent of the vote in Hanover, which recorded a total of 5,905 ballots marked with votes for county treasurer. According to the town-by-town vote breakdown on the site, Hanover was the town in which the most people voted for county treasurer.

Elliott does not need to call Sievers to concede to make the results official, Sievers said.

Earlier this year, the Upper Valley Democrats began looking for a potential candidate to oppose Elliott, who served three unopposed terms as treasurer, Sievers said. When Sievers, who worked for Democratic Lebanon Mayor Karen Liot Hill '00 during Hill's 2006 campaign for Lebanon City Council, expressed interest in the position, the Upper Valley Democrats encouraged her to run, she said.

John Chamberlain, chair of the Upper Valley Democrats, said he is confident Sievers will be successful as treasurer, adding that the role is more of an administrative position than a political one. Its functions are similar to those of the register of deeds and the register of probate, he said.

"There are not any massive political decisions on the future of global warming," Chamberlain said. "The treasurer's job is to be the treasurer."

Elliott expressed concern to The Dartmouth in October that Sievers did not have the necessary qualifications to be treasurer, but could not be reached for comment after the election results were released.

Sievers, who is preparing to take over in January, said she will stay on campus for the duration of her two-year term in office. Sievers said her first action will be to visit the Grafton County office and start getting to know the officials who work there.

In addition to working for Hill, Sievers campaigned for New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, and later for President-elect Barack Obama and New Hampshire Senator-elect Jeanne Shaheen.

Sievers was previously elected as treasurer of the Dartmouth College Democrats during the Winter term of her freshman year. David Imamura '10, president of the College Democrats, said Sievers was one of the first two members of the Class of 2010 to be elected to the College Democrats executive board.

"She's charismatic and easy to work with, in terms of being able to talk to the people she works with and to get stuff done," Imamura said.

Sievers was treasurer of the organization during the presidential primaries, when the job was particularly demanding, according to Andy Reynolds '09, who was president of the College Democrats at the time. Many Democratic campaigns came to campus, Reynolds said, and Sievers had to make the most of a small budget while working with them.

"She handled things responsibly and got things organized, which is pretty much what it takes," Reynolds said.

Sievers noted in her interview that everybody should take an active role in local politics by volunteering or running for office. Both New Hampshire and the College provide ample opportunities for student involvement, she said, adding that she especially encourages freshman students to become involved in politics.