The Bulletin Board

Court nominee Conway withdraws her name

By: - April 21, 2021 11:33 am

House Bill 1597 will arrive on the House floor Tuesday with a 21-0 committee recommendation that it pass. (Getty Images)

Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway has withdrawn her name from consideration to serve as a superior court judge, Gov. Chris Sununu announced Wednesday, a day after at least two executive councilors had raised objections.

In brief remarks to the Executive Council Wednesday morning, Sununu said he had received a call from Conway.

“I’ll note that I did receive – I had a phone call with Patricia Conway of Salem and she does withdraw her nomination,” Sununu said. “So we won’t be taking that one up.”

Conway, who was first elected county attorney in 2014 and spent 16 years as the assistant county attorney in Rockingham County, was nominated by Sununu in late March to fill a spot on the bench.

But during Conway’s nomination hearing, some Republican councilors asked her about the extent to which she thought the state constitution protected firearm rights. Conway said it was an issue in which her personal opinion didn’t matter.

In recent days, Concord Councilor Cinde Warmington, the lone Democrat on the council, raised concerns that Conway had potentially voted improperly in the past. 

In 2008, Conway voted in Atkinson, the hometown of her father, while helping him get to the polls, according to a 2014 newspaper article and Conway’s testimony last week. But tax records indicated that at the time she owned a house in Salem with her husband, who voted in Salem. 

Voting in a town without being domiciled there first is illegal under New Hampshire statute.

Warmington wrote a letter Monday asking that the Attorney General’s Office investigate the matter – and separately asked the governor for the nomination be delayed to allow for an investigation. Neither the Attorney General’s Office nor the governor’s office returned requests for comment about the letter. 

Conway was not immediately available for comment Wednesday morning.

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Ethan DeWitt
Ethan DeWitt

Ethan DeWitt is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s education reporter. Previously, he worked as the New Hampshire State House reporter for the Concord Monitor, covering the state, the Legislature, and the New Hampshire presidential primary. A Westmoreland native, Ethan started his career as the politics and health care reporter at the Keene Sentinel.