Running forHillsborough County Attorney
as a candidate of theRepublican Party
Prior political experience/officesI was elected Hillsborough County Attorney in 2002 and served in that position until my NH Army National Guard unit, the 197th Field Artillery Brigade, was deployed to Iraq. I was the Brigade JAG.
Time lived in NH66 years except for Law School and military assignments and deployments.
EducationNashua High School
University of New Hampshire
Nova Law School
Best way to contact candidate 603-769-7499
WebsiteJohn Coughlin 2020
If elected or re-elected, please describe any innovations, reforms or improvements you seek to introduce to your office.
During my campaign, I met with defense attorneys and police chiefs to discuss their concerns, ideas and recommendations. It is important to improve the cooperation and communication between the Office of the Hillsborough County Attorney and law enforcement. I will make sure that victims of crimes have a voice and that their voice is heard. I will support local law enforcements and provide direct communication between the County Attorney’s Office and the police departments.
What are the most important concerns facing you’ve heard from Manchester residents and how can you address those concerns if elected or re-elected?
The most important concern in Manchester is Law and Order and the equal application of the law to everyone.
How does your background (excluding time serving in the position you are seeking) qualify you for the position you are seeking?
I retired as a Senior Judge in the NH Circuit Court in January, 2020 so that I could run for this office. I grew up in Nashua, attended local public schools and graduated from UNH in Durham. I joined the US Marine Corps and served as a judge advocate. After my active duty in the Marines, I returned to the Nashua area and practiced law for about 20 years. I served as a NH Human Rights Commissioner for 13 years which included the position of Chairman For 8 years. I was elected as Hillsborough County Attorney in 2002 and served in that position until my NH Army National Guard unit, the 197th FA Brigade, was deployed to Iraq where I served as Brigade Judge Advocate. I was nominated and confirmed as a Judge in the NH District Court and later Circuit Court from 2004 until my retirement in 2020.
I volunteered to return to Iraq in 2007 with the MNSTC-I and worked with the Iraqi General Counsel’s Office, Iraq Ministry of Defense to reestablish the Iraq Military Justice System and Rule of Law. I volunteered to return to Iraq a third time in 2010-2011 with the 4th Infantry Division and served as the Chief of Administrative Law, US Division-North. I retired from the National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel in July, 2015.
I am running for Hillsborough County Attorney to restore public trust and confidence in that Office. I will work tirelessly with local law enforcement and the defense bar through effective and professional communication and cooperation. I will provide leadership and competence to the assistant county attorneys and staff. I will strive to ensure that all parties who have contact with the Office will be treated with respect and dignity and equally under the Rule of Law.
In your view, describe the political atmosphere in New Hampshire over the last two years. Do you believe this will have any impact on your position?
As a NH State Judge, I was prohibited from engaging in political activities except for very limited exceptions. I do not believe the current political atmosphere in New Hampshire will impact my position.
How is county government unique from municipal or state government in New Hampshire? Do you believe it is necessary?
County government provides necessary services to the residents of Hillsborough County such as the Sheriff, County Attorney, Treasurer, Nursing Home, House of Corrections, and Register of Deeds. Local and State government does not provide us with these essential services. We, as Hillsborough County voters, have the opportunity to select our County Commissioners, County Attorney, Treasurer, Sheriff, and Register of Deeds every 2 years. This allows us to directly raise and spend money on a more local level and watch and control the County Budget.
Do you believe that COVID-19 will impact county government in the future?
Yes, we must be mindful, careful and take precautions to protect those most vulnerable to the pandemic especially the elderly and those in our nursing homes.
What were the biggest issues faced by the person serving in the role you are seeking over the past two years? How did they, or how did you, deal with those issues?
The current Hillsborough County Attorney lacked the legal, courtroom and managerial experience to effectively lead the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office and the wonderfully talented Assistant County Attorneys and staff.