He’s been called “Doctor,” “Representative,” “Senator” and “Mr. Rausch.” But he’s ready for one more title – “Grandpa.”
Longtime public servant Jim Rausch, R-Derry, this week announced his decision not to seek reelection to the New Hampshire State Senate. The retired veterinarian, 67, is looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild in September, and said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
“We’ve been discussing this for a while,” Rausch said in a phone interview Monday. While he “tried to keep my children in New Hampshire,” it wasn’t to be and one daughter settled in Massachusetts, while the one expecting a child moved to Florida.
“I agonized over whether I could be both a good grandfather and a 100 percent state Senator,” Rausch said. “I decided if I couldn’t do it 100 percent it wasn’t fair to my constituents.”
Rausch, who was a Representative before running for the Senate, said he “loved being in the legislature.”
He pointed to several achievements during his Senate tenure, including designing the education funding formula along with Sen. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton. “Year after year, everyone was fighting about education funding,” he recalled. “They were saying, ‘This group got too much,’ ‘This group got too little.’ Developing the formula brought stability.”
Rausch also worked for funding for career and technical education (CTE) centers and was instrumental in getting state funding for the two recently-completed CTE buildings at Pinkerton Academy.
He also recently worked to increase funding for infrastructure, which will result in the long-anticipated expansion of Interstate 93 as far as Manchester. The new highway package also includes funding for roads and bridges, he said, and will ensure both safety for citizens and economic expansion of businesses.
Rausch will continue to stay active in the public arena. He is on the board of directors of a bank in Salem, on the board of a Salem charitable foundation, and on the board of the Alexander Eastman Foundation in Derry. “I will stay active,” he said.
Rausch wrote in a statement, ““After 14 years in the legislature, I have decided not to seek reelection this November in order to spend more time with my growing family. As Lorinda and I look forward to welcoming our first grandchild this fall, I’ve decided to step aside in order to ensure I can fully enjoy this special time and the years ahead with my family, and also so that the residents of District 19 can continue to have a voice in the Senate who will give this job the time, energy, and commitment it requires.”
Rausch said, “Throughout my time in the legislature, my goal has been to try and solve problems in order to improve our state and the lives of my constituents. I’ve been privileged to work with dedicated legislators of both parties to create a sustainable education funding formula, strengthen our Career and Technical Education program, and most recently to pass a transportation funding bill that will ensure our infrastructure network is both safe and conducive to economic growth. It has been a tremendous honor to serve the State of New Hampshire in the State House, and I thank the residents of Derry, Hampstead, and Windham for giving me the opportunity to do so, as well as my family and friends for the sacrifices they have made over the years that have allowed me to do this job I’ve enjoyed so much.”
Gov. Maggie Hassan wrote in a statement, “”Senator Jim Rausch’s 14-year legislative career is a terrific example of New Hampshire’s strong tradition of citizen engagement, public?service, and constructive problem-solving. I am honored to have worked with him on bipartisan solutions to boost our economy, including this year’s bill to strengthen our transportation infrastructure and complete the expansion of Interstate 93. Senator Rausch’s commitment to improving our infrastructure will be a lasting legacy, improving our economy and the lives of commuters for years to come. I join the people of New Hampshire in thanking him for his service.”
Jim MacEachern, vice-chair of the Derry Town Republican Committee, wrote in a statement: ““Senator Rausch shared with me his intention to retire from the Senate upon the conclusion of the current legislative session in order to spend more time with his family. During his 14 years in the legislature – as both a Representative and a Senator – Senator Rausch earned a well-deserved reputation as a dedicated advocate for Derry and his Senate district. He worked diligently as a public servant committed to improving the well-being of his constituents and New Hampshire. All the members of the Derry Committee and I have been honored to call Jim a friend and we wish him years of happiness with his family and friends and all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
State Rep. Regina Birdsell, R-Hampstead, and Derry resident James Foley have indicated that they are running for Rausch’s Dist. 19 seat.