Rochester's Callaghan concedes sheriff's race to Brave of Dover

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Paul Callaghan, left, and Mark Brave (Courtesy photos)

Republican candidate for Strafford County Sheriff Paul Callaghan has conceded the race to Democrat rival Mark Brave today, making him the first black sheriff in New Hampshire history.

Brave told The Rochester Voice today that Callaghan called him around 11 p.m. on Tuesday to congratulate him on his accomplishment and a race well run.

Callaghan, of Rochester, and Brave, of Dover, both work for the Strafford County Sheriff's Department, Brave in the Standards and Training section; and Callaghan as a prosecutor for some of the smaller Strafford County towns.

Brave said he was grateful at the tremendous support he received across the county.

"I feel humbled that county residents chose me to move forward going into this next phase of law enforcement for our communities," he said in a statement sent The Rochester Voice. "It hasn't really sunk in yet that I will be the first black Sheriff in New Hampshire's history. It's something I feel should have happened a long time ago, but I'm honored that I will be the person to pave the way."

Rochester residents voted overwhelmingly for Callaghan over Brave, 9051-6862. Dover and Durham, meanwhile, voted heavily for Brave.

Brave today said everyone - whether they be Democrat or Republican - can rest assured he will be fair and looks forward to serving all the people of Strafford County,

"I will be a law enforcement leader for all residents of Strafford County regardless of their party affiliation," he said. "and begin my work bridging the gap between Law Enforcement, Social Services and the Community.

"I just want to again thank the Strafford County voters, and I also want to thank my opponent, Paul. We ran a clean race and we showed you can still get your point across in a respectable manner without any "mud slinging."

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