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Many voters do not know the function and importance of their County Attorney.

The Hillsborough County Attorney is the equivalent of what would be a District Attorney (DA) in larger city prosecution offices. The County Attorney is responsible for prosecution of the most serious offenses within the county, including most felony offenses. Hillsborough County has the largest and most complex County Attorney’s Office in New Hampshire.

Any New Hampshire attorney is eligible to run for the position of County Attorney. However, as has been clearly demonstrated in recent years, not every New Hampshire attorney has the knowledge and experience necessary to do the job.

Michael Conlon met that minimum qualification in 2018. It soon became evident that he did not have the legal, organizational, and courtroom knowledge and experience to understand the complexities of the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office. 

Many senior law enforcement personnel, professional prosecutors, and defense attorneys attempted to assist him on multiple occasions, by offering advice, assistance, and recommendations. Finally, the State Attorney General called for Michael Conlon’s resignation due to his inability to fulfill the role. 

When Mr. Conlon refused to resign, the Attorney General was compelled to take over the direct supervision and management of the office in September, 2019. 

The Hillsborough County Police Chiefs Association, in an unprecedented move, issued a vote of “No Confidence” in Mr. Conlon. Yet, he remained there and continues to hold that office. 

Worse yet, he still meets that minimum qualification to run for the office again this Fall. 

There exists a serious disconnect between the current Hillsborough County Attorney, law enforcement, and the other stakeholders in Hillsborough County. 

The people of Hillsborough County deserve better and expect more of our Hillsborough County Attorney. 

I retired as a Senior Justice in the New Hampshire State Circuit Court to run for Hillsborough County Attorney. I have actively sought out and spoken with defense bar members and police chiefs, listening and seeking their recommendations. 

I do not pretend to have all of the answers, but I have built a forty-year law career, to include twenty years in civilian private practice, fifteen years as a State judge, and military experience as a US Marine Corps and later Army Guard/Reserve judge advocate. 

I deployed three times to Iraq as a judge advocate. I served as a Liaison to the Iraq General Counsel’s Office for the Iraq Ministry of Defense to rebuild their military courts and establish the Rule of Law. I served for thirteen years as a State Human Rights Commissioner, with eight of those years as the Chair of the Commission. 

I want to use all of that training, education, experience and insight on behalf of my fellow citizens of Hillsborough County. I would be deeply honored to serve as the next Hillsborough County Attorney and I respectfully ask for their vote.


John J. Coughlin

Amherst, NH

To learn more about John Coughlin for Hillsborough County Attorney visit: 

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