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  Eaton, Thomas R. "Tom"
NameThomas R. "Tom" Eaton
Address27 Pheasant Hill Road
Keene, New Hampshire 03431, United States
Born Unknown
ContributorWishful Thinking
Last ModifedMr. Matt
Dec 01, 2012 03:03pm
InfoSen. Thomas R. Eaton is a Republican from Keene, serving his third term. He was elected the 124th president of the New Hampshire Senate on Dec. 4, 2002. Since the founding of the Senate in 1784, he is only the fourth lawmaker from Keene to be given this distinction by his colleagues.

Due to the fact that New Hampshire does not elect a lieutenant governor, the Senate president also serves as "acting governor" whenever the governor is out of state or otherwise unable to perform the duties of the office.

Born and raised in New Hampshire's Monadnock Region, Eaton was first elected by the voters of District 10 in a special election held in November of 1999, when the seat became open midterm. He was re-elected the following November and in 2002 as well. For trivia buffs � Eaton is not the first in his family to hold the seat � his late father, Charles, represented District 10 from 1959 to 1962.

For the 2003�2004 session, Eaton serves on the Finance Committee as well as the Rules and Enrolled Bills Committee. During 2001�2002, he held the position of deputy majority leader and served as chairman of the Transportation Committee and vice chairman of the Wildlife and Recreation Committee. He was also a member of the Finance; Ways and Means; and Environment committees.

His legislative priorities are the budget, education reform and property tax relief.

During the 2001�2002 session, Eaton sponsored legislation expanding economic development (SB 57), improving environmental protection (HB 253 and HB 284) and increasing public safety (HB 1461).

Another piece of legislation that the Senate president was particularly committed to sponsoring was HB 366 � better known as the Knowledge Economy Education Plan or KEEP. It is a $100 million promise from the state to New Hampshire's University system to renovate and modernize teaching facilities at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, Keene State College and Plymouth State University.

Last session, when Eaton chaired Transportation, he received high marks for shepherding SB 385 through the Senate, then onto the House and the governor's desk. The bill, which is now law, permits inventor Dean Kamen's innovative two-wheeled device � the Segway � to operate on New Hampshire sidewalks and roadways with the same rights and duties as pedestrians. SB 385 also served as model legislation in 31 other states.

In January of 2003, the senator was named one of New Hampshire's "Ten Most Powerful People" by "Business NH Magazine" in only his first term as Senate president. He is also the only person in the 424-member General Court to receive the honor.

That same month, Eaton was appointed as a public interest director on the board of directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston � an organization created in 1932 to improve the supply of funds to local lenders who finance loans for home mortgages.

This past December, he received the "2002 Watch Dog Award" by the "Main Street Alliance" for being a legislator who works to eliminate red tape and reduce unnecessary government regulations.

Last July, Eaton proudly accepted the first-ever "Senator's Cup" trophy on behalf of his hometown Keene Swamp Bats. The Bats prevailed over their intrastate rival, the Concord Quarry Dogs of the New England College Baseball League, with an overall record of four wins and two losses when the teams met head-to-head six times during the regular season.

A firm believer in civic duty, Eaton has been active in many community organizations and has served in leadership roles, including the Cheshire Medical Center board of trustees, Cedarcrest, the Home Health and Community Services board, the Cheshire County Chapter of the Red Cross, Cheshire County Crimestoppers, the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce and the Keene Family YMCA. He is also a member of the Keene Lions Club, the Keene Lodge of Elks, the Jerusalem Masonic Lodge, the Bektash Temple Shrine and the Old Homestead Garden Club.

At age 17, Eaton went to work at the Fletcher Funeral Home in Keene. In the ensuing 34 years, he rose from being a driver to the home's president and treasurer � a position he retired from in 2000 after being elected to the Senate.

The senator was born in Keene and grew up in the small town of Stoddard, N.H., where his family ran a general store. He attended the town's one-room schoolhouse from first through eighth grades and then went on to graduate from Keene High School. He is also a graduate of the New England Institute of Anatomy in Boston, Mass.

Eaton is an avid golfer and has two children, Tom Jr. and Kristin, and one grandson, Sam.


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  11/02/2010 NH State Senate 10 Lost 46.13% (-7.75%)
  11/04/2008 NH State Senate 10 Lost 42.02% (-15.93%)
  11/07/2006 NH State Senate 10 Lost 36.78% (-26.45%)
  11/02/2004 NH State Senate 10 Won 51.77% (+3.55%)
  11/05/2002 NH State Senate 10 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/07/2000 NH State Senate 10 Won 58.16% (+16.39%)
NH US President - R Primary - Jan 10, 2012 R Mitt Romney
NH District 02 - R Primary - Sep 09, 2008 R Jennifer Horn