Rep. Mike Kappler for Rockingham 3 (Raymond)

Rep. Mike Kappler, who served as vice chairman of the Resources, Recreation and Development Committee during the past session and voted with Cornerstone 90 percent of the time, is running for one of three available seats representing Rockingham 3 (Raymond), where he faces likely re-election.

Rep. Kappler, a Families First Pledge signer who just finished his third term, was perhaps the first state representative in recent history to serve in dueling leadership roles as vice chairman of a committee under the Speaker of the House and as majority whip under the House Majority Leader. A majority whip’s job is to poll Republican members to determine how they’re going to vote on major bills to help ensure they pass.

Despite these two leadership roles, Rep. Kappler has had perfect attendance for every state house committee meeting and House session and also for every Rockingham County delegation meeting, executive committee meeting and sub-committee meeting. Likely because of his attendance record, Rep. Kappler has been appointed to fill-in for absent representatives on various committees at least 96 times this term.

Upon re-election, Rep. Kappler said he wants to continue to serve as vice chairman of the Resources, Recreation and Development Committee under the leadership of Speaker William O’Brien and, if appointed, he would also continue as majority whip.

Rep. Kappler said he plans to sponsor a bill to add stepchildren to the list of “next-of-kin” upon the occasion of a stepparent’s death. Similarly, he also wants to clarify that a notarized form must be signed by the “next-of-kin” before a funeral director can proceed to the next, next-of-kin in line when making funeral arrangements.

Rep. Kappler also wants to make changes to the Guardian Ad Litem Board, which oversees the people who operate as investigators to help judges determine what is in the best interest of a child during divorce hearings. Some people involved in divorce cases have experienced prejudice and bias from certain guardians ad litem, and the changes to the Guardian Ad Litem Board Rep. Kappler said he hopes to achieve will help prevent such abuses going forward by improving the board’s oversight abilities.