When he was elected State Senator for District 4 in 2012, David Watters vowed to restore civility to Concord and protect the New Hampshire advantage of equal opportunity, low taxes and quality of life. In his first term, Watters established himself as a pragmatic leader willing to work across party lines to bring people together, protect middle class families and keep New Hampshire moving forward.
An English professor at UNH since 1978, David worked in the Senate to restore funding for New Hampshire’s institutions of higher education, increase aid for scholarships and freeze in-state tuition to help New Hampshire youth achieve a quality education that doesn’t leave them buried under a mountain of debt—all without any new taxes. He also helped secure $13.5 million in state funding for Dover’s Career and Technical Education Center.
Raised in West Hartford, Connecticut and educated at Dartmouth College and Brown University, David’s commitment to public service was inspired by his father, who was a Veteran’s Administration doctor for fifty years, and by his mother, who, after recuperating from polio, worked for Easter Seals to promote its sheltered workshop in Hartford. He served a term as chair of the Strafford County Democratic Committee, prior to his election as a State Representative for Dover Wards 1-2, in 2008.
As a State Representative during the 2008-10 session, David fought for education funding, jobs and economic growth, environmental issues, and marriage equality. In 2010-12, he worked to balance the state budget with no new taxes while preserving essential services and resisting the attacks on workers, public education, and women’s health.
At the University of New Hampshire, David teaches courses on New Hampshire and New England literature, history, and culture and is the Director of the Center for New England Culture. He coedited The Encyclopedia of New England and has written books and essays on literature and about New England’s old gravestones. David is frequently heard on New Hampshire Public Radio as consultant for Granite State Stories and the Immigration Project.
His wife, Jan Alberghene, is a retired English professor who taught at Fitchburg State University. Their son, Harper, is a Corps member at Houston Ballet. David enjoys getting outdoors to run and ski, or going down cellar to his shop to do woodworking, particularly making Shaker oval boxes. David and Jan go to Houston whenever they can to see Harper dance.