The dust has settled on the Granite State’s primary election. Most New Hampshire House incumbents with strong records on recent life-issue bills did well and will be on the ballot in November.
Republican Chris Sununu will go up against Democrat Colin Van Ostern. Both men as Executive Councilors have voted to grant state contracts to abortion providers, with Sununu making one exception in August of 2015. Planned Parenthood has already endorsed Van Ostern.
Sununu survived what proved to be an astonishing primary challenge from pro-life Rep. Frank Edelblut, an underdog who finished well ahead of candidates Ted Gatsas and Jeanie Forrester. Edelblut was in a position to ask for a recount, but he quickly threw his support to Sununu and turned his attention to the general election. On Facebook, Edelblut addressed his supporters: “We came very close to victory and I cannot thank you enough for your tireless efforts. But please stay tuned; I have more in store for this great state.”
In State Senate district 1, Rep. Leon Rideout of Lancaster lost narrowly to Dolly McPhaul for the GOP nomination – and fetal homicide legislation thus lost a committed supporter in the House. McPhaul will go up against incumbent Democrat Jeff Woodburn. The day after the primary, Rideout wrote, “I will continue to work to find ways to serve my community and the North Country. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I ask each of you to please do what you can to help defeat Jeff Woodburn.”
In State Senate district 2, former Rep. Bob Giuda of Warren won the GOP nomination over Rep. Brian Gallagher. Both have pro-life voting records. Giuda will go up against Democrat Charlie Chandler in November.
Republican Ruth Ward prevailed over Jim Beard in a recount for the nomination in district 8. Her November opponents will be Democrat John Garvey and independent John Jeskevicius.
Two Democrats supporting public funding of abortion providers contended in district 9, with Lee Nyquist beating Jeanne Dietsch. Nyquist will now have a rematch with Republican Sen. Andy Sanborn, whose life-issue voting record is encouraging.
Jay Kahn won a three-way Democratic primary in district 10 and will face Republican Chester Lapointe in the general election.
Senator Sharon Carson of Londonderry (district 14) had no trouble winning her primary. Carson has been among other things an outspoken opponent of efforts to discourage peaceful pro-life witness via the buffer zone law. Tammy Siekmann will challenge Carson from the Democratic side in November.
In district 16, Democrat Scott McGilvray will meet Republican Joe Duarte.
A recount is pending on the Republican side in district 18 (Litchfield and part of Manchester) between former Reps. George Lambert and Ross Terrio. [Update 9/20/16: Terrio won in the recount.] Rep. Ralph Boehm finished third on that side. The winner will face buffer zone sponsor Sen. Donna Soucy.
Rep. Bill Gannon of Sandown prevailed in a four-way primary in district 23. . Gannon has a good pro-life voting record. His Democratic opponent is Rep. Alexis Simpson, who in the past two years has voted against a personhood bill, a post-20-week abortion restriction, conscience rights for health care providers, and an end to tax funding of abortion providers.
On the Seacoast in district 24, Republican Dan Innis will meet Democratic Rep. Tom Sherman. Innis won a four-way primary.
Looking solely at the incumbent representatives featured in my earlier post, here are the primary victors, by county, with districts in parentheses:
- Carroll County: Frank McCarthy (2), Glenn Cordelli (4).
- Hillsborough County: Rick Christie (6), Linda Gould and Keith Murphy (7), Joe Lachance (8), Mark McLean (15), Josh Moore and Jeanine Notter (21), Eric Eastman and Carl Seidel (28), and Jordan Ulery (37). Ulery’s district will be recounted tomorrow, but his margin is safe.
- Merrimack County: J.R. Hoell (23).
- Rockingham County: James Spillane (2), Chris True (4), Al Baldasaro (5), and John Sytek (8).
A few of the featured incumbent reps fell short, and I hope their public service will continue one way or another: Rockingham County’s Jeffrey Harris and Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien, and Strafford County’s Robert Knowles.
In the coming weeks, as candidates reveal more about their views, I’ll keep you posted. If you know of a local candidate you want to support, offer now to help with the campaign. This is especially true in state rep races, where simple things like sign waves and pollstanding can have a big effect.