History made in Manchester: Joyce Craig elected as Queen City's first female mayor | New Hampshire
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History made in Manchester: Joyce Craig elected as Queen City's first female mayor

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

November 08. 2017 6:57AM
Joyce Craig arrives at Webster School in Manchester before casting her ballot Tuesday. She was elected as Manchester's first female mayor. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)



MANCHESTER — Joyce Craig made history Tuesday night, becoming the first woman elected mayor of the state's largest city.

Unofficial results from Tuesday's municipal election show Craig defeated incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas by almost 1,500 votes to become the 48th mayor of Manchester.

The largest turnout so far this decade helped Craig beat Gatsas, following her loss two years ago by just 64 votes. A total of 22,607 residents cast ballots — over 2,000 more than the last time these two candidates squared off in 2015. Craig received 12,053 votes, Gatsas received 10,554.

"Congratulations to mayor-elect Joyce Craig and her team on a hard-fought victory," tweeted Gatsas.





Craig thanked supporters during a post-election celebration at the Puritan Conference Center.

"I want to thank everyone for their support and their hard work," said Craig. "This was a hard- fought victory, and I look forward to getting started in City Hall. I also thank Mayor Gatsas for his service to the city, and look forward to working with him through the transition period in the coming weeks."

Craig is the first Democrat to be elected mayor of Manchester in 14 years. Gatsas won just three wards — 6, 8 and 12.

"We worked very hard on this campaign," Gatsas said. "It's the will of the voters and I leave it up to them."

He added: "We had four great terms and eight great years. Certainly the city of Manchester is, as you can see, better off than where we were."

Accolades for Craig poured in post-election from across the state and country.

"Tonight's historic victory is bound to send shock waves across the state," said state Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley in a statement. "After 12 years of Republican control, Manchester is back in Democratic hands on the heels of electing their first woman as mayor in the city's 171-year history."

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez also issued a statement, calling the win "historic."

"As the first woman to ever serve as mayor of Manchester, Joyce will lead the city she loves with the same vision and energy that she's brought to her previous decade of public service," said Perez.

Unofficial voting results released Tuesday by the Manchester City Clerk's office can be viewed below:



"We are thrilled about Joyce Craig's win," said New Hampshire Young Democrats President Lucas Meyer in a statement. "Throughout her career in public service, she has been a strong advocate for policies that make Manchester a better place for young families to live and work and for innovative business to thrive. It was clear throughout the campaign that millennials across the city are excited about Joyce Craig, and fully embraced her forward-thinking vision for the city."

State Republican Committee Chairman Jeanie Forrester thanked Gatsas for his years of service to the city.

"Seventy percent of Granite Staters agree New Hampshire is heading in the right direction under Republican leadership," said Forrester. "We are confident Republicans will continue to lead the way for New Hampshire working families in 2018 and beyond. I want to thank Ted Gatsas for his years of leadership and for his commitment to public service."

Political campaign finance reports posted on the city website Tuesday show the Craig campaign raised over $33,000 more than Gatsas in the weeks since the September 19 municipal primary election.

The report show Craig received just over $139,112 in campaign contributions between Sept. 25 and Nov. 6, while Gatsas received $105,510.

pfeely@unionleader.com


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