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Democratic House Speaker Norelli to retire

Officials in the state Democratic Party today confirmed that House Speaker Terie Norelli will not seek reelection in the fall, setting the stage for a shift in leadership among Democratic representatives in Concord.

Norelli is in her ninth term representing Portsmouth. She previously served two terms as speaker, the only Democrat to serve in nearly 100 years. She taught mathematics at Winnacunnet High School before being elected to the House.

"Speaker Norelli brought dignity to the office, which we all appreciate," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley. "She has had a tremendous and historic career as a representative, Democratic Leader, and as the first Democratic speaker in 84 years. She led and oversaw tremendous legislative accomplishments, including Medicaid expansion, marriage equality, and the in-state college tuition freeze."

Republicans said Norelli's decision was likely motivated by the possibility of a Republican majority winning election to the House in November.

"Speaker Norelli's announcement today serves as an implicit admission that Democrats realize they will lose their majority in the New Hampshire House of Representatives," said Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn. "Granite Staters are fed up with the tax-and-spend policies proposed by Gov. Hassan and her allies in the Democrat-controlled House, and they are going to replace them with fiscally responsible Republicans in November."

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