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Eddie Edwards, left, and Jim Lawrence 

NH's first black candidates for Congress, state Senate set to file

CONCORD — History will be made at the State House Wednesday, as the first black candidate to run for Congress in New Hampshire and the first to run for state Senate file their paperwork together with the Secretary of State.

Former state Rep. Jim Lawrence of Hudson will file for the Second Congressional District, while recently retired police chief Eddie Edwards of Dover is running for state Senate in District 4, comprising Dover, Somersworth, Barrington and Rollinsford. Both men will be running in the Republican primary.

“To the best of my knowledge there has never been a black candidate on the ballot or elected to Congress or state Senate,” said Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Lawrence becomes the third candidate in the Second District Republican primary, facing off on Sept. 9 against state Rep. Marilinda Garcia of Salem and former state Sen. Gary Lambert of Nashua for the right to challenge incumbent Democrat Ann McLane Kuster in the fall.

Lawrence is a veteran who served three terms as a state legislator. He is touting his business experience as an owner of defense contractors Lawrence Battelle based in Hudson.

Edwards is the recently retired police chief in South Hampton and a former enforcement chief for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. He is running unopposed in the Republican primary to challenge incumbent state Sen. David Watters, a Democrat who also plans to file with the Secretary of State today.

Former state Rep. Casey Crane, who represented Nashua Ward 2 from 2002 to 2008, is serving as campaign manager for both men. She recently served as campaign manager for Republican Joe Kenney in his successful bid to replace Ray Burton on the Executive Council.

“This is a proud moment for our state,” she said. “We should celebrate today’s milestone.”

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