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Yvonne Evans votes with her daughter Avery, 4, in midterm elections in Ward 8 at Manchester Memorial High School on Tuesday.

CONCORD — Only those backing proposed constitutional amendments and longtime incumbents in safe districts rested easy on a night when control of both chambers of the New Hampshire Legislature got flipped.

Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro and Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, all cruised to victory.

The closest race was Soucy’s, who faced former Litchfield Republican state representative George Lambert, but she, too, won with plenty to spare.

Democratic leaders declared they had taken majority control of the upper chamber.

"Today New Hampshire voted for a state Senate dedicated to ensuring that everyone has the right to be successful," said Soucy, now the front-runner to replace Morse as Senate president.

Democrats declared they had scored upset pickups for: ex-Rye Democratic state Rep. Tom Sherman of New Castle over Republican Sen. Dan Innis; Democrat Joe Morgan of Brentwood over Sandown Republican Bill Gannon; Amherst state Rep. Shannon Chandley over Senate Finance Chairman Gary Daniels, R-Milford; and ex-Brookline Democratic Rep. Melanie Levesque over Nashua Republican Sen. Kevin Avard.

Peterborough Democrat Jeanne Dietsch also won her race with ex-state Rep. Dan Hynes of Bedford for the open District 9 seat that Bedford Republican Rep. Andy Sanborn had left to unsuccessfully run for Congress.

The other Senate Democrats who also got another two-year term ticket punched by voters were Sens. Dan Feltes of Concord, Lou D’Allesandro and Kevin Cavanaugh of Manchester, Nashua state Rep. Cindy Rosenwald for an open seat in the city, Martha Hennessey of Hanover, Martha Fuller Clark of Portsmouth and Jay Kahn of Keene.

There were two other Senate races too close to call as both Warren Republican Rep. Bob Giuda and Stoddard GOP Sen. Ruth Ward were facing stiff challenges from Jenn Alford-Teaster of Sutton and Bill Bolton of Plymouth.

Former Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn of Whitefield was in a different place, trying to hold on in the midst of domestic violence charges from his former fiance, another ex-Coos County Democratic party leader.

With two-thirds of the vote counted, little-known Franconia Republican David Starr led Woodburn, 7,481-6,656 and the lead looked very difficult for the incumbent to make up.

Democrats called upon Woodburn to quit after his arrest.

But even if Starr wins, that could still give Democrats at least a 14-vote majority in the 24-seat Senate.

Republicans had held a 14-10 edge in the state Senate.

The House

Meanwhile in the NH House, control once again flipped in a midterm election. 

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff said in a statement that “Citizens across the state heard the call to run this year because they felt that their voices were not heard in Concord. Thank you to everyone who ran for the House this cycle. ... It’s a good night for the people of New Hampshire.”

In Nashua, the split prior to Tuesday was 17-10 Democrats.

On Tuesday not a single Republican had won in that city.

Shurtleff won with ease, as did former House Finance Committee Chairman Mary Jane Wallner and veteran Democrats Kathy Rogers, Kris Schultz and Christy Bartlett, all of Concord.

In Manchester, there were at least two Republicans who lost their House seats -- Victoria Sullivan in Ward 9 and Lisa Freeman in Ward 5.

Newcomer Democrat Joshua Query defeated Sullivan, who had emerged as a leading spokesman in the House GOP caucus.

But voters did not always choose House members from one party. In Manchester’s Ward 8, Democratic Rep. Erika Connors won again but voters also gave a seat to former conservative Republican Rep. Mark Warden.

Former Republican state Rep. Tammy Simmons of Manchester narrowly missed returning to the House.

Democrats picked up four net seats in the city delegation, winning 29 out of 33 seats.

Sue Mullen, a longtime Bedford school official, became the first Democrat in recent history to win a House seat from that town and she topped the ticket.

Democrats were also showing some strength in suburban towns that used to be Republican. Liz McConnell of Brentwood won in that town, which went for Trump with 53 percent in 2016.

Some House Republican hopefuls were doing well in blue-collar territory, including Mona Perrault in Rochester.

Executive Council

In the Executive Council, Republicans were in danger of losing control of that body as well.

Democrats Andru Volinsky, Debora Pignatelli and Michael Cryans all heald leads Wednesday morning although Volinsky was the only declared winner, according to Associated Press election results.  

Volinsky of Concord and in his first term coasted to an easy win over Republican James Beard of Lempster.

In the only open seat, District 4, former Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, a Republican, wrapped up a solid but competitive race, beating Democratic businessman Gray Chynoweth of Manchester.

Gatsas won Allenstown and Pittsfield and also managed to lead Chynoweth by 370 votes in Manchester.

In a statement late Tuesday, Chynoweth thanked his supporters and he looked forward to making "New Hampshire stronger" in the future.

"Ted Gatsas and I certainly had our differences in this campaign but we share a deep commitment to the state of New Hampshire that is bigger than politics,"  Chynoweth said.  "I wish him, his family and his fellow Executive Councilors nothing but the best."

In District 3, Kingston Republican Russ Prescott held on to beat Portsmouth Democrat Joe Pace.

In District 1, Wakefield Republican Joe Kenney was trailing Hanover Democrat Cryans by a little less than 5,000 votes with 89 percent of all ballots counted.

On the southern tier in a rematch, Milford Republican Dave Wheeler was down 5,000 votes behind former Nashua Republican Councilor Debora Pignatelli.

Ballot questions

Both proposed constitutional questions were well on their way to being adopted.

The first asked if voters wanted to give taxpayers legal standing to challenge a governmental decision in court, even without having to show they are personally affected.

Voters were approving of that one by a 4-1 margin based on early returns, with both sides maintaining it was likely to gain the two-thirds super-majority needed to be adopted.

The second question about personal privacy would require the government to show a compelling state interest to obtain access to personal and private information before a court could obtain a warrant.

This would make New Hampshire the 11th state in the country to enshrine the right of privacy into the Constitution.

Only 15 percent of votes were counted as of press time, but that one also had more than the two-thirds backing, with nearly 78 percent support.

klandrigan@unionleader.com