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Manchester Republican wins back N.H. House seat; Democrat wins in GOP stronghold of Wolfeboro

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 23. 2017 9:32PM
Mark McLean and Edith DesMarais 

MANCHESTER — Manchester Republican Mark McLean won back a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives Tuesday night in a competitive contest with Manchester Democrat James Morin.

Litchfield delivered the victory to McLean (264 to 145) after the two candidates had swapped wins in their home wards, Morin taking Ward 9, McLean winning Ward 8.

The final unofficial results had McLean defeating Morin, 657-536, with two write-in votes.

“Congratulations to Mark McLean on his special election victory! It was an honor campaigning with you - welcome back to Concord!” Gov. Chris Sununu tweeted Tuesday just before 8 p.m.

The GOP chief executive was keynote speaker of a campaign fund-raiser for McLean in Litchfield two weeks ago.

The winner replaces longtime state Rep. Andre Martel, R-Manchester, who died last December, weeks after having been sworn in to a fifth term.

“We’re thrilled to see an A plus-rated House member and AFP pledge signer, Mark McLean, return to the New Hampshire House,” said Americans For Prosperity State Director Greg Moore. “We’re glad to have one more great fighter for liberty back in the Legislature.”

McLean had represented Ward 8 alone in the New Hampshire House but lost that seat last November to Manchester Republican Steve Vaillancourt.

Last March, Vaillancourt died following a sudden illness.

But Democrats got to celebrate as well Tuesday with Edith DesMarais winning a special election in the Carroll County town of Wolfeboro, traditionally a GOP stronghold.

According to unofficial returns, DesMarais edged Republican Matthew J. Planche, 811-755.

This special election was to replace Republican Harold Parker who resigned his seat before joining Sununu’s office staff.

Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said DesMarais becomes the first candidate in the country to flip a federal or state legislative seat from red to blue since November. She is also the first Democrat ever elected to a House seat in Wolfeboro.

“We are pleased to see that Democrats are showing up, working hard, and turning out with a renewed sense of purpose,” House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff said in a statement.

“As Democrats, we will continue to fight for every seat in every district of the state.”

Last month, Manchester Republican McLean, 43 Forest Hill Way, had won the GOP primary handily over George Lambert of Litchfield, 145 to 37.

Democrat Morin, 281 Calef Road, captured the Democratic nomination, defeating Ryan Curran, 221 West Shore Avenue, 110 to 61.

This Hillsborough County District 44 seat includes Manchester Wards 8 and 9 and Litchfield.

Both political parties weighed in on this one, with Democrats clearly holding the edge.

The Committee to Elect House Democrats reported spending a total of $11,015 for mailers in this district for Morin and for DesMarais in Wolfeboro.

The New Hampshire Republican State Committee paid $705 to make voter identification phone calls for McLean and the Committee to Elect House Republicans gave $1,250 to McLean’s campaign. The conservative New Hampshire Liberty Alliance kicked in another $200.

State Wolfeboro Litchfield Manchester State Government

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