House recount flips seat from blue to red

Volunteers check ballots during recounts at the State Archives Building last week in Concord. In the background, Secretary of State Bill Gardner, right, and Deputy David Scanlan, left, oversee the proceedings. The last of the 20 recounts will occur Tuesday.

CONCORD — New Hampshire House Republicans won back a seat they thought they had lost on Election Day following a recount of citywide ballots in Laconia.

On Nov. 6, Democrat and longtime Lakes Region journalist Gail Ober had finished fourth for one of four seats in the House that represent all wards in that city.

According to the count on election night, Ober had defeated Republican Richard B. Beaudoin for that final seat by 12 votes, 2,583-2,571. But on Friday the hand count of ballots ended with Beaudoin edging out Ober for that fourth seat by two votes, 2,588-2,586.

Ober gained another three votes in the recount but Beaudoin had picked up 17.

Supporters of Ober had pointed out that she could bring any challenges about disputed votes to the Ballot Law Commission. But in her only public comment on Facebook, Ober told friends she was resigned to the outcome.

“Easy come, easy go. Thanks to those who supported me,” Ober posted.

The top three also winning seats had been incumbents: Republicans Peter Spanos and Franklin Tilton, and Democrat David Huot.

Beaudoin ended up taking the seat that Laconia Democrat Phil Spaguolo had won in a special election in 2017.

A recovering addict who had become a substance abuse professional, Spaguolo had won a formerly Republican seat and was one of the Democrats’ nine wins out of the 11 special elections since 2016.

But on Nov. 6, Spagnuolo finished out of the money in sixth place for the four seats, 44 votes behind Ober.

Earlier this week, House Democrats had picked off one of their own in a recount when New Boston Democrat Donna Mombourquette won the second of two seats representing her hometown and Mont Vernon.

On Election Day, Republican R. Griffin Dickey had topped Mombourquette by 24 votes but, after the recount, the Democrat had won the seat by eight votes.

Now that the two parties have split the recount changes, the House has 233 Democrats and 167 Republicans.

There were remaining House seat recounts taking place over the weekend at the State Archives Building.

The final of the 20 recounts comes Tuesday when staff and volunteers will go over the State Senate Dist. 23 race in which Brentwood Democrat Jon Morgan upset Sandown Republican Bill Gannon by 104 votes.