Sununu greets the crowd

Governor Chris Sununu greets the crowd before he accepts his win for a third term at Double Tree by Hilton in Manchester on election day.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's broad appeal and easy reelection paved the way to Republican majorities in the state House, Senate and Executive Council. 

Rep. Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) said the governor's involvement in State House races was crucial to the new Republican majorities.

"He did a Herculean effort, he made sure he made himself available," Hinch said, attending meet-and-greet events and sign waves across the state to make sure voters knew who he supported.  "His efforts paid off superbly."

Republicans recruited 384 candidates to run for state House seats, Hinch said at a campaign event in October. The Committee to Elect House Republicans, a political action committee, supported those candidates with mailings and ads online and on television, Hinch said.

State Senate Republicans needed only to flip three seats Tuesday to regain control of the upper chamber, and Republicans flipped four. 

The first seat fell just before midnight Tuesday, when Republican Bill Gannon declared victory over incumbent Democrat Jon Morgan in the 23rd district. Morgan won election over Gannon in 2018.

"I want to thank Senator Jon Morgan for a spirited campaign and for his service to our state," Gannon said in a statement. "I’m looking forward to getting back to work for the people of this district in the State Senate!"

Republican Sen. Harold French fended off a challenge in the seventh district from state Rep. Phil Spagnuolo.

"Our communities desperately need help, and I hope that Senator French is ready to work in a bipartisan manner to get real results for his constituents," Spagnuolo said in a statement conceding the race.

Former state Republican party Vice Chairman Matt Mayberry of Dover, a 2020 Republican congressional candidate, helped coordinate the effort for State Senate Republicans that defeated four Democratic incumbents.

"All these senators had a very clear message, no sales tax, no income tax, no tax by any other name," Mayberry said. He also credited Sununu's work on the campaigns.

"This governor really laid it all on the line and now he's put the State House back into Republican hands."

Just before noon, Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley conceded he'd lost all his party's majorities in Concord.

"It’s clear that New Hampshire voters were focused on the Trump sideshow in Washington and not on the GOP circus in Concord, and while last night’s state results may not be what we’d hoped, voters have elected a slate of strong Democratic leaders," Buckley said in a statement.

Republicans also made many gains in the House of Representatives with nearly two dozen seats still in doubt Wednesday morning.

Some Republican operatives including Hinch were declaring the House had flipped back into GOP hands, but that had not been confirmed.

Senate Democrats in Manchester-centric districts declared victory just after midnight, with Sens. Kevin Cavanaugh, Lou D'Allessandro and Donna Soucy re-elected.

Sens. Cindy Rosenwald, D-Nashua, David Watters, D-Dover, and Jay Kahn, D-Keene, were reelected. Democrats also held the fifth, 15th and 21st senate districts, where incumbents decided not to seek re-election.

Late Tuesday, Democrats had not been ready to concede the Senate.

“At this point, many of our races for state Senate are too close to call,” said Democratic state Senate caucus director Dario Scalco. “Right now, our top priority is ensuring that every single vote across the state is counted. With projected historic turnout, we have a long night ahead.”

The Executive Council, controlled by Democrats since 2018, has continually thwarted Sununu, most notably in his effort to appoint Attorney General Gordon MacDonald as a justice on the state Supreme Court.

On Wednesday morning, Republicans appeared to hold a four-to-one majority on the Executive Council

Democrat Cinde Warmington will likely be the lone Democrat on the council, likely joining Republicans Joseph Kenney, Janet Stevens, Ted Gatsas and David Wheeler, who won their Executive Council races. Stevens is the only newcomer to the council, Gatsas was an incumbent and Kenney and Wheeler have both served on the council before.

Warmington replaced Andru Volinsky in the safely-Democratic second district, after Volinsky stepped down to run unsuccessfully for governor.

"Tomorrow and in the days and weeks to come, we’ll see the direction our country will head in," Warmington said in a statement declaring victory. "I believe that optimism, hope, and decency will prevail.”

Thursday, January 21, 2021
Wednesday, January 20, 2021