CONCORD, N.H. (CN) – New Hampshire Democrats rejected more progressive candidates in their U.S. House and governor races on Tuesday, while picks for the state’s 1st Congressional District from both parties represent historic firsts.
Executive Councilor Chris Pappas emerged victorious from a crowded field of 11 candidates in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. He handily defeated Maura Sullivan, an ex-Marine who came under fire only days before the primary after it was revealed she had failed to vote in the last two elections. Despite raising over $2 million dollars, Sullivan fell short to the local politician.
“We need to say loudly and clearly this fall, ‘We don’t live in Donald Trump’s America,’” said Pappas in his victory speech. “This country belongs to all of us.”
In November, Pappas will face Republican nominee Eddie Edwards, a former police chief endorsed by Rudy Giuliani. Edwards narrowly defeated rival state Senator Andy Sanborn after a contentious race that focused on sexual-harassment allegations surrounding Sanborn.
“We’re going to win this seat,” Edwards said to a room full of supporters after winning the nomination. “You guys spoke loud and clear that ethics and integrity matter.”
Pappas and Edwards are vying to replace outgoing Democratic Representative Carol Shea-Porter in the swing district that President Trump carried by a slight margin in 2016. A win for either candidate would be a historic first for the state. Edwards would become the state’s first black member of Congress, and Pappas the first openly gay representative.
In the state’s 2nd Congressional District, state lawmaker Steve Negron nabbed the Republican nomination in a tight race with six other GOP candidates. He’ll challenge Representative Annie Kuster, the Democratic incumbent, in November.
Molly Kelly is the Democrats’ pick to challenge popular Governor Chris Sununu. She beat progressive Steve Marchand by a 2-1 margin. Despite polling that shows Sununu defeating Kelly by double digits in November, Kelly addressed the odds in her victory speech.
“Let me send a message to Chris Sununu: Do not underestimate me,” said Kelly. “I’ve been underestimated before. As a single mom raising three children, working my way through college and law school to open doors of possibilities for myself and for my children. And as I ran against an incumbent Republican leader and won that state senate seat. And now, as I run for governor.”