Democrats have seemingly nabbed two additional state legislative wins in this year’s midterm elections after recounts were held in New Hampshire, according to available reports, adding to an overall relatively successful election cycle in the sometimes contested state.
The recounts were for races in the lower chamber of the state legislature, although opportunities for further challenges to the outcome remained available. In both instances, initial results showed a Republican victory, but recounts flipped apparent control of the seat to Democrats. The flips are coming close to changing control of the entire chamber. After the second change emerged, the prospective Republican majority in the legislative assembly was a mere two seats ahead of the bloc held by Democrats in what is among the closest partisan splits in the chamber in recent years. State legislative districts in New Hampshire for the lower chamber are especially small, with a total of 400 state representatives serving across the state, and margins both before and after unfolding recounts were in the lower double to single digits. Some districts elect more than one legislator, and voters there can pick multiple candidates at once.
In the first flip, Republican contender Larry Gagne originally seemed to prevail over Democratic challenger Maxine Mosley by under two dozen votes, but the recount left Mosley with a lead of just a single vote. In the second flip, which was recorded Tuesday, Democratic contender Eamon Kelley took a lead of two votes after initially seeming to lose to Republican John Greer by just four votes. After these initial recounts, losing candidates can challenge determinations made about disputed ballots before a New
Hampshire entity called the Ballot Law Commission, although a senior official in the Secretary of State’s office said that commission usually supports conclusions made by the Secretary of State about questioned ballots.
Across the state, dozens of races were the subjects of requests for recounts after Tuesday, and those included in the list included contests with originally recorded leads for both Democrats and Republicans. Recounts would continue on Wednesday, and the partisan breakdown of the chamber could further shift. Before this year’s elections, Republicans were ahead in the lower legislative chamber by two dozen seats, so Democrats have cut into that lead at a considerable rate, per currently available results. Democrats won all three of New Hampshire’s federal offices on the ballot this year, including a spot in the U.S. Senate and two House seats. On the state legislative side, Democrats also scored a super-majority in the lower chamber of Nevada’s state legislature, flipped the Michigan state Senate for the first time since the early 1980s, and with gubernatorial wins in Maryland and Massachusetts nabbed unified control of the governorship and both state legislative chambers in several additional states, also including Minnesota.
N.H. House flip number two. Berlin Democrat Eamon Kelley wins by 2 votes after recount, lost on Nov. 8 to Republican John Greer by four votes. House split now 201-199. #nhpolitics
— Kevin Landrigan (@KlandriganUL) November 15, 2022