The blue wave made its way through New Hampshire Tuesday night when both U.S. House seats went to Democrats as well as both houses of the state legislature.
Neither of the state’s U.S. senators, both Democrats, were up for reelection this year.
The results left incumbent Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) among the only victorious Republicans of the night, beating his opponent Democrat Molly Kelly 53 percent to 46 percent.
“The next two years are going to be a little bit different, but that’s OK. That’s New Hampshire. Anybody who has ideas is invited to the table,” he said in his victory speech. Sununu will also be up for reelection in 2020, since governors are elected every two years in New Hampshire.
Local conservatives blamed nobody but the state GOP for the bad results. The local website GraniteGrok wrote:
If the NH Republican Party wants to win, and win Consistently, act like you believe in the Platform. Speak like you do and at each and every turn. Vote like you do at each and every opportunity. And Legislate like there’s no tomorrow because two days ago was that “no more tomorrow” – and you blew it.
Creating additional trouble for Sununu is the state’s Executive Council, a political body unique to New Hampshire that has the authority and responsibility to advise the governor on many issues affecting the state. The Executive Council has one representative for each of the state’s five district, but now only two of them are Republicans.
Former Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas was one of those Republicans, garnering national attention in 2011 thanks to a New York Times story discussing his opposition to the further resettlement of refugees in the city of Manchester.
Gatsas later urged the legislature to pass laws granting more authority to his city over control of the Refugee Resettlement Program, though his proposals never came to fruition.
He then ran an unsuccessful bid for the governor’s seat, but this year defeated Democrat Gray Chynoweth to represent the First District on the Executive Council. The Democrat called the race a battle of “old politics versus new ideas” in an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio.
Gatsas defeated Chynoweth by a few hundred votes.
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Anna Marie Bolton is a reporter for The Minnesota Sun.