New Hampshire Governor Republican Chris Sununu declared that he will veto the redistricting plan that was passed by the state Senate on Thursday.
The plan previously passed the state House in January.
The Connecticut Star previously reported that the Legislature’s plan would have made New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District much more Republican-friendly by removing a large number of Democrat voters from that district and giving them to the 2nd district. The Legislature-proposed map would have seen NH-1’s current FiveThirtyEight R+1 partisan rating moving to a R+9. Incumbent U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) would have faced long odds in his campaign for reelection. NH-2 was slated to move from a D+2 partisan rating to a D+10, giving Democrats a major advantage for that seat.
A Sununu veto means that scenario will not happen. “The proposed congressional redistricting map is not in the best interest of New Hampshire, and I will veto it as soon as it reaches my desk. The citizens of this state are counting on us to do better,” said Sununu in a statement.
Pappas, certainly happy at the prospect of avoiding a reelection run in a R+9 district, is aligned with Sununu’s planned veto. WMUR reported that Pappas said in a statement, “I couldn’t agree more with Gov. Sununu.”
Sununu previously stated his preference for a map that would keep both NH-1 and NH-2 competitive, in line with the idea that New Hampshire is a purple state.
“I think what you have to appreciate is that New Hampshire is a purple state,” Sununu said. “The idea of always keeping those seats in play keeps what we already have as a very engaged electorate — keeps them even more engaged.” Both of New Hampshire’s congressional districts are currently represented by Democrats.
The Tennessee Star previously reported, New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District has long been considered a swing district. In the last 12 years, Democrats and Republicans have swapped control of the seat back and forth four times. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gives the current district lines a partisan rating of R+1.
New Hampshire’s current 2nd Congressional District first elected incumbent U.S. Representative Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH-02) in 2012. A Republican won the seat in the wave midterm elections in 2010 but was promptly voted out the next cycle. The district has also favored a Democrat in every presidential election for at least the last 20 years. Current Republican Governor Chris Sununu has won the district in two out of the last three elections.
The filing deadline for New Hampshire’s primaries, which are scheduled to take place on September 13, falls on June 10.
– – –
Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Connecticut Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTR.
Background Photo “New Hampshire Capitol” by AlexiusHoratius. CC BY-SA 3.0.