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New Hampshire Set To Make History In Open U.S. House Race

This article is more than 2 years old.

Voters across New Hampshire headed to the polls Tuesday to choose candidates for an open seat to the U.S. House of Representatives, a Republican challenger in the other House seat and a Democratic opponent for the incumbent governor.

Governor

Democrat Molly Kelly will face Republican Gov. Chris Sununu in November after winning her party's nomination in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Molly Kelly celebrates victory at her primary night party, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Keene, N.H. (Elise Amendola/AP)
New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Molly Kelly celebrates victory at her primary night party, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Keene, N.H. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Kelly, a former five-term state senator from Harrisville, defeated former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand in Tuesday's primary. Though she got into the race nearly a year after her opponent, she quickly gained the support of key Democrats, including the state's two U.S. senators.

Kelly emphasized her experience as a single mother who raised three children while putting herself through college. While Marchand touted his progressive plans, Kelly said she has the track record to prove it on issues such as support for public education, women's rights and gun safety.

She accused Sununu of pandering to the Trump administration with his support of a school voucher bill that ultimately failed.

Sununu sailed through the primary unopposed. He's seeking a second term.

U.S. House — 1st District

Eddie Edwards, of Dover, won a six-way race in Tuesday's GOP primary for the 1st Congressional District. He has been endorsed by the Trump administration and would be the state's first black congressman if elected in November.

In this Sept. 6 file photo, Eddie Edwards, Republican hopeful for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, smiles during a debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Edwards won the Republican primary on Tuesday. (Elise Amendola/AP)
In this Sept. 6 file photo, Eddie Edwards, Republican hopeful for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, smiles during a debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Edwards won the Republican primary on Tuesday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Edwards is a Navy veteran who also served as a police chief and as chief enforcement officer for the state liquor commission.

He sought to make the campaign about character and integrity and criticized his main rival, state Sen. Andy Sanborn, for Statehouse behavior that included making a sexually explicit comment to an intern. Edwards, who was endorsed by Trump administration attorney Rudy Giuliani, said he wants to bring public virtue back to politics.

The 1st district seat covers much of the eastern half of the state. It's being left vacant by Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, who is stepping down after four non-consecutive terms.

On the Democratic side, there were 11 candidates on the ballot, and Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, an openly gay former state lawmaker, won the race.

In this Sept. 5 file photo, Chris Pappas participates in a debate of Democratic hopefuls in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Pappas won the primary. (Charles Krupa/Pool/AP)
In this Sept. 5 file photo, Chris Pappas participates in a debate of Democratic hopefuls in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Pappas won the primary. (Charles Krupa/Pool/AP)

Maura Sullivan, a former Obama administration official, finished second. Sullivan moved to New Hampshire last year and raised more money than all the other candidates combined.

Pappas is serving his third term on the governor's Executive Council and runs a family restaurant in Manchester. He had the backing of the state's two U.S. senators and said he is grounded in the issues that voters care about.

Bernie Sanders' son, Levi Sanders, drew under 2 percent of the Democratic vote. Sanders lives in Claremont, well outside the district, and didn't mount much of a campaign. He raised less than $12,000, a tiny fraction compared to front-runners Pappas and Sullivan. Sanders' father, the Vermont senator, didn't endorse him.

U.S. House — 2nd District

In the 2nd Congressional District, Steven Negron has clinched the nomination. He, along with six other Republicans, was competing for a chance to face Democratic U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, who faced no primary opposition.

Negron was part of an intercontinental ballistic missile combat crew member in Missouri and at Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colo. He's a gun rights candidate who has campaigned on stopping illegal immigration and balancing the federal budget.

Negron says he wants to help small businesses like the one he founded, Nashua-based Integron.

He defeated whistle-blowing doctor Stewart Levenson and five other Republicans.

Associated Press writer Holly Ramer contributed.

This article was originally published on September 12, 2018.

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