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Chris Pappas wins Democratic House primary in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Executive Council member Chris Pappas won the Democratic primary in the race to replace retiring Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.).

Pappas, who was seen as the local establishment favorite, defeated 10 other Democrats running in a top House district that the party needs to keep in the battle to take over the House, The Associated Press projected.

He won with 56 percent of the vote. 

Pappas earned the support of most New Hampshire Democratic lawmakers in the primary, including Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.

If Pappas wins in November, he'd be the first openly gay member of Congress from New Hampshire. 

Pappas's toughest challenge came from Marine veteran and former Obama official Maura Sullivan.

Sullivan had the backing of EMILY's List, a national group that aims to get women elected to office, an important endorsement in a cycle that's shaping up to be another "Year of the Woman."

Sullivan also had support from other national figures including Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), who's looking to recruit more veterans to run for office. But Sullivan faced carpetbagging attacks since she only moved to New Hampshire's 1st District last year.

Pappas also defeated Levi Sanders, a Social Security benefits specialist and the son of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Levi Sanders was considered an underdog, and notably did not get his father's endorsement. The senator has argued his son needed to win the race on his own.

New Hampshire's 1st District has been a perennial swing seat and one that has flipped between Shea-Porter and former Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) for four election cycles.

Shea-Porter won it in 2016, but so did President Trump, though by less than 2 points.

In November Pappas will face Republican Eddie Edwards, a former police chief who's been endorsed by Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer and a former New York City mayor.

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