State Watch

Dem wins New Hampshire seat in Trump district

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Democrats picked up another special election victory Tuesday, winning a legislative seat in a New Hampshire district where President Trump beat Hillary Clinton by a 13-point margin in 2016.

Voters in Laconia chose Philip Spagnuolo, a substance abuse counselor, over former state employee Les Cartier. The district had become open when state Rep. Donald Flanders (R) died in September.

Spagnuolo won on Tuesday by a margin of 968 votes to 841, or about 7 percentage points.


It is the latest in a string of special elections Democrats have won in Republican-held territory. Just this year, Democrats have picked off GOP-held seats in Missouri, Florida, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Democrats in New Hampshire won four GOP-held state House districts, though Republicans still maintain a significant majority in the state’s lower chamber.

But some GOP officials worry — and Democrats hope — that the run of special election wins for Democratic candidates indicates a growing blue wave ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) executive director Jessica Post called Spagnuolo’s victory “a perfect example of the DLCC’s win strategy.”

“The DLCC made significant structural investments in this chamber, which allowed our legislative leaders and New Hampshire Democrats to build a strong team to recruit the best candidates and flip five seats from red to blue across the state,” Post said in a statement.

“The DLCC is proud of our winning partnership with New Hampshire Democrats, who have continued to deliver outstanding results and special election wins. Representative-elect Phil Spagnuolo will be a strong voice for the people of Laconia in the state House, and we congratulate him on his victory tonight.”

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

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