MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester mayoral election ended at 8 p.m. on Tuesday with a Tweet by incumbent Ted Gatsas, “Congratulations to Mayor-elect @JoyceCraigNH and her team on a hard fought victory.” The four-term mayor entered his campaign reception at Derryfield Country Club, where a small, subdued crowd heard him thank his supporters and campaign staff for “a great race.” Samantha Piatt, Chief of Staff, for Ted Gatsas, said, “I’m proud of the race we’ve run. It has been an honor to work for Mayor Gatsas.”
Joyce Craig won the election with a total of 12,053 votes to Ted Gatsas’ 10,554 votes. She pulled ahead in all wards except Wards 6, 8, and 12.
Exuberant Craig Supporters Celebrated
Craig, the first woman elected mayor of Manchester, and the first Democrat elected in 14 years, hugged her supporters at an exuberant, overflowing celebration at the Puritan Backroom. Members of the Nepalese community honored her with silk scarves.
Both state senators congratulated Craig.
“I’m happy to be part of making history, electing the first woman mayor of Manchester,” said Sen. Donna Soucy.
“I’m looking forward to the next two years,” added Sen. Kevin Cavanaugh.
Executive Councilor Chris Pappas said, “It’s an exciting day for the city of Manchester. The voters responded to Joyce Craig’s positive vision for the future.”
In a quiet room nearby, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley and campaign staffers celebrated the win and processed the final details of the race.
According to the preliminary results published Tuesday evening, winners in the aldermanic race were: Kevin Cavanaugh (Ward 1), Will Stewart (Ward 2), Tim Baines (Ward 3), Christopher J. Herbert (Ward 4), Tony Sapienza (Ward 5), Elizabeth Moreau (Ward 6), William P. Shea (Ward 7), John Cataldo (Ward 8), Barbara Shaw (Ward 9), Bill Barry (Ward 10), Normand Gamache (Ward 11), and Keith D. Hirschmann (Ward 12).
The uncontested at-large alderman positions were won byJoseph Kelly Levasseur and Daniel P. O’Neil.
School Board Winners
According to the preliminary results published Tuesday evening, winners in the school board race were Sarah S. Ambrogi (Ward 1), David Scannell (Ward 2), Mary Ngwanda Georges (Ward 3), Leslie Want (Ward 4), Lisa M. Freeman (Ward 5), Dan Bergeron (Ward 6), Ross W. Terrio (Ward 7), Jimmy Lehoux (Ward 8), Arthur J. Beaudry (Ward 9), John B. Avard (Ward 10), Katie Desrochers (Ward 11), and Kelly Anne Thomas (Ward 12).
David Scannell, who won in Ward 2, said, “I’m really gratified by the victory and looking forward to helping the students, teachers, and parents of Manchester. Nothing beats door-to-door canvassing.”
Incumbent Leslie Want of Ward 4, who has chaired the redistricting committee, said “I’m thrilled to continue the work we started with Dr. Vargas.” Incumbent Mary Ngwanda Georges of Ward 3 noted that she won both the school board and selectman races, saying, “I feel excited to see that Manchester is a diverse city. My election shows that there is trust.”
The uncontested at-large school board positions were won by Richard H. Girard and Nancy E. Tessier.
In special general election for state legislator from Ward 8, Erika Conners won over Albert MacArthur Jr.
Close Races May Go to Recount
Three races were very close. The Ward 3 alderman race was won by just six votes, 529 to 523, favoring Tim Baines over Patrick Long. The Ward 2 school board race was won by 22 votes, 1.069 to 1,047, favoring David Scannell over Debra Gagnon Langton. The state legislator race for Ward 8 was won by 20 votes, 1,198 to 1,178, favoring Erika Conners over Albert E. MacArthur, Jr. Joel Elber, Ward 12 State Legislator and radio personality, predicted, “I think there will be a recount.”
A post-election statement released by Concerned Taxpayers of Manchester noted they were celebrating a unified victory for seats won by candidates on both boards, described as “taxpayer friendly,” including Moreau, Cataldo, Shea, Hirschmann, Freeman, Lehoux, and Thomas, as well as uncontested candidates, Levasseur, Girard, and Beaudry.
“The Concerned Taxpayers made a big difference today in electing taxpayer friendly candidates who represent the voters rather than the special interests that dominate City Hall. While voters decided to go with a new mayor at City Hall, they also decided to check her power with a tax fighting team on both boards. This was a good result for our committee and as we grow, we expect to take a more active role in the debates that impact the people of Manchester,” the statement read.
Voters Embrace Keno, Reject Flag Redesign
The question of Keno (for funding kindergarten) won strong support with 13,284 to 8,904. Voters chose to keep the current flag by a wide margin, 17,394 to a combined total of 6,641 for three new designs.