Gagne overtakes Mosley in Ward 6 recount continuation

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Larry Gagne. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

CONCORD, N.H. – In the continuation of last week’s recount for New Hampshire House District Hillsborough 16, consisting of Manchester’s Ward 6, Republican Larry Gagne has earned the second of two seats in the district, overtaking Democrat Maxine Mosley.

In Tuesday’s tally, Gagne received 1824 votes compared to Mosley’s 1798. Republican Will Infantine received 1903 votes and Democrat Holly Hillhouse received 1,643.

That total was comparable to the tally on Election Day, where Gagne received 1820 votes and Mosley earned 1797. In last week’s recount, Mosley took the second place slot with 1799 votes to what became Gagne’s 1798.

Local and state Republicans felt that the recount either incorrectly tabulated or omitted certain ballots cast during the election, seeking an audit with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office under RSA 660:17-b, a law passed in 2022 that allows additional scrutiny in certain races.

Republican Joe Sweeney (left in plaid) and Democrat Joshua Query look at ballots. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

On Tuesday morning, Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius denied an injunction request by Mosley and State Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy of Manchester to stop the continuation. Soucy said that New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan did not have the authority to conduct an audit. Soucy also said that this situation necessitated additional scrutiny into post-election procedures.

“I do think we need to look at the recount process and the audit process because they’re two separate things, they’re two separate responsibilities,” she said. “One is the hand total number of ballots, the other is counting the votes in the race. I think it’s very important for the voters to know that at each phase of this process, they should have complete confidence in our election statutes.”

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley also expressed concern about a precedent set for potential random “bonus recounts” in the future.

“I certainly feel sorry for all the candidates that had close elections like this that didn’t have the opportunity for a second recount. This special treatment that this particular candidate received in this election doesn’t bode well for our (electoral) process,” he said.

NH Secretary of State David Scanlan. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Scanlan said that the initial recount held ballots that were not counted following a reconciliation of undervotes, or ballots that did not use the maximum number of votes allowable in the Hillsborough 16 race, and the total number of ballots. Specifically, Scanlan believes the discrepancy came from a stack of ballots where voters cast two votes for candidates of a specific party that were not counted last week.

“I believe strongly that all ballots should be counted after the election if someone requests a recount and the process that happened today allowed all the ballots that were cast to be counted,” he said.

Scanlan praised his team, but also said that the recount process is a human one and sometimes errors happen, but in this case they were able to catch the error, which in turn he believes will buoy voter confidence in elections

“I think when we can be transparent enough to recognize a glaring mistake and correct it, that helps transparency and (voter) confidence.”

For Gagne, he’s just glad that the day is over.

“Honestly, I never want to go through it again,” he said. “I guess it’s a necessary evil to get the right count out.”

A total of 25 ballots were challenged on Tuesday in addition to the eight challenged last week. In a statement released later in the evening, New Hampshire Communications Director Colin Booth indicated that the results will be appealed to the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission.

About this Author


Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.