MANCHESTER, NH — It was close to midnight on election day at the Puritan Backroom event hall when an exuberant crowd cheered for Puritan owner and Democrat Chris Pappas, who won the race for New Hampshire’s first Congressional District over Republican Eddie Edwards.
Pappas led Edwards 53 to 45 percent, while Libertarian Dan Belforti had 1 percent of the vote.
“Today, voters right here in New Hampshire and across our country are delivering a strong message that when America is faced with a challenge, we don’t give up or give in to fear or anger — we persevere,” Pappas said. “Voters are clearly saying that it’s time to reject the division, deception, and partisanship of the past two years — and it’s time to put the focus back on making progress for Granite Staters who deserve better.”
Congressman-elect Pappas, 38, succeeds Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter who is retiring. Pappas joins only 6 incumbent Democrats in Congress under the age of 40 and becomes the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress from New Hampshire — just the eighth in U.S history.
An extraordinarily high voter turnout was partly due to young voters. New Hampshire Young Democrats President Lucas Meyer said, “Chris Pappas represents the next generation of leaders in Congress who are going to bring forward bold and fresh ideas to address the most pressing issues facing our country. He exemplifies the best our state has to offer. As a young business owner and elected official, he has dedicated himself to giving a voice to the voiceless. With chaos and growing inequality created by the Trump administration and his allies, Washington needs Chris and his principled leadership speaking out on our behalf, fighting for all of us to make our state and nation just and equitable.”
Mayor Joyce Craig, Senator Maggie Hassan, and State Senators Lou D’Allessandro and Donna Soucy of Manchester were among those present at the celebration.
Mayor Craig said, “For years, Chris has been a good friend and effective partner in moving Manchester forward. As a lifelong resident, a graduate of Manchester public schools and small business owner, Chris understands the challenges our community faces and has worked hard to address them. This is why I am thrilled that tonight, the people of the first congressional district voted to elect him to Congress. I look forward to working with him to continue to make our state a better place.”
Crowd awaits Chris Pappas. Photo/Laura Aronson
Earlier, Democratic candidate Molly Kelly conceded defeat to incumbent Governor Chris Pappas, who led with 53 percent to Kelly’s 46 percent. Libertarian Jilletta Jarvis took one percent.