Stage is set for Mowers/Pappas showdown

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Matt Mowers (left) and Chris Pappas on Sept. 8, 2020. (Mowers photo credit/Andrew Sylvia. Pappas photo courtesy Pappas campaign)

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The stage is set in what could be one of the most competitive congressional races this fall.

Bedford resident Matt Mowers officially became the 2020 Republican candidate for New Hampshire’s First Congressional District (NH CD-1) on Tuesday night, more than doubling the vote tallies of his four primary opponents combined with 60 percent of precincts reporting.

Mowers’ win marks the largest margin of victory for a non-incumbent in a NH CD-1 Republican Primary since 1974.

In statements at the Hilton Doubletree after the Associated Press called his primary victory, Mowers thanked his family and went on the attack against incumbent Chris Pappas (D-Manchester).

Mowers accused Pappas of abandoning police officers, small businesses and others in New Hampshire in favor of supporting U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and China, vowing that he would give New Hampshire back its voice in Washington.

“The fact of the matter is that is that Chris Pappas has voted with Nancy Pelosi 100 percent of the time,” said Mowers. “Two years ago he said he would be independent, and he hasn’t been independent, he can put as much shoeshine on that as he likes. The fact of the matter does change that he has turned his back on the people of New Hampshire and he’s put the policies of Nancy Pelosi and her agenda ahead of the people of New Hampshire.”

Mowers earned the endorsement of President Donald Trump in June and during the remarks at the Doubletree announced that he expects the support of primary opponent and former NH Republican Vice Chairman Matt Mayberry as well in the General Election.

Just a few blocks away in Manchester’s Millyard, Pappas also provided remarks after his official re-nomination as the Democratic Party’s choice for NH CD-1 this fall.

In those statements, Pappas noted that he has received Republican co-sponsors on 16 of the 34 bills he authored during the past two years and also co-sponsored 69 bills written by Republicans, including six that have been signed by Trump.

Pappas, who did not face any competitors in his Primary, did not mention Mower by name, only saying that his “likely opponent” in the race has been running a campaign of “fear and smear.” He vowed to fight back against attacks when needed, but also vowed to stay focused on issues and reach out to those willing to work with him.

“I will work with anyone, anytime, who comes to the table in good faith, because politics shouldn’t get in the way of results,” says Pappas. “My record working on a variety of critical issues shows that.”

According to the Cook Political Report, NH CD-1 is one of 35 congressional districts with an incumbent Democrat that leaned more Republican than the national average during the 2012 and 2016 Presidential Elections.