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Joyce Endee

Voters give strong support to Democrats

November 14, 2012
NORTH COUNTRY — With their votes last Tuesday, area voters were very kind to Democrats. As Jeff Woodburn won the District 1 Senate race, fellow Democrats did quite well in House races.

In Grafton District 1, Democrat Linda Massimilla had a solid showing. She was running for one of the two seats in the district that Littleton shares with Bethlehem. Massimilla took 2,263 votes (40 percent) while Republicans Lyle "Rusty" Bulis and Ralph Doolan each had 30 percent.

Bulis was just two votes ahead of fellow Doolan for the second seat. According to the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office, a recount will take place on Thursday, November 15. This will determine if Bulis retains his seat in Concord.

Rebecca Brown of Sugar Hill took the open District 2 seat. She defeated Denis Ward of Monroe. Brown had 1,365 votes (53 percent) to Ward's 1,198 (47 percent). This district includes Franconia, Lisbon, Lyman, Monroe, and Sugar Hill. Brown won 66 percent of Franconia's votes, and 64 percent of the Sugar Hill vote.

Sue Ford will be returning to Concord. She prevailed in her re-match with incumbent Republican Greg Sorg. Ford took 1,392 votes (55 percent) to Sorg's 1,155 (45 percent). Ford's strongest showing was in Easton, where she captured 122 of the total 188 votes.

Linda Lauer also defeated an incumbent Republican, Representative Paul Ingbretson. This race was for the floterial Grafton 15 seat. Lauer took 2,251 votes (51 percent) to Ingbretson's 2,178 (49 percent). The district stretches from Bath and Easton southward through Orford.

Floterial District 14 was a rare Republican success story last week. Brad Bailey defeated Democrat Doug Grant by a total of 727 votes. Bailey's 56 to 44 percent victory margin was helped by 62 percent of Littleton's vote. He won the town by 632 total votes.

Overall, the party balance in the State House changed dramatically. Even with the return of Democratic control, Brown wants to focus on bipartisan solutions and civility. "The campaign was work," Brown said on Monday, "but the real work begins now."

In other races, District 2 Senator Jeanie Forrester prevailed. Her challenger was Democrat Robert Lamb. Forrester carried Haverhill by nearly 600 votes. Overall, she captured 14,943 votes (54 percent) to Lamb's 12,680 (46 percent).

Although he did well in our region, Republican Tyler Drummond was unsuccessful in his effort to unseat Register of Deeds Kelley Monahan. Northern Grafton County provided Drummond with a slight majority of votes. Monahan prevailed thanks to 70 percent of the vote from Hanover, Lebanon, and Plymouth. Overall, Monahan received 25,053 votes (59 percent) to Drummond's 17,154 (41 percent).

The governor's race was also good to Democrats. Maggie Hassan defeated Ovide Lamontagne by a 55 to 42 percent margin statewide. Hassan won each of the state's ten counties. She made strong showings in both Grafton and Cos counties.

Ann McLane Kuster was successful in her rematch with U.S. Representative Charlie Bass. She defeated Bass by more than 17,000 votes in District 2. She will join Carol Shea-Porter, who returns to the House in District 1. Along with Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, Kuster and Shea-Porter will be part of the first all-female Congressional delegation in U.S. history.

President Obama won both Cos and Grafton counties by large margins. He took 61 percent of the vote in Grafton County, and 58 percent in Cos County. Obama defeated Governor Romney in Littleton by 273 votes. This was a 54 to 45 percent margin.

Last Tuesday's results may indicate a long-term Democratic trend in the North Country. Of course, voters will make that determination, and Election Day 2014 is not that far away.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
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