HR Management & Compliance

New Hampshire: Governor Lynch Last Democrat Standing

by Jay Surdukowski, Sulloway & Hollis, P.L.L.C.

In New Hampshire, Republicans claimed a 19-5 edge in the state senate, a huge house majority, and likely unanimous control of the Governor’s Council, though incumbent Democratic Governor John Lynch managed to keep his post.

The Republican sweep is not a surprise, but the magnitude is. This third “wave election” in as many cycles may even surpass 1994 margins in the state house.

Among the night’s many senate Democratic losses were the majority leader, both senators from the Democratic stronghold of Nashua, and a popular seacoast senator. Democratic Senator Lou D’Allesandro, the venerable senate finance chair from Manchester, hung on by less than 150 votes against a surprisingly strong challenge from perennial candidate Republican Joseph Kelly Levasseur.

Early indications are that senate Republicans will focus on economic issues and steer clear of social ones. The house is more unpredictable, and a supermajority is a great temptation for any party.

On the national front, former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte will keep departing Republican Judd Gregg’s seat in red hands, as she soundly defeated Democratic challenger and U.S. Representative Paul Hodes. Republicans also took over both of the state’s formerly Democratic U.S. House seats.

Jay Surdukowski is a contributor to New Hampshire Employment Law Letter and an attorney with Sulloway & Hollis, P.L.L.C., in Concord. He can be reached at (603) 224-2341.