In case you missed it, the Union Leader published an op-ed by NHDP Chair Ray Buckley about the incredible momentum Granite State Democrats have been building since the 2020 elections. In the wake of huge wins on Town Meeting Days, back to back to back special election victories, and last year’s overwhelming wins in municipal elections statewide, it’s clear that New Hampshire Democrats have, and are continuing to build upon, momentum that will lead us to victory from the North Country to the Seacoast this November.
Raymond Buckley: Democrats are gearing up to win big in November
SINCE THE 2020 election cycle, we have seen momentous victories and palpable enthusiasm from the ground up for New Hampshire Democrats. Our volunteers, our activists, and our voters are fighting harder than ever. In the wake of Town Meeting Day Democratic sweeps, special election victories, and last year’s overwhelming wins in local elections statewide, it’s clear that Democrats at every level are building momentum that is going to lead us to huge wins this year and for years to come.
New Hampshire Democrats took 2021 by storm. Democrats swept the municipal elections, capturing seats in every major city in the state. Mayor Andrew Hosmer was re-elected in Laconia, which Donald Trump won by nearly 6 points, in a 46-point landslide. Mayor Joyce Craig was re-elected to a historic third term in Manchester, making her the first Democrat to win a third term in Manchester since 2003. Portsmouth’s mayor flipped from red to blue with young Democrat Deaglan McEachern’s victory, and fellow young Democrat Joanna Kelley was elected the first assistant mayor of color in New Hampshire history.
Democrats won three consecutive special election State House races, showing just how enthusiastic Granite Staters are about electing Democrats and soundly rejecting the NHGOP’s radical agenda. Rep. Muriel Hall won in the Bow and Dunbarton special election by 4% more than President Joe Biden did in this swing district. Rep. Catherine Rombeau won in the Bedford special election, becoming the first red-to-blue legislative district to flip nationally since President Biden was elected. Rep. Rombeau flipped a district with a 12% GOP registration advantage.
Already this year, Democrats have had major wins across the state. In our Town Meeting days, we came out on top in Republican strongholds and elected hundreds of Democrats to local office. Volunteers knocked on an unprecedented number of doors and turned out so many pro-democracy voters to the polls that some towns had to print more ballots.
Democrats not only swept in blue towns but also swept in purple and red towns. Democrats won elections in towns like Gilford, Bedford, Goffstown, Brookline, Hollis, Brentwood, Londonderry, Milford and Hooksett. In all 13 towns with warrant articles that would have eliminated voting machines, the voters uniformly rejected the Big Lie, the notion that New Hampshire’s elections are not secure that extremist Republicans promote to undermine our democracy. In March, Alderman Jim Burkush had a resounding victory in Manchester’s 9th Ward, defeating Victoria Sullivan, who had won that ward in her latest failed mayoral bid.
Just this month, voters in the town of Croydon turned out in droves to block a far-right effort to defund their public schools. Through grassroots, hyperlocal organizing, Croydon residents saved their school budget in a 377-to-2 vote.
These wins show that grassroots activism and a focus on responsible governance will carry Democrats to victory in New Hampshire, no matter the national political climate. These victories came even as radical, far-right organizations were caught sending illegal mailers to voters ahead of elections that called for the elimination of voting machines.
In cycles that weren’t favorable to Democrats nationally, New Hampshire Democrats consistently outperformed national trends and won. In 2014, a year where Democrats all across the country lost seats up and down the ticket, New Hampshire held strong and re-elected Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, then-Gov. Maggie Hassan, and Congresswoman Annie Kuster. We constantly buck national trends, and overperform no matter what the national narrative is.
I have been active in New Hampshire politics for my entire life, and can say with the utmost certainty that Granite State Democrats are building momentum at a level I have never seen before. As a candidate, a state representative, and in my current role as chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, I have seen how much our party has grown over the years. We have turned New Hampshire into a competitive two-party state with a mission of competing in every town, every race, every year.
These victories show that Granite State Democrats have, and are continuing to build upon, momentum that will lead us to victory in November. These resounding wins in our biggest cities and smallest towns, from town moderator to state representative, show that Granite Staters want elected officials who are fighting for our values. The New Hampshire GOP’s agenda is out of touch, and voters are coming out in droves to reject it at every opportunity. We’re going to win big this year and we’re going to keep winning for the years to come.