by Brendon Browne, Government Relations Director, NEA-New Hampshire
NEA-New Hampshire recommended candidates at the top of the ticket went four for five, with Secretary Clinton carrying the state, Governor Hassan narrowly defeating Senator Ayotte for a U.S. Senate seat, Congresswoman Annie Kuster returning to Washington for a third consecutive term in the Second Congressional District, and former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter for a fourth non-consecutive term.
Unfortunately, in what is probably the most important race for NEA-NH, Executive Council Chris Sununu defeated fellow Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern in the Governor’s race. Governor Elect Sununu will be the first Republican Governor in twelve years in New Hampshire, and only he second Republican to be elected to that office in the last eleven elections.
“Whether the issue is respect for public school students and educators, college affordability, or bullying, our 17,000 members believe in public education, and believe that everyone wins if educators are at the table when important decisions are made,” said Scott McGilvray, NEA-New Hampshire President. “They know every child is a success story waiting to happen, and hope tonight’s winners are willing to help ensure public educators have the respect and resources they need to make these stories a reality.”
The New Hampshire Senate remained in Republican hands by a 14-10 margin. NEA-New Hampshire President Scott McGilvray’s victory in District 16 was offset by Senator Hosmer’s loss in District 7, with all other seats remaining in control of the party that previously held them. All told, there were nine new senators elected on November 8. In addition to Senator elect McGilvray, Senator Jeff Woodburn, a lifetime NEA-NH member, was re-elected and will continue to serve as Senate Minority Leader. Ten NEA-NH recommended candidates were elected.
In the New Hampshire House, Democrats picked up 14 seats, bringing the partisan makeup of the House to 226 Republicans to 174 Democrats. According to a house spokesman, 263 incumbents were re-elected alongside 114 new members, and 23 previously elected members. Twenty-two NEA members, former members, or family were elected, including two Republicans.
The Executive Council remained in Republican hands 3-2.
While the composition of the Legislature remains largely unchanged, the Chris Sununu’s election means that for the first time in twelve years, there is not a pro-education Governor in the corner office to use his veto pen on the numerous attacks we have seen on labor and education in recent years. As a result, NEA-NH will be working closely with its partner organizations to ensure our members’ voices are heard.
“We hope one outcome of this year’s election is to re-affirm the important role public education plays in our nation and here in New Hampshire as the foundation of a brighter future for every child – no matter their zip code or the journey they took to reach our classroom,” said McGilvray.
As the legislative session progresses, please keep an eye out for messages from NEA-NH informing you of the goings on in the State House, and how you can help ensure pro-public education voices are heard in Concord.