by David Hamilton ’17
A close margin of votes in favor of Molly Kelly (D) began a long night for the New Hampshire gubernatorial election this year. Running against incumbent Chris Sununu (R) was no easy task, but it seems that Kelly was up to the challenge.
On November 6th, three candidates were on the ballot including Kelly, Sununu, and Jilletta Jarvis, the candidate for the Libertarian party.
After a long day of voting, polling places began to close their doors around 7 pm. Moderators around the state began to tally, with some even doing it by hand, such as those in Roxbury Precinct. Votes began to roll in during the early hours after each location closed and Molly Kelly took the lead by a small margin, which was held for a significant portion of the night.
Unfortunately for Kelly, the early voter counts around the state did not seem to resemble some of the most heavily-populated areas of southern New Hampshire, which may very well have portrayed a false sense of hope. Once about 50% of the precincts had reported their counts, Sununu took the lead. Not much later, Kelly conceded to Governor Sununu, allowing him to continue into a second term in New Hampshire’s State House. Governor Sununu received 52.8% of the vote, while Kelly received an impressive 45.8%, and Jarvis following with 1.4%, according to the New York Times.
While a great win for Sununu and his supporters, there are still many challenges that lie ahead. As he enters 2019, he will be facing many obstacles in working with the state Legislature and the Executive Council as both were given to the Democrats by voters. Many controversial topics have been coming to the floor in front of the state Legislature in the past two years, and many more will be in the next two. These topics include minimum wage, college tuition, the use of medical and recreational marijuana, and gun control. Outcomes for many of these may be very different in the coming months as the balance of power has been reversed. Sununu will be facing an entirely new environment in his upcoming term. However, after a conversation with NHPR, he seems to be up to the challenge.
“Look the next two years are going to be a little different, but that’s OK. That’s New Hampshire, right? Anybody who has an idea is invited to the table,” said Sununu.
Now, the question is whether or not he will be able to achieve what he is hoping to with such a large political shift?
Photo by U.S Department of Agriculture