Newly-sworn in New Hampshire House Speaker Dick Hinch (R) died on Dec 9, at the age of 71. According to the Boston Globe, Hinch unexpectedly passed away from COVID-19.
Hinch won re-election to the New Hampshire House of Representatives to represent Hillsborough 21 on Nov. 3. Republicans gained control of the state House, and Hinch was elected speaker on Dec. 2. Rep. Sherman Packard (R) will serve as acting speaker of the house until the full state House votes on a new speaker on Jan. 6.
A special election will fill Hinch’s vacant seat. According to New Hampshire law, a town or city in the district must first make a formal request to the governor and executive council for a special election. The governor and council will approve or deny the request within 21 days and then set the filing deadline and election dates.
Hillsborough 21 is represented by Republican Representatives Mary Mayville, Lindsay Tausch, Melissa Blasek, Jeanine Notter, Bob Healey, and Maureen Mooney and Democratic Representative Rosemarie Rung. Hinch’s death represents the only current vacancy in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.