Rate of contested state legislative primaries increases in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has 89 contested state legislative primaries this year, 20% of the total number of possible primaries, and a 31% increase from 2020.

The rate of contested primaries this year is at its highest point compared to the four preceding election cycles.

Of the 89 contested primaries, there are 20 for Democrats and 69 for Republicans. For Democrats, this is down from 30 in 2020, a 33% decrease. For Republicans, the number is up 82% from 38 in 2020.

One hundred sixteen incumbents face primary challenges, representing 38% of all incumbents running for re-election. This is higher than in 2020 and 2018, but lower than 2016 when 41% of incumbents faced contested primaries.

Of the 116 incumbents in contested primaries, 26 are Democrats and 90 are Republicans.

Overall, 904 major party candidates—430 Democrats and 474 Republicans—filed to run. All 400 House and 24 Senate seats are up for election.

One hundred twenty-six of those seats are open, meaning no incumbents filed. This guarantees that at least 30% of the legislature will be represented by newcomers next year, the largest such percentage since at least 2014.

New Hampshire has had a Republican trifecta since 2020 when the party won control of both chambers of the legislature. Republicans currently have a 203-179-1 majority in the House with 17 vacancies. The party has a 13-10 majority in the Senate with one vacancy.

New Hampshire’s trifecta status has changed four times since 2010.

New Hampshire’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for Sept. 13, the 17th and final statewide primary date of the 2022 state legislative election cycle.

Additional reading: