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Stories about New Hampshire

Lucas resigns from New Hampshire House of Representatives, creating 10th vacancy in chamber

The current vacancy count in the New Hampshire House of Representatives this week reached a total of 10 seats. Rep. Gates Lucas (R) resigned from the chamber on July 14, citing a move outside his district as the reason. Lucas announced his resignation on Twitter and said, “Today I resigned from the @NHHouseofReps given I am moving to Portsmouth. I’m proud of the work we’ve done in the house to uphold @GovChrisSununu’s vetoes and reject many of the radical policies of the left. It’s been an honor serving Sunapee & Croydon!”
Lucas had represented New Hampshire’s House District Sullivan 2 since 2018. He did not file to run for re-election this year. The other vacant seats in the chamber are in Grafton 12, Cheshire 4, Hillsborough 23, Grafton 9, Hillsborough 43, Hillsborough 37, Strafford 10, Hillsborough 27, and Hillsborough 7. Eight of the 10 vacancies occurred this year.
Vacancies in the New Hampshire state legislature are filled by special election. A town or city in the district represented by the vacant seat must make a formal request to the governor and executive council for a special election. The governor and council then approve or deny the request within 21 days. So far, there has only been one special election called in New Hampshire this year. It was for the Merrimack 24 district and took place on March 10.


New Hampshire’s stay-at-home order to expire on June 15

On June 11, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced that New Hampshire’s stay-at-home order will expire on June 15 at 11:59 p.m.

When the order lifts, the following businesses are permitted to reopen: amateur sports, bowling, arcades, laser tag and billiard halls, charitable gaming, gyms and fitness centers (50% capacity), libraries, motorcycle rides, museums and art galleries, outdoor attractions, outdoor race tracks, public, campground and commercial pools, road races, and tourist trains.

Low physical contact amateur sports, such as baseball and softball, are allowed to resume, and indoor recreational facilities can reopen at 50% capacity. Funeral homes may reopen and weddings may resume.

In-restaurant dining capacity can rise if there’s enough floor space to maintain social distancing in six counties—Belknap, Coos, Carrol, Cheshire, Sullivan, and Grafton. In-restaurant dining can resume at 50% capacity in Rockingham, Hillsborough, Merrimack and Strafford counties.

Ballotpedia is tracking how state governments plan to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic.



Filing deadline passes for congressional candidates in Connecticut, New Hampshire

On June 11 and June 12, the major-party filing deadline passed to run for U.S. Congress in Connecticut and New Hampshire, respectively. The Connecticut filing deadline had previously been June 9, but it was moved to June 11 by Governor Ned Lamont’s (D) executive order in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Connecticut, neither U.S. Senate seat is up for election this year. The incumbents for the state’s five U.S. House seats—John Larson (D) in District 1, Joe Courtney (D) in District 2, Rosa DeLauro (D) in District 3, James Himes (D) in District 4, and Jahana Hayes (D) in District 5—are all running for re-election. The primary for candidates who aren’t nominated via party convention is on August 11.

In New Hampshire, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) is running for re-election to her seat. The incumbents for the state’s two U.S. House seats—Chris Pappas (D) in District 1 and Annie Kuster (D) in District 2—are both running for re-election, as well. The state’s primary is on September 8.

Connecticut and New Hampshire’s statewide filing deadlines were the 46th and 47th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 24 in Rhode Island, and the final two statewide filing deadlines are in Delaware and Louisiana in July.

The national general election is on November 3, 2020. Entering the 2020 election, the U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Thirty-five out of the 100 U.S. Senate seats are up for election, including two seats up for special election. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House of Representatives has 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 U.S. House seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

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Candidate filing period ends for state executive and legislative offices in three states

The filing deadline has passed to run for state executive and legislative offices in Connecticut, Florida, and New Hampshire. The deadline passed for Connecticut on June 11. For Florida and New Hampshire, it passed on June 12.

Candidates filed for the following state executive and legislative offices:
  • Connecticut: State Senate (36 seats) and State House (151 seats)
  • Florida: State Senate (20 seats) and State House (120 seats)
  • New Hampshire: Governor, Executive Council (5 seats), State Senate (24 seats), and State House (400 seats)

The general election in each state is scheduled for November 3, 2020. The primary in Connecticut is scheduled for August 11, in Florida for August 18, and in New Hampshire for September 8.

Connecticut and New Hampshire’s statewide filing deadlines were the 46th and 47th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. Florida’s filing deadline for congressional and certain judicial offices passed on April 24, which was the 36th statewide filing deadline of 2020. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 24 in Rhode Island.

Connecticut and Florida have Democratic and Republican state government trifectas, respectively. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. New Hampshire has a divided government in which no party holds a trifecta.

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Muscatel resigns from New Hampshire House of Representatives

Rep. Garrett Muscatel (D) resigned from his seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives on June 9, according to House Speaker Stephen Shurtleff (D). Muscatel, who was one of four legislators representing District Grafton 12, was first elected to the chamber in 2018.

WMUR reported that the New Hampshire Republican Party argued that Muscatel was no longer a resident of the state of New Hampshire. Muscatel was a student of Dartmouth University and lived in a dormitory on the university’s campus until student housing closed in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. An announcement from Stanford University Law School, where Muscatel plans to start studying in the fall, described him as being from California. In response to the reports that he was no longer a New Hampshire resident, Muscatel said, “I am and will continue to be a New Hampshire resident.” Prior to his resignation, Muscatel had announced that he did not intend to run for re-election this year.

Muscatel’s departure from the legislature creates the fifth vacancy in the 400-person state House. The partisan composition of the remaining seats is 232 Democrats, 162 Republicans, and one Libertarian. Ballotpedia has identified the New Hampshire House of Representatives as one of 22 state legislative battleground chambers for the 2020 cycle. Republicans need to flip 35 seats, or 9% of the total seats, in order to win a majority in the chamber.

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Filing deadline for state executive and legislative candidates to pass in CT, FL, and NH

The filing deadlines to run for elected state offices in Connecticut, Florida, and New Hampshire will pass in the next week. Connecticut’s filing deadline is on June 11, and Florida and New Hampshire’s filing deadlines are on June 12.

In Connecticut, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
  • State Senate (36 seats)
  • State House (151 seats)
In Florida, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
  • State Senate (20 seats)
  • State House (120 seats)
In New Hampshire, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
  • Governor
  • Executive Council (5 seats)
  • State Senate (24 seats)
  • State House (400 seats)

Connecticut’s primary is scheduled for August 11, Florida’s primary is scheduled for August 18, and New Hampshire’s primary is scheduled for September 8. The general election for all three states is November 3, 2020.

Connecticut’s, Florida’s, and New Hampshire’s filing deadlines are the 45th, 46th, and 47th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 24 in Rhode Island.

Connecticut has a Democratic state government trifecta, and Florida has a Republican state government trifecta. New Hampshire has a divided government, meaning no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

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Candidate filing period for congressional races to end in Connecticut and New Hampshire

The statewide major-party filing deadlines to run for congressional offices in Connecticut and New Hampshire are approaching. Connecticut’s deadline is on June 11, and New Hampshire’s deadline is on June 12. Connecticut’s major-party deadline was originally scheduled for June 9, but Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) issued an executive order extending it by two days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prospective candidates in Connecticut may file for the following congressional offices:
• U.S. House (5 seats)

Prospective candidates in New Hampshire may file for the following congressional offices:
• U.S. Senate (1 seat)
• U.S. House (2 seats)

Connecticut’s primary is scheduled for August 11, and New Hampshire’s primary is scheduled for September 8. Both states’ general elections are scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Connecticut’s filing deadline is the 46th and New Hampshire’s deadline is the 47th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 24 in Rhode Island.

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Komi resigns from New Hampshire House of Representatives

Former Rep. Richard Komi (D) resigned from the New Hampshire House of Representatives on May 2, after House Speaker Stephen Shurtleff (D) requested his resignation the previous day. The request for Komi’s resignation followed a tweet that Komi posted indicating his belief that sexual assault allegations against Vice President Joe Biden, which Biden has denied, are false.

Komi deleted the tweet and issued an apology in his resignation letter, writing, “I am and will continue to be a supporter of victims of sexual and domestic assault. The tweets were very poorly worded and do not reflect who I am and what I stand for. I ask for the forgiveness of all who have been a victim of sexual or any other kind of assault. I in no way excuse my poor judgment on this matter and hope that every one will know that I am truly sorry for my mistakes.”

Komi was elected to represent the Hillsborough 43 district in 2018. He previously represented Hillsborough 12 from 2008 to 2010. Komi is the second member of the state House to resign this year. The first was former Rep. Jody McNally (R), who resigned on January 1.

There are currently four vacancies in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. For a vacancy to be filled, a town or city in the district represented by the vacant seat must make a request for a special election to the governor and executive council, who then have 21 days to approve or deny the request.

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