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Major parties set picks for key New Hampshire House seat

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The owner of a restaurant popular with presidential hopefuls and a former police chief won major party nominating contests on Tuesday and will face off in November in a notoriously fickle congressional district in New Hampshire, seen as a key prize with control of Congress at stake.

Former state legislator Chris Pappas, a member of the state’s executive council administrative body, won the Democratic race to succeed retiring Democrat Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, which has flipped four times between the two major parties this decade, tending to reflect the national political winds.

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The Republican nominee was Eddie Edwards, a former police chief who defeated state Senator Andy Sanborn. He was supported by President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and if elected, would be the first black congressman from the state.

Holding the district is crucial for Democrats as they seek to gain 23 seats to capture a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and try to thwart Trump’s Republican agenda.

All 435 seats in the House, as well as one-third of the 100-member Senate, will be up for grabs in the Nov. 6 elections.

Pappas emerged from a crowded primary of 11 people, with his most notable competition coming from former Obama administration official and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Maura Sullivan.

Edwards, meanwhile, won on the Republican side in a race with six people competing.

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Political oddsmaking firms say this race leans to the Democrats; shortly after Pappas was confirmed as the winner, the projection firm Cook Political Report shifted the race to “likely Democratic” from “lean Democratic.”

Voter dissatisfaction with Trump’s leadership has powered gains by Democrats in special elections at the federal and state level over the past 18 months. They are currently seen as modest favorites to retake the House.

Pappas was endorsed by three of the four members of the state’s all-female congressional delegation. He is co-owner of the Puritan Backroom, a Manchester restaurant well-known for presidential candidate visits ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation nominating primary. Manchester, which is part of the district, is the largest city in the state.

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SWING DISTRICT
The district has a history of voting for the presidential winner – and then going against the party that holds the White House in subsequent congressional elections. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama won the district twice, while Trump carried it by 1 percentage point over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Another notable candidate in the Democratic race was Levi Sanders, son of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of neighboring Vermont, who ran unsuccessfully for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The Vermont lawmaker, despite endorsing dozens of candidates across the country, had not backed his son.

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Sanders, who was criticized for not living in the district, had garnered only about 2 percent of the vote with about 50 percent of precincts counted.

Voters also picked former Democratic state Senator Molly Kelly to challenge popular incumbent Republican Governor Chris Sununu in November. Seven Republicans were competing to take on Congresswoman Ann Kuster in the state’s second congressional district, which Cook now rates as “solid Democratic.”

This week will set the final congressional match-ups ahead of the November general election, with Rhode Island set to vote on Wednesday. New York voters, who have already picked nominees for Congress, pick candidates on Thursday for governor and other state races.

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Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston and David Gaffen in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler and Peter Cooney


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Breaking Banner

Russia went looking for puppets in America — and they found Trump and the Republicans

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The Russians wasted decades infiltrating the left attempting to gain purchase in American political life. There was the Communist Party USA, of course. Established in 1919, the CPUSA grew through the 1930s and boasted a membership of about 100,000 at the beginning of World War II. A hundred thousand! Whoop-de-doo!

This article first appeared in Salon

Then there were the spinoff lefty parties like the Socialist Workers Party, the Progressive Labor Party, the Workers World Party, the Socialist Labor Party, the Progressive Labor Party — we could go on listing one splinter group after another with “socialist” or “labor” or “workers” in its title. They were tiny groups with memberships that were sometimes less than 100, and they would all deny being infiltrated by the Russkies, naturally. So would the “New Left” groups that came later, like SDS and The Weathermen. Nobody wanted to admit they were under Russian influence. Everything they were doing, from opposing the war in Vietnam to civil rights to fighting for free speech, was being done for completely pure reasons.

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CNN

GOP strategist walloped for urging Dem lawmakers to leave Trump alone and worry about being re-elected instead

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On CNN Saturday, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and Republican strategist Doug Heye clashed after the latter suggested Democrats should value their re-election over holding President Donald Trump accountable for wrongdoing.

"We have to remember, this is not a trial as we think of trials in courtroom," said Heye. "This is a political process. It is designed to be a political process, and that's why this whole process is played out the way that it has so far. I would say to Maria, the Republicans aren't spending money to shore up Republicans per se. They're spending money to go after vulnerable Democrats who are going home and then coming back and telling Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership, I'm getting killed back home."

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2020 Election

William Barr made it clear this week that he’d sign off on a sham investigation into the Dems’ 2020 nominee

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

A perfect storm propelled New York's sleaziest real estate developer to an Electoral College victory in 2016 despite winning three million fewer votes than his opponent, but Nate Silver made a compelling argument that the letter James Comey sent to Congress just 11 days before Election Day announcing that the FBI was re-opening its probe into Hillary Clinton's emails was decisive.

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