In a particularly difficult year, the November 3rd elections in New Hampshire delivered some hard losses, but also some significant victories for our movement that we want to lift up and celebrate. We are deeply thankful for the incredible work and dedication of our supporters, members and endorsed candidates, who have put long and hard hours into this election and more recently into democracy defense preparations.

Regardless of the final vote count, we want to congratulate ALL of our endorsed candidates for running a great campaign and to thank you for the work you are doing to stand up for a better future for our communities and to champion a movement for change. We know you all are going to continue being leaders in this work in the coming term, whether or not it’s in elected office. Here are some highlights from election night, as well as some next steps that we will be taking to defend democracy and heal our communities.

  1. Trump was soundly defeated in NH! We are still awaiting the final results of the national election, but we know that all of the hard work of our New Hampshire field team, who used deep canvassing and relational organizing strategies to swing votes and build our volunteer base, paid off. Biden won by about 7 percentage points in the Granite State, which is a major improvement from Hillary Clinton’s slim margin in 2016.
  2. We lost some key races but gained new champions down ballot. Out of 106 endorsed candidates and 6 recommended candidates, 64 won their races. There were some big wins for movement champions, young leadership and RAD members, including: RAD field organizer and first time candidate Maria Perez, who won her race for Hillsborough 23; 18-year-old Tony Labranche, who won his race in Hillsborough 22; Amanda Toll, who won her race in Cheshire 16; and Ariel Oxaal, who won her race in Strafford 15. We also saw wins in contested races for RAD champion incumbents Sherry Frost, Sparky Von Plinsky, John Cloutier, and Joe Schapiro in Strafford 16, Cheshire 7, Sullivan 10, and Cheshire 16, and Larry Welkowitz won a vacant seat in Cheshire 4.

We are thrilled to announce the following full list of wins for RAD-endorsed and recommended NH candidates:

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
*Recommended: Cinde Warmington, District 2

STATE SENATE
David Watters, SD4
Suzanne Prentiss, SD5
Becky Whitely, SD15
Rebecca Perkins Kwoka, SD21
*Recommended: Jay Kahn, SD10
*Recommended: Kevin Cavanaugh, SD16

STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

CHESHIRE COUNTY
Lawrence Welkowitz, Cheshire 4
Sparky Von Plinsky, Cheshire 7
Dick Ames, Cheshire 9
Lucius Parshall, Cheshire 10
Joe Schapiro, Cheshire 16
Amanda Elizabeth Toll, Cheshire 16
*Recommended: Doug Ley, Cheshire 9

GRAFTON COUNTY
Sallie Fellows, Grafton 8
Joshua Adjutant, Grafton 17

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
Patrick Long, Hillsborough 10
Nicole Klein Knight, Hillsborough 11
Mary Sullivan Heath, Hillsborough 14
Joshua Query, Hillsborough 16
Heidi Hamer, Hillsborough 17
Tim Smith, Hillsborough 17
Tony Labranche, Hillsborough 22
Maria Elizabeth Perez, Hillsborough 23
Ivy Vann, Hillsborough 24
Bruce Cohen, Hillsborough 28
Jan Schmidt, Hillsborough 28
Patricia Klee, Hillsborough 30
Suzanne Vail, Hillsborough 30
Manny Espitia, Hillsborough 31
Allison Nutting-Wong, Hillsborough 32
Efstathia Booras, Hillsborough 33
Mark King, Hillsborough 33
Fran Nutter-Upham, Hillsborough 33
Melbourne Moran Jr., Hillsborough 34
Catherine Sofikitis, Hillsborough 34
Linda Gathright, Hillsborough 36
Stephanie Hyland, Hillsborough 38
Matt Wilhelm, Hillsborough 42
Connie Van Houten, Hillsborough 45

MERRIMACK COUNTY
Eric Gallager, Merrimack 15
Safiya Wazir, Merrimack 17
Kris Schultz, Merrimack 18
Christy D Bartlett, Merrimack 19
Samantha Fox, Merrimack 23
Art Ellison, Merrimack 27
Rebecca McWilliams, Merrimack 27
Katherine Rogers, Merrimack 28

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY
Ellen Read, Rockingham 17
Renny Cushing, Rockingham 21
David Meuse, Rockingham 29

STRAFFORD COUNTY
Cam Kenney, Strafford 6
Timothy Horrigan, Strafford 6
Marjorie Smith, Strafford 6
Chuck Grassie, Strafford 11
Casey Conley, Strafford 13
Ariel Oxaal, Strafford 15
Sherry Frost, Strafford 16
Gerri Cannon, Strafford 18
Amanda Gourgue, Strafford 25

SULLIVAN COUNTY
Lee W. Oxenham, Sullivan 1
Brian Sullivan, Sullivan 1
John Cloutier, Sullivan 10

SCHOOL BOARD
Jonathan Weinberg, Concord District B

We know that there were also some hard losses. Incumbent Republican Governor Chris Sununu, who has presented major obstacles to progress, won his race, and the State House, Senate and Executive Council, which the Democrats flipped in 2018, all returned to Republican control. We will have our work cut out for us in the coming term, but it is clear that our movement is strong and growing, and we are well prepared to take on these challenges. Building a movement takes time, and democracy is not just about what happens on Election Day – it is about all of the hard grassroots work that happens in between to build community and take control of our institutions. That is exactly what RAD champions, leaders, members and volunteers are doing, and we will continue to grow this work as we hold our administration accountable and prepare together for even stronger outcomes next time.

NEXT STEPS
Supporting these leaders: Rights & Democracy has learned that it is not enough to help get good people elected –  we need to invest in developing their leadership and set them up to thrive. In our current political climate, a major priority is to help our elected officials and leaders in the public eye have security resources to ensure the safety of themselves and their families. We are raising money to make sure we have the resources to support the safety and security of everyone standing up in defense of our democracy.

Defending our democracy: It will likely be some time before we know the final results of the presidential election. It may be that democracy defense work is not as necessary if it becomes clear that Trump has been defeated. Regardless, the damage the Trump administration has done will take years to undo even if his presidency comes to an end this January. Trump is also a symptom of much larger systemic ills underlying our country, and in any outcome, we have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to make deep transformational change to heal our communities and begin to move toward a society, economy and government centered on justice and equity for everyone. Sign up as a Democracy Defender in New Hampshire.

Healing our communities and pushing for bold solutions: This moment has been a wake up call for us to demand the change our collective future needs. In communities across the country, we have built a durable network of grassroots organizations that are pushing for bold policies to build a real democracy, decarbonize our economy, create equitable jobs programs, and protect our environment. This work includes fighting for policy change on every level – federally, with our partners at People’s Action and the Center For Popular Democracy; regionally, with our Renew New England Alliance; on a state level with our Vermont and New Hampshire coalition partners; and locally, with our chapters winning municipal change. Sign up here for New Hampshire to help in this work and RSVP for our virtual December 5th Membership Assembly with special guests including Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.