New Hampshire Democrats rejoiced in the midterm elections when they were able to flip a number of seats to gain majorities in both the House and Senate, but in the Lakes Region, many seats remained strongly in Republican control.
In Belknap Dist. 2, it was Republican all the way, with Glen Aldrich, Jonathan Mackie, Harry Bean, and Deanna Jurius receiving more than 3,000 votes in the two towns making up the district, Gilford and Meredith. Democrat Diane Hanley came closest, at 2,941 votes, still 202 votes short of her nearest Republican opponent, Mackie.
In Belknap Dist. 1, Republican Harry Viens received 923 votes to Democrat Ruth Gulick’s 788, to represent the towns of Center Harbor and New Hampton.
Republicans Dennis Fields and Tim Lang Sr. held onto their seats in Belknap Dist. 4, beating off a challenge from Charles Mitchell and Stanley Robinson for the seat representing Sanbornton and Tilton.
Similarly, Republicans George Feeney and Peter Varney prevailed over Democrats Betty Ann Abbott and Michelle Carter in Belknap District 5, representing Alton and Gilmanton.
Mike Sylvia and John Plumer made sure Belmont remained under the GOP tent in Belknap Dist. 6, defeating Democrats Justin Borden and George Condodemetraky.
Barnstead chose Republican Barbara Comtois over Democrat Katherine Preston, 1,078-872, in Belknap Dist. 7, and joined Alton and Barnstead in keeping Republican Raymond Howard Jr. in Belknap Dist. 8, with the incumbent receiving 3,670 votes to Democrat Ruth Larson’s 2,600 votes.
The Republican trend was repeated in Carroll Dist. 4, where Glen Cordelli and Karel Crawford stayed well ahead of Democrats John Morrissey and Caroline Nesbitt in both Moultonborough and Tuftonboro, to win the race, although Sandwich voters went for Morrissey and Nesbitt.
Sandwich likewise bucked the trend in Carroll Dist. 8, choosing Democrat Richard Stuart over Republican William Marsh, 556-344, but to no avail — the six other towns in the district, including Moultonborough and Tuftonboro, went Republican to give Marsh the win, 5,639-3,717.
Wolfeboro split the vote in Carroll Dist. 6, choosing Republican John MacDonald and Democrat Edith DesMarais, with 1,859 and 1,738 votes, respectively, over Republican Matthew Plache and David Owen, who polled 1,647 and 1,554, respectively.
The picture was less clear in Grafton County, to the west, where both parties were able to pick up wins.
In Grafton Dist. 6, which covers Ellsworth, Groton, Orange, Rumney, and Thornton, it was Democrat Kevin Maes who came out ahead, defeating Republican Gail Sanborn, 1,174-1,095.
Grafton Dist. 7 — Campton — chose Democrat Richard Osborne over Republican Tiffany Johnson, 809-735.
Grafton Dist. 8, representing Hebron, Holderness, and Plymouth, went Democrat, choosing Sallie Fellows, Suzanne Smith, and Joyce Weston over Republicans Lynn Durham, Hank Marquis, and David Nash.
Grafton Dist. 16, a wide-ranging district stretching from Canaan, Dorchester, Orange, Ellsworth, and Wentworth to Groton, Rumney, and Thornton, gave the nod to Democrat Francesca Diggs, 2,192-2,000, over Republican Linda Luhtala.
Grafton Dist. 17 gave a surprise victory to Democrat Joshua Adjutant over incumbent Republican Stephen Darrow, 3,089-2,782. What made it a surprise was that Adjutant, a resident of Ashland who also has resided in Bridgewater and Bristol, lost in his hometown area but picked up a huge win in Enfield, which gave him 1,260 votes to 686 for Darrow. Ashland also voted for Adjutant, 469-385, but Alexandria, Bridgewater, Bristol, and Grafton stayed with Darrow.
Grafton Dist. 9, representing Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol, and Grafton, remained in Republican hands, choosing Ned Gordon, a former state senator, and Vincent Paul Migliore, a freshman representative, over Democrats Catherine Mulholland and Tejasinha Sivalingam and Libertarians John Babiarz and Rosalie Babiarz.