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Recount: GOP’s Sanborn defeats Democrat Nyquist by 213 votes in state Senate race

  • Volunteer observers, from left, John Schneller, Grant Bosse, and Dianne Bizik, watch as a recounter goes through the ballots recounting results for the Senate District 9 race between Andy Sanborn and Lee Nyquist. Sanborn was declared the winner following last Tuesday's election leading by 253 votes before the recount. The recount took place at the State Archives in Concord on Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Volunteer observers, from left, John Schneller, Grant Bosse, and Dianne Bizik, watch as a recounter goes through the ballots recounting results for the Senate District 9 race between Andy Sanborn and Lee Nyquist. Sanborn was declared the winner following last Tuesday's election leading by 253 votes before the recount. The recount took place at the State Archives in Concord on Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • James Townsend, a volunteer from Manchester, observes the recount for the Senate District 9 race between Andy Sanborn and Lee Nyquist at the State Archives in Concord on Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012. Sanborn was initially declared the winner following last Tuesday's election, leading by 253 votes before the recount.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    James Townsend, a volunteer from Manchester, observes the recount for the Senate District 9 race between Andy Sanborn and Lee Nyquist at the State Archives in Concord on Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012. Sanborn was initially declared the winner following last Tuesday's election, leading by 253 votes before the recount.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Volunteer observers, from left, John Schneller, Grant Bosse, and Dianne Bizik, watch as a recounter goes through the ballots recounting results for the Senate District 9 race between Andy Sanborn and Lee Nyquist. Sanborn was declared the winner following last Tuesday's election leading by 253 votes before the recount. The recount took place at the State Archives in Concord on Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
  • James Townsend, a volunteer from Manchester, observes the recount for the Senate District 9 race between Andy Sanborn and Lee Nyquist at the State Archives in Concord on Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012. Sanborn was initially declared the winner following last Tuesday's election, leading by 253 votes before the recount.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

Republican Sen.-elect Andy Sanborn’s victory over Democrat Lee Nyquist was confirmed yesterday by a recount, maintaining Republicans’ slim majority in the state Senate.

Sanborn, of Bedford, owns The Draft sports bar in Concord with his wife, Rep.-elect Laurie Sanborn. In last week’s election, he defeated Nyquist, an attorney from New Boston, in Senate District 9 by a margin of 253 votes, which shrank to 213 votes in yesterday’s recount.

Also given a second look yesterday were ballots in four House districts that elected six Democrats and five Republicans last week. None of those winners changed as a result of the recounts, according to Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan.

Recounts began yesterday and will continue through Tuesday in 23 races – 20 House districts, two Senate seats and the race for Cheshire County sheriff – that went before voters Nov. 6.

One of the recounts scheduled today is in the two-seat House district representing Mont Vernon and New Boston, where Republican Speaker Bill O’Brien of Mont Vernon came in second, 67 votes ahead of Democrat Kary Jencks of New Boston.

And next Tuesday, ballots in Senate District 16 will be recounted. Republican Sen. David Boutin of Hooksett beat Democrat Kathleen Kelley of Manchester by 396 votes, with 13,876 cast for Boutin and 13,480 for Kelley.

If Boutin’s victory is confirmed, there will be 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats in the 24-member state Senate. Democrats have 222 votes in the 400-member House to 178 for the Republicans, pending recounts.

Recounts can be a painstaking process. During yesterday’s Senate recount, more than two dozen people tallied tens of thousands of ballots by hand in the research room of the State Archives under the gaze of Democratic and Republican observers.

Secretary of State Bill Gardner personally examined any challenged ballots and mediated disputes among the observers. The recount lasted nearly 12 hours, from 8 in the morning until 7:30 at night.

After the Nov. 6 election, Sanborn had 15,478 votes to 15,225 ballots cast for Nyquist, a 253-vote margin of victory. Sanborn won big in the town of Bedford but lost Peterborough, New Boston and Jaffrey.

After the ballots were counted again, Sanborn had 15,454 votes to 15,241 for Nyquist, a 213-vote margin. Most of the change came from Mont Vernon, where the recount awarded two fewer votes to Nyquist and 41 fewer votes to Sanborn.

“Small-business owners, taxpayers and those struggling to get by every day can rest easy tonight,” Sanborn said after the results were finalized, “because with a Republican majority in the Senate, I vow to vote down any increase of any tax or fee in the state of New Hampshire. And I’m sure my Republican colleagues will join me in that effort.”

Nyquist said he was glad he went forward with the recount, and commended the officials who conducted it.

“I think it was a real orderly procedure,” he said.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

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