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N.H. House stands at 221 Democrats, 179 Republicans after 3 recounts wrap up

The New Hampshire House will contain 221 Democrats and 179 Republicans when it convenes in January, after recounts yesterday confirmed election outcomes in three districts.

Among the results affirmed yesterday: Franklin Republican Rep. Greg Hill lost his seat, finishing third in a two-seat district representing Franklin’s Ward 3 and Northfield. Democrats Joy Tilton of Northfield and Leigh Webb of Franklin won the two seats, with Hill trailing Webb by 68 votes following the recount. In the election-night count, he had lost by 71 votes.

Twenty-three recounts were scheduled following the Nov. 6 election. The final two, a recount in Senate District 16 and a recount in the Cheshire County sheriff’s race, are scheduled for today, according to the secretary of state’s office.

The outcomes didn’t change after recounts in 18 House districts and in Senate District 9, where Republican Sen.-elect Andy Sanborn of Bedford defeated New Boston Democrat Lee Nyquist. Winners changed in two House districts, but only one saw a change in the partisan balance of power, with Republicans picking up a seat.

Today’s recount in Senate District 16 has the potential to deadlock the Senate, where Republicans now hold a 13-11 majority; Republican Sen. David Boutin of Hooksett defeated Manchester Democrat Kathleen Kelley by a 396-vote margin. In the Cheshire County sheriff’s race, Democrat Eli Rivera of Keene beat Republican Earl Nelson of Marlborough by a mere 27 votes.

In a two-seat district representing New Castle and Rye, Democrats Tom Sherman of Rye and David Borden of New Castle saw yesterday’s recount confirm their wins over Republicans Raymond Tweedie of Rye and two-term incumbent Rep. Will Smith of New Castle.

And in a three-seat district representing Wards 5 and 6 in Dover and Ward 2 in Somersworth, three Dover Democrats had their victories affirmed: Peter Bixby, Greg Burdwood and Stephen Ketel. Incumbent Republican Reps. Donald Andolina and Michael Weeden, both of Dover, lost their seats. Also losing was Dover Republican Mike Castaldo.

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

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