Feltes easily wins N.H. Senate District 15 seat

Last modified: Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Democrat Dan Feltes easily won the District 15 seat to represent Concord and three of its surrounding towns in the New Hampshire Senate, but yesterday’s election likely strengthened the Republican majority in that body.

In 2012, Republicans secured a slim majority, 13-11, in the state Senate. Final tallies for several races this year were not available at press time last night, but Senate President Chuck Morse said the Republicans likely held that edge for the next session. And his party picked up at least one seat when Republican Kevin Avard won in District 12, which includes parts of Nashua and six of its surrounding towns.

“It’s a positive situation for us,” said Morse, who represents Salem.

Morse, who won his own bid for re-election last night, said that majority will be important in approving the state’s next budget in 2015.

“In my opinion, that’s the most important thing we do up there,” Morse said. “We’re going to live within our means.”

In Concord, Feltes will succeed outgoing Sen. Sylvia Larsen. Larsen, also a Concord Democrat, has held that seat for 20 years and decided not to run for re-election this year. Feltes, a 35-year-old Concord attorney, defeated Republican challenger Lydia Harman, a 44-year-old real estate agent from Warner.

Feltes earned 65 percent of the vote, with 13,311 votes to Harman’s 7,222. The district includes Concord, Henniker, Hopkinton and Warner; Feltes took the majority of votes in all 10 Concord wards and its three surrounding towns.

At a Democratic victory party last night at the McLane Center in Concord, Feltes thanked those supporters.

“We got this done, and some legal aid lawyer from the South End of Concord has become the youngest state senator in 26 years,” Feltes told the crowd. “It was your commitment to the idea that to move New Hampshire forward, we cannot afford to leave anyone behind.”

Looking ahead to the next legislative session, Feltes repeated a refrain he has carried from the beginning of his campaign.

“From the organic farmer in Warner to the well-heeled lawyer in Hopkinton to the new American on the Heights, everyone will have a voice,” he said.

Harman, who also ran for the seat and lost in 2012, could not be reached last night for comment.

Republicans likely held three local seats and possibly nabbed a fourth, as late-night tallies showed challenger Kathy Lauer-Rago neck-and-neck with Democratic state Sen. Andy Hosmer in Merrimack County District 7. That district includes Andover, Belmont, Boscawen, Canterbury, Franklin, Gilford, Laconia, Northfield, Salisbury and Webster.

State Sen. David Boutin, a Hooksett Republican, took 56 percent of the vote to win another close race against Democratic challenger Maureen Raiche Manning in Merrimack County District 16. The district includes Bow, Dunbarton, Candia, Hooksett and parts of Manchester.

At press time, Republicans Jerry Little and incumbent John Reagan held an edge over their Democratic challengers as well.

Little is running in Merrimack County District 8, where Republican state Sen. Bob Odell was a key swing vote on issues such as death penalty repeal and Medicaid expansion.

Reagan is in his first term as a state senator in Merrimack County District 17. That district covers Allenstown, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom, Loudon, Northwood, Nottingham, Pembroke, Pittsfield, Raymond and Strafford.

(Sarah Palermo contributed to this report. Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321, mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)