N.H. Democratic Party: Democrat Cavanaugh wins District 16 special election

  • Cavanaugh

  • Kevin Cavanaugh (right) talks to state Sen. David Watters (left) while during the special election for the District 16 state Senate seat. CAITLIN ANDREWS—Monitor staff

  • David Boutin (center right) stands with Karen McNiff (left), Majority leader of the New Hampshire Senate Jeb Bradley (center left) and campaign worker Chris Fox (right) during the special election for the District 16 state Senate seat. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • State Senate candidate Kevin Cavanaugh (right) shakes hands with Kenneth McDonald of Manchester. Cavanaugh, a Democrat, won Tuesday’s special election for Senate District 16, according to the New Hampshire Democratic Party. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 7/25/2017 6:06:30 PM

Kevin Cavanaugh has won the special election for the District 16 state Senate seat, defeating veteran state senator David Boutin, a Republican, and Libertarian Jason Dubrow, according to a New Hampshire Democratic Party press release.

Cavanaugh defeated Boutin 4,746-3814, according to the Democratic Party. Candidates were competing for the seat left empty by Democratic Sen. Scott McGilvray, who died in March. Official voter tallies were not available at press time.

With the seat going to the Democrats, the Senate will still be controlled by Republicans, 14-10. The election is also notable because it means Democrats will retain hold of a spot traditionally held by Republicans – Cavanaugh is only the second Democrat to hold the seat in the last 50 years.

This is the first time Cavanaugh, a Ward 1 alderman in Manchester, has won an elected state position. A married man with three children, Cavanaugh currently works as the Assistant Business Manager at IBEW local 2320, and has worked for Fairpoint Communications for 32 years. Cavanaugh has previously said he would not step down from his union role if he won the election.

Democrats celebrated the win.

“Cavanaugh’s victory is the result of hard work and cutting through the noise to deliver a positive message about rewarding work and standing up for working families,” Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn said in a statement.

The day was marked by what polling officials said was high voter turnout for a special election. Several towns in the district, which includes Bow, Dunbarton, Candia, Hooksett and wards 1, 2 and 12 in Manchester reported voter turnout near or above 10 percent by noon, with Ward 1 in Manchester, Hooksett and Bow making requests for additional ballots early in the day.

Poll watchers were present at several of the voting locations, but most polling officials reported no issues with voter identification. Cindy Robinson, Hooksett’s town moderator, said there was one instance where a woman said she had recently moved to Concord and wanted to vote in the election, but she was turned away.

The district also saw a strong return in absentee voter ballots, which both Democrats and Republicans strongly pushed as part of their campaign message.

The Democratic Party said Cavanaugh carried Manchester, winning 2,409 votes to Boutin’s 1,485 and Dubrow’s 48, for a total of 3,942 votes. Ward 1 had a 31 percent turnout, Ward 2 had a 23 percent turnout and Ward 12 had a 16 percent turnout.

Cavanaugh also took Bow with 938 votes to Boutin’s 626 and Dubrow’s 17, for a total of 1,582 votes cast, including one write-in vote. The town has 6,700 registered voters and counted 165 absentee ballots by 2 p.m., about 88 percent of the 188 absentee ballots requested.

Boutin took Candia with 426 votes to Cavanaugh’s 307 and Dubrow’s 14, for a total of 747 votes. The town has 3,245 registered voters, according to town clerk Chris Dupere. The town had 55 of its 64 requested absentee ballots in by 2 p.m.

Boutin narrowly carried Dubarton with 266 votes to Cavanaugh’s 247 and Dubrow’s 16 votes, for a total of 529 ballots cast. The town has 2,217 registered voters, and saw a 23.8 percent turnout with 45 of its 47 absentee ballots returned by 2 p.m.

Boutin also took Hooksett with 1,012 votes to Cavanaugh’s 850 and Dubrow’s 24. The town had approximately 1,100 voters by 12:51 p.m., 200 of which were absentee voters, Robinson said.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)

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