Whitley, Ward defend Senate seats

  • Ruth Ward (Courtesy photograph)

  • From left, Sullivan County Commissioner Joe Osgood, New Hampshire State Senator Ruth Ward and Claremont City Councilor Bill Limoges campaign for Republican candidates outside of the polling place for Wards 1 and 2 at Claremont Middle School in Claremont. Alex Driehaus / Valley News

  • Becky Whitley represents voters in Concord, Penacook, Bow and Hopkinton.

  • Daniel Innis (Courtesy photograph)

  • Howard Pearl grows sweet corn and other vegetables for over a dozen New Hampshire grocery stores. ELODIE REED

Published: 11/9/2022 4:31:59 PM

Hopkinton Democrat Becky Whitley along with Stoddard Republican Ruth Ward easily won re-election to the State Senate Tuesday.

Ward was joined by fellow Republicans Howard Pearl, whose District 17 includes the Suncook Valley, and Daniel Innis, who will represent District 7, which covers multiple towns surrounding Concord, including Boscawen, Henniker, Hill, Salisbury, Tilton, Warner and Webster.

However, the exact balance of the 24-member Senate was still up in the air Wednesday with several seats still being counted.

Ward, a Stoddard Republican who represents District 8 that covers Deering, Dunbarton and Weare, won with 57.5% of the vote compared to 42.5% for Democrat Charlene Marcotte Lovett.

Whitley, who represents District 15 covering Bow, Concord, Penacook and Hopkinton, had about 65% of the votes compared to 35% for Republican Linda Rae Banfill. Most of Whitley’s votes came from Democrat-leaning Concord.

“I’m deeply grateful for the support of my constituents and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and continue to work for this district with dignity, grit and an open heart,” Whitley said in a statement. “I will never stop fighting for our working families and ensure no one gets left behind.”

Over the past two years as senator, Whitley has spoken to and listened to the needs of Granite Staters and shared their vision for a better New Hampshire. While campaigning over the last several months, she had the opportunity to hear directly from residents of District 15 about their thoughts, concerns and hopes for the future; all of which she’ll continue to incorporate into her second term as senator.

“As a State Senator, I will use what I’ve learned from my community to take legislative action to support our children experiencing a mental health crisis, to enable our economy to grow in a more equitable way, to support the next generation of Granite Staters and to uphold our collective value of freedom – of speech and bodily autonomy,” Whitley said.

Whitley has represented District 15 since 2020 and during her time as a senator, she has sponsored bills related to economic relief, improving access to mental health treatment, supporting children and working families, addressing food insecurity, supporting local farms, criminal justice reform and racial justice.

Pearl received about 57% of the votes compared to 43% for Democrat Christine Tappan, which claimed him the District 17 seat, representing Allenstown, Barnstead, Canterbury, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom, Loudon, Northfield, Northwood, Nottingham, Pembroke and Pittsfield.

“I’m honored and humbled by this great victory,” Pearl said in a statement Tuesday. “I look forward to serving the folks of District 17 and working with Governor Sununu to make NH even stronger.”

Innis received about 54% of the votes compared to 46% for Democrat Richard Lobban for District 7, which includes Andover, Boscawen, Bradford, Bristol, Danbury, Franklin, Henniker, Hill, Hillsborough, Newbury, Salisbury, Sutton, Tilton, Warner, Webster, Wilmot.

Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.

Jamie Costa

Jamie Costa joined the Monitor in September 2022 as the city reporter covering all things Concord, from crime and law enforcement to City Council and county budgeting. She graduated from Roger Williams University (RWU) in 2018 with a dual degree in journalism and Spanish. While at RWU, Costa covered the 2016 presidential election and studied abroad in both Chile and the Dominican Republic where she reported on social justice and reported on local campus news for the university newspaper, The Hawks' Herald. Her work has also appeared in The *Enterprise *papers and the *Cortland Standard *and surrounding Central New York publications. Costa was born and raised on Cape Cod and has a love for all things outdoors, especially with her dog.

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