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NH House, Senate flip to GOP after 2 years in minority

November 5, 2020 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Republicans have won majorities in both chambers of the New Hampshire Legislature, returning the state to same scenario it faced four years ago: GOP control at the Statehouse and Democratic dominance of the Congressional delegation.

Voters on Tuesday returned three Democrats to Washington — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster — while reelecting Republican Gov. Chris Sununu to a third term. And after two years of Democratic control, both the state House and Senate returned to Republican majorities.

The House clerk’s office said Thursday it had confirmed with the s ecretary of state’s results that 213 Republicans and 187 Democrats were elected Tuesday. Heading into the election, Democrats held 230 House seats, Republicans held 157 and there were 13 vacancies. The Senate switched from a 14-10 Democratic advantage to a 14-10 GOP majority.

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After many decades of Republican dominance, the last 20 years have seen shifts in power back and forth. Democrats won control of both chambers in 2006. Republicans regained the majority in 2010, there was a split in 2012 and Republicans won back both chambers in 2014. The governor’s office, meanwhile, also has changed parties, and four of the last five governors, including Sununu, have faced legislatures led by the opposite party for at least part of their tenures.

While Democrats were in charge the last two years, their numbers weren’t great enough to override Sununu’s frequent vetoes. He blocked many of their key priorities. Having a Republican majority will help Sununu get his way when it comes to crafting the next state budget, and it gives the GOP an advantage when the Legislature redraws districts as required every 10 years.

The new majority also could affect the workings of the Legislature itself. The House is awaiting an opinion from the state Supreme Court on whether the state constitution allows lawmakers to meet remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, which Republicans have opposed.

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This story has been corrected to show the House clerk confirmed total number of Republicans and Democrats elected Tuesday.