NH-1: Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) will not Seek Re-election in 2018

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) will not seek re-election in 2018. This news comes as a bit of a surprise. Shea-Porter has been in and out of office in this swing R+2 congressional seat, which covers the eastern half of the state as well as Manchester, since 2006. This seat is a good contender for the single swingiest seat in the nation: Donald Trump won it in 2016 by a 48.2% to 46.6% margin and Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney here 50.2% to 48.6% in 2012. Shea-Porter was first elected in the Democrat wave of 2006 when she ousted Rep. Jeb Bradley (R) by a narrow 51% to 49% margin. She was re-elected 2008 but lost re-election in 2010 to Frank Guinta (R). Shea-Porter then ousted Guinta in 2012 who then ousted her in 2014 before Shea-Porter re-claimed the seat back from Guinta in 2016 by very narrow 44% to 43% margin (with 3 independent candidates splitting the rest).

On the Republican side, two candidates are already running, Cop Eddie Edwards (R) and state Sen. Andy Sanborn (R). Two days ago former  New Hampshire Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen (R) announced that he would not challenge Shea-Porter. He may reconsider now that she is not running. Other possible contenders from this seat’s deep GOP bench could include 2010/16 candidate Rich Asooh (R), State Sen. and 2014 candidate Dan Innis (R), Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas (R), ex-Rep. and  State Sen. Jeb Bradley (R), and Ambassador to New Zealand and ex-MA Sen. Scott Brown (R). Ex-Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) lives one town outside the seat but could make theoretically make a comeback here as well.

For Democrats, their top recruit would probably be executive councilor Chris Pappas (D), who has held down a relatively conservaitve seat coveirng a fifth of the state surprisingly easily. Other possibilities could include Portsmouth Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand (D), 2016 gubernatorial candidate Mark Connolly (D), State Sens. Donna Soucy (D), Martha Fuller-Clark (D), and Kevin Cavanaugh (D), and ex-State Sen. Jackie Cilley (D).

Progressive Shawn O’Connor is currently running again as an independent. In 2016 Shea-Porter boxed him out of the Democrat primary leading him to run and garner 9.5% of the vote as an independent. Without Shea-Porter running O’Connor could switchback and run in the Democrat primary (but it is our sincere hope that he will not sellout and continue to run a strong independent progressive 3rd party campaign).

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  • krazen1211 October 6, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I have no clue why someone would run in 2016 only to pack it in after 1 term. Maybe a shoe is about to drop.

    • Izengabe October 6, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Maybe without Frank Guinta to run against the thrill was gone…..

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • Son_of_the_South October 6, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    And thus ends one of the greatest ongoing rematch series…

    24, R, TN-09
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • californianintexas October 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      First IN-09, now NH-01.

      34, Female, Libertarian, UT-02 (hometown CA-31), theelectionsgeek.com

  • Izengabe October 6, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I doubt Scott Brown would give up a cushy Ambassadorship to run for Congress.

    Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

    • CTIronman October 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      My God no

      • HS October 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm

        No way. And neither would Kelly Ayotte. It is just too huge a step down for Senators who were ousted to run for the House.

        • shamlet October 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

          Rod Grams and Larry Pressler both made that attempt unsuccessfully within the last 15 years though.

          R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

          • HS October 6, 2017 at 2:36 pm

            Both were sort of jokes when they ran for the House, especially Pressler. The voters look down on this, and rarely support such campaigns.

            The one person I can remember successfully was Claude Pepper, and that was around 50 years ago during a totally different political time.

            • shamlet October 6, 2017 at 2:44 pm

              J. Wolcott Wadsworth also did it long ago to significant success.

              R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

            • TennesseeMike October 6, 2017 at 3:09 pm

              Yeah, things were once different. Before Senators were directly elected, many saw the House as the superior side of the legislative branch. This was because all the great debates took place in the House and you could more closely represent the people. There are stories of the Senate adjourning so they could go across the Capitol and hear representatives like Henry Clay give their great speeches.

              TN-2 District. A Social and Fiscal Conservative Republican

  • GorrestFump October 6, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    I am thinking a health issue or an incoming investigation.

    • CTIronman October 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      She’s in her mid 60’s; has lousy seniority; and will have a tough re-elect in perpetuity. Maybe the pension looked better than another heavy lift

      • w920us October 6, 2017 at 4:19 pm

        Speaking of her pension… she hasn’t actually served 5 straight years.
        4 years from 2006 to 2010, then 2 after 2012, then 2 after 2016.

        Does anyone here know if the 5 year minimum required for a congressional pension is a cumulative total?

        R, South Philly, 47, Gay, WFU Alum
        #TrumpVoter #NeverHillary

        • ike56 October 6, 2017 at 4:50 pm

          Pretty certain it’s cumulative; generally, in government service (and definitely in the military), one can accrue broken periods of service to meet a pension threshold.

          38, USN CPO (CA-52, stuck with Scott Peters until a good candidate comes along).

  • andyroo312 October 6, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    If Democrats are taking back the House, they should be winning this seat by at least high single-digits.


  • shamlet October 6, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Kinda crazy that this will be the first time this seat has been open since 2002… even though it’s changed it’s Rep 5 times in the interim.

    R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

  • Left Coast Libertarian October 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    She might’ve thought that Clinton would win in 2016 and might be unhappy being in congress with Trump as President.

  • rdelbov October 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    There will certainly be much lower turnout in NH in 2018 plus if the GOP reforms the same day registration/voting rules that would cut the number down even lower.

    Clearly this seat will be contested.

    • cer October 8, 2017 at 10:55 am

      I actually like the GOP chances for winning this seat.

      Conservative first, Republican second!

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