Former state Rep. Kevin Avard upset Democrat incumbent Sen. Peggy Gilmour on Tuesday, adding at least one seat to the Republican’s majority in the New Hampshire Senate.
Avard took 50.8 percent of the 21,335 ballots cast in the District 12 contest to beat Gilmour by 323 votes. The narrow margin gives Republicans a 14-10 majority in the Senate, with at least one race that was too close to call.
In District 7, Democratic incumbent Andrew Hosmer had a lead of about 100 votes over Republican challenger Kathy Lauer-Rago.
Hoping to retain the GOP’s slim majority in the state Senate, if not build on it, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee has spent tens of thousands of dollars on an advertising push over the final weeks of the campaign.
The party has focused its spending on a handful of races that could determine who takes control of the state’s upper chamber, which Republicans now control 13-11.
The NHGOP has poured a total of roughly $72,000 into two rematches from 2012 that Republicans won by the slimmest of margins.
There were nine primaries in New Hampshire’s state Senate yesterday; eight of them between Republicans.
Two Republican incumbents – David Boutin of Hooksett, and Nancy Stiles of Hampton –beat back more conservative challengers. Boutin’s race the tougher: he bested former state rep Jane Cormier by single digits.
The one Democratic primary was in Merrimack County. It was to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Senate President Sylvia Larsen. Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger – who was endorsed by Larsen – was routed by Dan Feltes, a legal aid lawyer.