Too Close to Call: A Recap of NH Governor, Senate Races

CONCORD, NH - Long after the polls closed and races across the country had been called, two of New Hampshire's most well-liked politicians were still waiting to declare a victory.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, addressed supporters at her victory party in Concord.

"We wanna make sure we do this the New Hampshire way, where we have every vote in because every vote matters, every person matters in this state," said Ayotte.

Almost 17 hours later, the incumbent senator conceded her Senate race to Governor Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire.

Governor Hassan declared a victory Wednesday morning, before the Secretary of State announced official results. She addressed a crowd in Concord before noon.

"In the United States senate there will always put the people of New Hampshire first. And together we will heal the divisions that this election has exposed and build a future where all Granite Staters are included in our shared economic success. Thank you all very much," said Hassan.

At the time, it appeared Ayotte could ask for a recount.

Kelly for New Hampshire spokeswoman Liz Johnson confirmed Ayotte would not concede just yet.

"This has been a closely contested race from the beginning and we look forward to results being announced by the Secretary of State, and ensuring that every vote is counted in this race that has received an historic level of interest," said Johnson.

Not much later in the day, 100 percent of the votes were in, putting Hassan ahead by just 716 votes.

Close to 5 pm, Ayotte announced she had called Senate-Elect Hassan to congratulate her.

"This is a critical time for New Hampshire and our country, and now more than ever, we need to work together to address our challenges. The voters have spoken and now it’s time all of us to come together to get things done for the people of the Greatest State in this Nation and for the Greatest Country on Earth," said Ayotte.

As Governor Hassan takes Senator Ayotte's place, a Republican will fill Hassan's role as New Hampshire's next governor.

Republican candidate Chris Sununu was in a tight race against Democrat, Colin Van Ostern. Sununu attended Ayotte's event in Concord, and the results of the gubernatorial race were also not known until well past midnight.

Close to 3 am, the results said Sununu would be New Hampshire's next governor, winning by just two percent.

Sununu declared victory on Twitter early Wednesday. "Thank you, New Hampshire! It will be an honor to serve as your next governor."

In a statement Wednesday, Van Ostern said he was disappointed with the results, but would continue to work for New Hampshire.

"While Republicans will control both the executive and legislative branches of New Hampshire’s government beginning in January, I will do everything I can as a private citizen and in our state’s growing private sector to advance this needed work, regardless of party lines. We must move forward as one state," said Van Ostern.


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