Preview: Tuesday Special Election in Seacoast

A special election for state rep takes place on Tuesday in Rockingham 14 (Hampton Falls, Kensington, Seabrook, and South Hampton). The Republican candidate is Kevin Janvrin from Seabrook. The Democrat is Ryan Mahoney from South Hampton. Both won primaries earlier this summer. Libertarian Brendan Kelly, a two-term Seabrook selectman who is running as a conservative, is also on the ballot and could be a factor in the race, perhaps as a spoiler.

This is a Republican district where Republican candidates typically run 4-10 points ahead of their statewide numbers. Voter registration as of March, 2011 was 30 percent R, 24 percent D, and 46 percent U. This makes the district less Democratic and more independent than the state as a whole.

In 2008, John McCain carried the district over Barack Obama by four points (51.3 – 47.5%). In 2004, Bush defeated John Kerry in this district by eight points (53.3 – 44.2%). In 2000, George W. Bush defeated Al Gore here by five points (49.8 – 44.4%).

Last fall, all four reps elected from this district were Republican. In 2008, it was three Republicans and one Democrat. In 2006, it split 2-2. In 2004, Republicans won all four seats. A Democrat did win a special election here in 2007.

John Stephen defeated Gov. John Lynch in this district by nine points (53.3 – 44.2%) in the governor’s race last fall.

Seabrook, with 57 percent of registered voters, dominates the four-town district. Republican Janvrin is from Seabrook. Democrat Mahoney comes from South Hampton, the smallest town in the district with just 6 percent of the voters.

Janvrin, a self-identified moderate Republican, is a long time Seabrook firefighter who enjoyed support from organized labor in the primary and has labor endorsements for the general. Democrat Mahoney is a political operative who ran for this seat in 2010. He has worked in Concord for House Democrats and the Democratic Senate caucus.

The vacancy occurred when former GOP Rep. Gary Wheaton resigned after being arrested for driving after suspension.

fergus@ferguscullen.com, September 5, 2011

Author: Fergus Cullen

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2007-2008) and an editorial page columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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  • Voteobamaout

    Vote for the coservative candidate Brendan Kelly.  The GOP is supporting a canidate  who is more of the Democrat than the Demcrat he is running againt.   Just so they can say they won the first elections after getting rid of Jack Kimball.  And they wonder why undeclared for the most part are former republicans. 

  • Ken

    Great just what we need another firefighter to help block any reforms to the retirement system, or right to work.