New Hampshire

Crowded Field of Democrats in New Hampshire's First Congressional Race

It is a crowded field of 11 Democratic candidates running to replace the retiring congresswoman Carol Shea Porter in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. But two of the candidates stand out from the pack when it comes to polling, endorsements and money raised.

Chris Pappas is feeling good one day before voters head to the polls in New Hampshire. Campaigning with Sen. Maggie Hassan, the executive councilor has topped favorability polls among the 11 democrats and secured much of the establishment support.

"We got the strongest field effort, we have the most grassroots donors of any candidate in this race," Pappas said.

Sen. Hassan says Pappas is uniquely qualified.

"I think it is always important for candidates to know their state and know their district," she said.

That seemed to be a jab at Pappas' lead opponent, Maura Sullivan. The former Marine captain and Iraq war veteran arrived in the state less than two years ago following a stint in the Obama administration.

Sullivan has her response to claims of carpetbagging at the ready.

"I would have loved to have settled down in New Hampshire years ago, but the reality was, I was in Fallujia and the Pentagon," she said. "So I got here as soon as I could."

Sullivan, a graduate of Harvard University's Kennedy and Business schools, tops the field in fundraising with almost $2 million.

But like many races, it is the campaign's get-out-the-vote effort that may matter most.

"We've got volunteers all over the district, as well, and we were phone-banking till late last night," Sullivan said Monday.

Pappas, a former State representative from Manchester, has solid roots in the district. But this is an election cycle where women and candidates of color are doing well.

Hassan added that Pappas "would also be the first LGBTQ congressman from New Hampshire, and that's important for the sake of diversity, too."

Another candidate to watch is Levi Sanders, son of New Hampshire's Democratic presidential primary winner, Bernie Sanders. But some have expressed skepticism, since Sanders doesn't live in the district and his father has never campaigned for him.

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