Written by: Michael Straw
Edited by: Annie Phan
New Hampshire state Senate District 16 is a fiercely contended territory; last year, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won the district by a mere 100 votes and meanwhile at the state Senate level, Democrat Sen. Scott McGilvray won the seat by 615 votes. Following McGilvrav’s death on March 21st, 2017, the seat has once again opened with a special election on July 25th.
This race has three candidates - the Republican nominee is former state Senator David Boutin, the senator that held the seat from 2010-2016. The Democrats nominated Kevin Cavanaugh after a June 6th primary where he defeated fellow Democrat Jim Normand. Finally, a wildcard, Libertarian Jason Dubrow threw his hat in the ring, further complicating the electoral outcome for both major parties.
The spotlight is on Kevin Cavanaugh, who currently holds a Manchester Alderman (city-council-like) position. Cavanaugh’s priorities include curbing the opioid crisis, expanding voting rights, and increasing environmental protections. A spokesperson for Cavanaugh’s campaign told Ready2Vote that Cavanaugh fights to bring a “blue-collar perspective to the state Senate.” He is endorsed by New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen and seven labor unions.
Opponent former state Senator David Boutin (R) was known as a moderate Republican during his state Senate tenure. State Republicans already expressed concerns over the lack of support for Boutin from prominent conservative organizations, such as American’s for Prosperity and "right-to-life, right-to-work and pro-Second Amendment groups". However, Boutin is making up for the losses with the backing of the local SEIU chapter.
The stakes could not be higher for Democrats and Republicans in the state. Republicans currently control the State Senate by a 14-9 margin with the one seat vacant. If the Republicans gain the seat, they would halt momentum from last month’s upset win by Democrat Edie DesMarais. They would also increase their majority to 15-9, making the Democrats’ job of retaking the state legislature even more difficult. On the other hand, if Democrats retain the seat, we gain steam going into the next series of state House special elections. In such a tight jostle for the state Senate seat, any and all contributions to Cavanaugh’s campaign could make a key difference between winning and losing.
If you can, DONATE to Kevin Cavanaugh and help NH Democrats retain this seat.
To get involved with Kevin Cavanaugh’s campaign click HERE.
Prior to the July 25th special election for New Hampshire state Senate District 16, New Hampshire’s Merrimack-18 state House district will have a special election on July 18th to select its newest representative. The seat opened after Democratic State Representative Andrew deTreville resigned to pursue a new career. The Republican candidate for this seat is their 2016 nominee, Michael Feeley. In the 2016 election, State Rep deTreville dispatched Feeley 957 – 761 (56%-44%). However, in a lower turnout situation, if the GOP can rally a majority of that 761 base, anything could happen.
Democratic nominee, Kris Schultz, competed in a primary on May 30th to win the Democratic nomination - she defeated Marc Lacroix 119-68 (64%-36%). Schultz is a consultant who has advised many organizations and campaigns. As of June 7th, Schultz has raised $5,930 with $1,663.40 cash on hand Feeley’s fundraised $1,538.87, with $0 cash on hand. The district voted for Hillary Clinton by a 59% - 37% margin (1,136 – 721). With the numbers in this district favoring Democrats and Schultz’s primary win, we can say that she is favored but not out of the woods in this election.