New Hampshire, a place known for lakes and mountains but not so much for diversity, is set to elect either its first Black or its first openly gay member of Congress, NBC is reporting.
Republican Eddie Edwards, a Black former police chief for South Hampton, N.H., and a Navy veteran who is backed by the Trump administration won the GOP nomination to run for the state’s 1st Congressional District. In November, he will face off with Democrat Chris Pappas, an openly gay restaurateur.
The district was traditionally Republican for years but has flipped in each of the last four election cycles, NBC reports. Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter has opted to step down, opening up the race. Pappas won the Democratic primary for the seat, claiming victory in a field of 11 that included Levi Sanders, the son of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Edwards refused to support his Republican rival, state Sen. Andy Sanborn after he was accused of sexual harassment.
“People demand change in Washington,” NBC quoted Edwards as saying. “They yearn for honesty, integrity, and leadership. They want to vote for someone who has served our country and understands the honor that comes with that responsibility.”
Pappas is a former New Hampshire state lawmaker who runs a family restaurant in Manchester, N.H. He also is serving a third term on the governor’s Executive Council, according to NBC.
He told supporters on Tuesday that his campaign represents inclusion and he described meeting a gay student in Manchester who said she was unsure of where she fits in society.
“She needs a role model and a champion, too, and I hope this historic victory tonight has some small impact in making her understand this fact: You, too, are welcome here, and regardless of who you are or who you love, the sky’s the limit,” NBC quoted Pappas as saying after his primary win.