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Ray Buckley Wins 8th Term As N.H. Democratic Party Chair

photo of Ray Buckley
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Ray Buckley will serve another two-year term as chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party after he defeated challenger Emmett Soldati in a 168 to 90 vote announced Sunday. 

The race offered a contrast between a veteran party official and a local activist aiming to take the party in a new direction.

Buckley, who has been chair of the party since 2007, began his political career in the 1970s when he volunteered on Jimmy Carter's presidential primary campaign. Soldati’s challenge for the party leadership post came following mixed election results last November, when Democrats won three congressional seats but were trounced in local races, losing control of the state Senate, House and Executive Council, as well as losing the governor’s race.

“What attracted me to the Democratic Party all those years ago was the shared belief that life is bigger than us as individuals,” Buckley told the party faithful during an online meeting on Sunday. “As Democrats, we believe, to our very core, that our life is about giving, and making a difference for others. Politics is not about us, but what we do for others.” 

Soldati, a Somersworth business owner who ran unsuccessfully for Executive Council last year, ran on a platform that the party needed to improve its messaging with voters, and focus more on local races. 

Party members also elected former state Senator Martha Fuller Clark to serve as First Vice Chair, and former state Senator Bette Lasky as Second Vice Chair.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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