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NH lawmaker switches parties, widening GOP's slender majority in State House

House of Representatives hall, Concord, New Hampshire. Dan Tuohy photo / NHPR
Dan Tuohy
/
NHPR
House of Representatives hall, Concord, New Hampshire. Dan Tuohy photo / NHPR

Meredith state Rep. Matthew Coker has switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

In a social media post Thursday, Coker, who is serving in his first term, said he's come to see the GOP as better aligning with his core values.

"As I reflect on the first half of my term it is abundantly clear to me my proper place in this body is on the center right side of the aisle," Coker wrote on Facebook. "I’m excited to join my new caucus and continue working to deliver for my community."

Coker was among a handful of Democrats to break with caucus leaders last month to back bills to ban gender-affirming surgery on minors, and to allow sex-based separation in bathrooms, athletic settings, and in detention facilities.

Coker's party change gives Republicans in the narrowly-divided New Hampshire House another boost.

The GOP picked up two seats in special elections in the North Country last month.

The House's partisan make-up now stands at 201 Republicans, 194 Democrats, 3 independents, and 2 vacancies.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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