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Former Sen. John Durkin, Victor In Close N.H. Senate Race, Dies

Former U.S. Sen. John Durkin, a New Hampshire Democrat who won his seat in 1975 in one of the closest elections in Senate history, has died. He was 76.

Barry Conway, commandant of the New Hampshire Veterans Home, said Durkin died Tuesday at Franklin Regional Hospital following a brief illness. Durkin, a senator from 1975 to 1980, had been living at the home since March 2011.

Republican U.S. Rep. Louis Wyman won the 1974 election against Durkin by 335 votes. A recount put Durkin up by 10 votes. The Senate later declared the seat vacant and returned the race to New Hampshire for a special election, which Durkin won.

Durkin also served in the state attorney general's office and as Insurance Department commissioner.