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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8d070000Race: District 1, U.S. House of RepresentativesParty: RepublicanPolitical Experience: 2010-2012 - U.S. House2006-2009 - Mayor of Manchester2001-2005 - New Hampshire HousePersonal: Married, with two children; lives in ManchesterEducation: Bachelor of Arts, Assumption College; Masters, Franklin Pierce Law CenterCandidate WebsiteIssuesGuinta wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and enact "market-based reforms" that include allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines."[I]f we could eradicate those state line borders, just start with our region, so every carrier now has the ability to compete not just in New Hampshire but in New England as a region, you will bring more competitive market forces to this area, probably upwards of 30 carriers or more."On immigration, Guinta opposes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country. He says the U.S. must hire more border patrol agents and construct a wall in "high traffic areas." The current crisis of immigrants fleeing Central America for the U.S., he says, is the result of President Obama's policy of "prosecutorial discretion" to allow some individuals to remain here: "But the vast majority of those individuals can be returned to their home countries with their families."Guinta says he is "disappointed in a whole host of issues" related to the Obama administration's foreign policy, accusing the president of "disengagement" and lack of leadership. While he does not support "boots on the ground" against the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Guinta says the militant group cannot be allowed to grow. "The president is going to have come up with a strategy that doesn’t just contain, but has to eradicate ISIS because Americans would rather, I think, finish this now than deal with it for years and years and years and allow ISIS to become the next Al Qaeda."

Shea-Porter Wins Seat In Another Squeaker

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Zach Nugent / NHPR

The tightest race in New Hampshire lived up to expectations last night. Carol Shea-Porter eked out a victory over Frank Guinta by four points, or just fewer than 14,000 votes.

While the race was close all the way through, indications that it would be a good night for Shea-Porter rolled in early. It was the wee hours of the morning when Carol Shea-Porter thanked a dwindling crowd of night-owl supporters for handing her back the seat in the US House of Representatives that she lost two-years ago.

Shea-Porter: I am honored that the people of the first district put their trust in me, and my pledge it to work very hard for everybody, in a bipartisan manner, to go down there create jobs and start tackling some of the problems that we’re facing. But you’ve heard me say many times that we can do this, we can do this!

She said her re-election was a clear message that voters are frustrated with the current crop of representatives.

Shea-Porter: I really think that was the under-lying message, that we took this country forward, kept it from falling into depression, and the past two years have been frustrating and we’re ready to get going again.

But it didn’t always seem like it would be that way. At the beginning of the night Republican incumbent Frank Guinta had a sizable lead, which shrank quickly as results poured in. By 10:30, with 25 percent of precincts reporting Shea-Porter took the lead, by one tenth of a percent which did little to dampen the enthusiasm at the Guinta camp.

Crowd Chanting: Go, Frank, Go! Go, Frank, Go!

The race stayed tight, but there were indications that things weren’t going well. Towns that Guinta hoped to win – like Seabrook, and Wakesfield – went to Shea-Porter, and towns that he would have hoped to take by wide margins – such as Belmont or New Durham – were winning by single digits.

But folks at the Guinta camp, like GOP primary candidate Kevin Smith, held out hope.

Smith: Well, look there’s a number of outlying towns that we’re still waiting on results from, Londonderry, I think we’re still waiting on Derry as well, Merrimack is still out there. Strong GOP towns, and look this is going down to the wire, it’s gonna be close.

Congressman Guinta himself was not ready to concede by the time his camp packed up to head home.

Guinta: This race isn’t over, this race, I think is just beginning because I think we’re in for a long night!

But before calling it a night, Guinta made the point that it might have been a very different result if it weren’t for the third candidate on the ballot, Libertarian Brendan Kelly, who gathered more than 14,000 votes.

Guinta: There’s a libertarian streak in New Hampshire, that’s something we do encourage in terms of people running for office. It does present a bit of a challenge for Republicans, there’s no question about that.

It was a bitter campaign, with no love lost between the two candidates. And voters, even Guinta supporters, like Karen McCarthy, are glad to see it’s at an end.

McCarthy: It’s dirty politics, I hate it, I hate it.

Voters in the first congressional district will get a brief reprieve from campaign season… until the next two-year election cycle.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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