Burns takes win in N.H. 2nd District GOP primary, defeating Hansel
This story was updated at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Bob Burns, a longtime conservative activist who embraced a pro-Trump platform, won the Republican 1st Congressional District primary, defeating Keene Mayor George Hansel.
The two candidates were stuck in a tight race as votes were tallied through the evening Tuesday and into the early hours of Wednesday morning. The Associated Press formally called the race for Burns shortly after noon Wednesday. With nearly all the votes counted, Burns maintained a nearly 3 point lead in the race, with 32.9% of cast ballots to 30.3% for Hansel.
In a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday morning, Hansel congratulated Burns and thanked his supporters.
NHPR relies on the Associated Press for election results. You can find the most up-to-date results here.
Burns, 44, has been involved in state Republican politics for over a decade, working on the presidential campaigns of Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump. Throughout the primary campaign, he ran on a hard-line conservative agenda, with an emphasis on expanding gun rights, opposing abortion and stricter voter laws.
Hansel had pitched himself as a “problem solving” moderate, expressing support for abortion in some instances and touting an endorsement from Gov. Chris Sununu. Williams, a libertarian-leaning Republican, drew on her upbringing in Communist China to warn against what she describes as growing authoritarianism in the U.S.
The race for the Republican nomination in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District wasn’t immune to the kind of Democratic meddling seen elsewhere this election cycle. The New Hampshire Attorney General is investigating a series of anonymous mailers sent by a Democrat-affiliated printing company, which focused on Burns’ ties to Trump.
Burns will face incumbent Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster, who has served five terms in office and has defeated a string of conservative challengers. A prolific fundraiser, Kuster will have plenty of money to get out her message, which will likely emphasize abortion rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.