Representative Annie Kuster has won a fifth term in Congress, defeating Republican Steve Negron by a nearly 14 point margin as of 1 a.m Wednesday morning. Negron, a Nashua businessman and former state lawmaker, had also run against the Democratic incumbent in 2018.
Speaking to supporters on Tuesday night on a Zoom call, Kuster said she’d focus on representing the interests of all constituents.
“We must all come together as Americans, we must face our shared challenges as one people,” she said. “Not blue states or red states, but as the United States of America.”
This year’s race between Kuster and Negron was similar to the 2018 midterm election, which Negron lost by about 13 percentage points.
Kuster’s win topped a good/mixed night for Democrats in New Hampshire’s congressional races. Incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen handily beat Corky Messner, and Congressman Chris Pappas defeated Republican challenger Matt Mowers in the state’s First Congressional District.
Throughout the campaign, Kuster and Negron both focused heavily on healthcare and the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.Kuster campaigned on expanding the Affordable Care Act, and pledged to reduce prescription drug prices.
“There are people who fall through the cracks,” she said during an Oct. 13 debate on NHPR.
Kuster also expressed support for “Medicare for all who want it,” so that New Hampshire residents who have private insurance through an employer can keep it.
Negron campaigned on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and he said he wanted to make it easier for out-of-state health providers and insurers to do business in New Hampshire.
“Government has to get out of the business of healthcare,” he said during an Oct. 13 debate on NHPR.
While Negron agreed that more assistance is needed for business in New Hampshire affected by COVID-19, he campaigned on reducing the deficit in Washington.
“I believe that not only the DOD but in other federal agencies, there’s glut. You need to take a sharp pen to those things,” Negron said.
Kuster heavily outspent Negron this campaign. In total, she raised nearly $3 million dollars for the 2020 election, compared to Negron’s roughly $400,000. In her time in Congress, Kuster has proven a formidable fundraiser, regularly out-raising her GOP opponents.
Negron was critical of Kuster’s tenure in Washington. He said the four-term congresswoman has worked in lock-step with the national Democratic Party, and that New Hampshire needed “someone who truly represents those of New Hampshire and not a political party or political leaning.”
But Kuster pitched herself as someone with a record of bringing people together, and pointed to her record in creating a number of bi-partisan task forces in Congress. It’s a playbook that’s worked for the congresswoman the last four campaigns, too.
Kuster’s victory on Tuesday means she’s the first New Hampshire woman elected five times to federal office.