Update: Republican Michael Vose defeated Democrat Naomi Andrews to win a special election for a state House seat representing Epping.
Vose won, 880 votes to 806, according to the New Hampshire Secrertary of State's office. Vose, a former state representative, is a retired software technical writer and U.S. Air Force veteran.
Andrews also conceded the race on Twitter shortly after the polls closed, saying she was "grateful for all of the support [she] received throughout this campaign."
Gov. Chris Sununu, R-Newfields, congratulated Vose on returning to the House of Representatives.
Congratulations to Republican Michael Vose on his VICTORY in tonight’s special election in Epping! Michael ran a true New Hampshire campaign, focused on connecting with voters one-by-one. Epping will be well-represented in the New Hampshire House of Representatives! pic.twitter.com/pigW2e0mPg
— Chris Sununu (@ChrisSununu) October 9, 2019
(Below is an earlier story Tuesday on the special election for Rockingham County District No. 9)
Voters in Epping are at the polls Tuesday to choose their next state representative, in a special election to fill a seat vacated by a Republican who resigned earlier this year.
The race pits former Republican state Rep. Michael Vose, a retired technical writer who lost his House seat last year, against Democrat Naomi Andrews, who was chief of staff to former U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.
Andrews lost in a crowded Democratic primary race for Porter's seat last year.
She says she wanted to run for the open seat in Epping, even though it wouldn’t change any party’s margin in Concord, “because there’s been some votes that come down to just one vote.”
Resident Joan Harlow voted for Andrews, who grew up in this small Seacoast town and worked, as a high schooler, at the local bakery Harlow used to run.
Harlow says she tends to follow national politics more closely – but she says this election could make her a little more connected to state issues.
“I’m not as aware [of state politics],” Harlow says. “But it’d be nice to have somebody I can talk to if I want to.”
Epping has elected both Democrats and Republicans to the House in the past. It means for candidate Vose, this local race isn’t about partisan divides.
“I’m heavily involved with this community and I want to make this community better, and that’s what this race is about – it’s not about Republican or Democrat,” Vose says.
Some incumbent Republican legislators said at the polls Wednesday they’d like to see Vose return to his old seat on the House Science, Technology and Energy committee.
Meanwhile, the Democrat who defeated Vose to win Epping’s other House seat last year came out to support Andrews.
Representative Mark Vallone is a former civics teacher in Epping. He says he’s looking forward to working with whoever wins the race – most of all, he says, he was glad to see residents turn out to vote Wednesday.
“We’re a small town, but we take our civic duty very seriously,” he says. “We’ve got Republicans and Democrats getting along amicably [outside the polling place] and I hope that’s a sign that we can get along in the future as well.”
Polls in Epping close at 7 p.m. and officials expect to post results online soon after.
(This post was updated with more information Tuesday night, Oct. 8, and Wednesday with the governor's reaction.)