Capital Comments from State Senator Bob Odell
The voters spoke last week and brought dramatic changes to Concord.
Most attention was focused on the election of a new Governor, former State Senator Maggie Hassan, and the reversal of a three to one Republican majority in the House to a 222 to 178 Democrat majority. There is much less attention on the changes in the makeup of the State Senate.
Broadly speaking, the Republicans retained a narrow majority of 13 to 11 but that is down from 19 to 5. Given the wholesale GOP losses in House contests, it is surprising only one Republican incumbent, Jim Luther (Hollis), lost. And he lost to Peggy Gilmour, also of Hollis, who he defeated two years ago.
The 24 newly elected Senators will be sworn in by Governor Lynch on December 5 as required by the state constitution. There are 14 Senators who were re-elected last week and three who are returning after being out one term having been defeated two years ago. And there will be seven new members with four of them moving from the House to the Senate including David Pierce (Lebanon).
In 2006, history was made when the New Hampshire Senate became the first state legislative body in the country to have women make up a majority of its membership. There were 13 women Senators between 2006 and 2010. There will be nine women in the new Senate.
Republicans and Democrats moved quickly to choose their respective leaders. Senator Sylvia Larsen (Concord) is the senior Senator in terms of service with ten terms and she was chosen by her Democrat caucus to lead the Senate Democrats. Senator Peter Bragdon (Milford) was selected to lead the Republicans and with their majority he will be formally elected Senate President for a second term when the Senators gather on December 5. Continue reading
Filed under: Capital Comments, Government, New Hampshire, Opinion, Politics & Public Policy | Tagged: Bob Odell, Capital Comments, Democrats, Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Senate, NH Legislature, Republicans | Leave a comment »