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New Hampshire Swings to Only GOP Bright Spot in Northeast

House Republicans reclaimed a foothold in the New England delegation Tuesday night with victories in New Hampshire.

Former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta (R) ousted Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) from the Granite State’s 1st district, while former Rep. Charlie Bass (R) reclaimed the 2nd district in an open-seat race.

The GOP had not held a House seat in the area since then-Rep. Christopher Shays’ (Conn.) ouster in 2008, although Republicans are represented in the region’s Senate delegation.

Guinta, who was aided by more than $1 million in independent expenditures from the National Republican Congressional Committee as well as other organizations, returns the 1st district to GOP control for the first time since his one-time boss, Rep. Jeb Bradley (R), lost the seat to Shea-Porter.

Bass defeated Democrat Ann McLane Kuster to reclaim the seat that he held for six terms, until his 2006 loss to Rep. Paul Hodes (D).

But control of Senate seats in New Hampshire and Connecticut remains unchanged, as neither party was able to stage an upset in open-seat races in both states.

Former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) defeated Hodes in the race to replace retiring Sen. Judd Gregg (R).

In Connecticut, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) held onto the seat of retiring Sen. Chris Dodd (D), defeating former World Wresting Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon.

Despite a rash of negative press over misstatements that Blumenthal made regarding his military service, the Democrat managed to overcome McMahon’s well-financed challenge, in which she used more than $40 million of her own funds. 

Democrats likewise retained control of all five House seats in the Nutmeg State.

In one of the most challenging competitions, Rep. Jim Himes (D) managed to keep state Sen. Dan Debicella (R) at bay to retain the 4th district seat that he wrested from Shays in 2008.

Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) also brushed aside a challenge from state Sen. Sam Caligiuri (R) in the state’s 5th district.

The NRCC added Caligiuri to its Young Guns program in September in the hope that a GOP wave would catapult him into the House, but even with Republican gains of 60 seats, he was unable to do so. Sen. Scott Brown will remain the Massachusetts delegation’s lone Republican, as each of the state’s 10 Congressional seats remain in Democratic hands.

Norfolk District Attorney Bill Keating (D) emerged victorious in the state’s 10th district, defeating state Rep. Jeff Perry (R) in the only open-seat contest in the Bay State.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the NRCC pumped more than $2.1 million in IEs into the race, viewed as New England’s most competitive battleground in the cycle.

Democrats held onto the open seat in Rhode Island’s 1st district being vacated by retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D).

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