Chris Pappas Running for Open New Hampshire Seat

Pappas has long been desirable recruit for national Democrats

New Hampshire Executive Councilor Chris Pappas is running for the Tossup seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, seen here at right campaigning in Rochester in September 2016 (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Hampshire Democrat Chris Pappas, a member of the Executive Council, announced his bid for the open 1st District on Thursday. 

National Democrats have been interested in Pappas for years — and he himself had considered running in 2016 — but both he and the party deferred to Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who won re-election to the 1st District for the fourth nonconsecutive time last fall.

Shea-Porter has since announced she won’t seek re-election in 2018, opening up a Tossup race

“I have the skills and the business background and the community experience to be able to be an effective member of Congress and an effective advocate for the people of this district,” Pappas told WMUR in an interview at the Puritan Backroom, the Manchester restaurant his family has owned for 100 years.

Former New Hampshire AFL-CIO president Mark MacKenzie, former Defense Department official Maura Sullivan, former Strafford County Attorney Lincoln Soldati and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke are already running for the seat as Democrats.

State Sen. Andy Sanborn and former law enforcement official Eddie Edwards are running on the Republican side. 

The 1st District has flipped back and forth between Democratic and Republican control for the last four election cycles, with Shea-Porter reclaiming the seat in presidential election years from former GOP Rep. Frank C. Guinta.

Republicans see the open seat as a pick-up opportunity. Shea-Porter is one of just 12 Democrats sitting in a district President Donald Trump won. He carried the district by just under 2 points, while Shea-Porter won the district by slightly less. 

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