Lynch puts gubernatorial seat in Democrats' hands

by Gus Lûbin | 11/4/04 6:00am

At 2 a.m. Wednesday, many news anchors were still holding New Hampshire aside with Ohio, New Mexico and Iowa as "too close to call." It seemed as though the Granite State's four electoral votes might make the difference in the presidential race.

In the end, they didn't. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry clinched the state by about 10,000 votes, but President Bush still won the country by a lot.

With only four electoral votes at a time when 20 were needed, New Hampshire emerged as an insignificant element of the 2004 presidential race. Still, it was one of the night's few surprises. So far, New Hampshire is the one state candidate George W. Bush won in 2000 that he didn't capture the second time around.

Votes at Hanover's polling station may have been an integral part of Kerry's conquest of New Hampshire. The student-heavy station polled 78 percent of its 6,000 votes for Kerry and 22 percent for Bush. Just 30 people cast ballots for Ralph Nader.

In another tight election, Democrat John Lynch won the gubernatorial race over incumbent Republican Craig Benson. Lynch won with 51 percent of the vote at a margin of less than 14,000 votes.

Despite the close nature of the election, Benson declined to challenge the results. After his scandal-filled freshman term in office, he announced Wednesday that he intends to retire.

New Hampshire's Senate and House seats stayed solidly in Republican hands. Incumbent Judd Gregg beat Dorris "Granny D" Haddock for the Senate seat with 66 percent of the vote. In the House, incumbents Jeb Bradley and Charlie Bass '74 beat Justin Nadeau and Paul Hodes with 63 percent and 59 percent of the vote, respectively.

The GOP maintained its dominance of the state legislature in New Hampshire's Senate and House. This trend, however, left out Katherine Racicot '06 and Jesse Roisin '05, two Republican candidates from Dartmouth who ran for House seats for Grafton County District 10.

Racicot won 1,968 votes for 8 percent, and Roisin won 1,851 votes for 7 percent. Neither total was high enough to win one of the four seats in District 10.

"I didn't have the highest hopes because it is a highly Democratic area," said Roisin. "But almost 2,000 votes isn't bad in a district this size."

"Dartmouth students are going to keep running," he added, "And one of these times a student should be able to win."

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