Incumbents win in Democratic primary for Hanover and Lyme district

  • Outside the polls at Hanover High School in Hanover, N.H., on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, Mike Cryans, running for District 2 Executive Council, at left, introduces voter Sue Reed to Nicolas Macri and Miles Brown, who are Dartmouth students running in the Grafton District 12 Democratic primary. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Jennifer Hauck

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    Lori Harriman arrived at the Hanover polls with a sign that read "I have COVID how do I vote?" With the help of election officials and her dog Harry, Harriman filled out her ballot outside on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Hanover, N.H. She has mild symptoms but wanted to adhere to her five days of isolation and not go inside the building. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Jennifer Hauck

  • Alan Gustman takes a sticker from selectboard member Bill Geraghty after voting at the Hanover polls on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Jennifer Hauck

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 9/15/2022 9:40:26 AM
Modified: 9/15/2022 9:53:54 AM

HANOVER — Four incumbent state representatives serving Hanover and Lyme in Grafton District 12 will return to Concord next term, after winning the Democratic Party primary election on Tuesday, where they edged out two student challengers from Dartmouth College.

Registered voters in District 12, a Democratic Party stronghold, reelected state Reps. Mary Hakken-Phillips, Russell Muirhead, Sharon Nordgren and James Murphy to fill four seats in the New Hampshire House beginning in 2023. Because no Republican candidates filed to run for the district seats, the four Democratic winners will run uncontested on the general election ballot in November.

Hakken-Phillips, a 41-year-old attorney from Hanover, received 1,772 votes, the most among the six candidates. Hakken-Phillips said she and her colleagues “are humbled” by the support of the district voters and gave recognition to the two Dartmouth students who also ran, Miles Brown and Nicolas Macri.

“We are looking forward to working together to energize the district this November and to elect Democratic candidates up and down the ballot,” Hakken-Phillips said.

A total of 2,461 registered Democrats — 2,059 in Hanover and 402 in Lyme — cast ballots in the District 12 primary. Hakken-Phillips received 1,772 votes; Muirhead received 1,640; Nordgren 1,637; Murphy 1,447; Brown 1,119; and Macri 458.

Macri, a 20-year-old sophomore at Dartmouth, said he called his campaign a “valuable, fun and educational experience.”

“My efforts in my campaign were to provide representation to the unrepresented community in Hanover, (being) students, and to bring their voices to the table,” Macri said. “That is the community I am a part of and deeply love, and the campaign we ran is reflective of seeking support from that community. … Turning out student voters is always difficult, especially on the second day of the term, but I am still proud of our efforts to try.”

Brown, a 21-year-old senior, said he was disappointed to fall short of winning a House seat, though was encouraged overall by the student turnout, as well as the number of voters who voiced their support for “young people deserving a seat at the table.”

“I pledge my full support to their campaigns as we head into the general election,” Brown said of his fellow party candidates. “I’m excited to keep working to help get Democrats elected up and down the ballot this November.”

Brown, who previously said he wanted to engage more young people in the political process, estimated that close to 500 Dartmouth students turned out to vote in Hanover, based on his observations.

Brown also expressed optimism about helping to increase the number of registered student voters on the Dartmouth campus, including many who were same-day registrations on Tuesday. During the election season, Brown was involved in a campaign to educate Dartmouth students about voter registration through a distribution of informational flyers and door-hangers in dormitories and emails sent to every student on campus.

Murphy, a 70-year-old retired orthopedic surgeon and hospital administrator from Hanover, praised the efforts of Brown and Macri and welcomed having more inclusion of students and young adults in the local Democratic Party.

“I believe that we have a strong and diverse team that has experience and perspectives that will serve our constituents well,” Murphy said. “I was very impressed with the Dartmouth students’ energy and enthusiasm and look forward to seeing the younger members of our party in leadership roles.”

A total of 4,134 Hanover voters and 487 Lyme voters cast ballots in the New Hampshire state primary on Tuesday. Of those voters, 2,075 Hanover voters and 85 Lyme voters were registered Republicans.

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