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It's Edwards vs Pappas in historic battle for House seat

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Gov. Chris Sununu congratulates 1st Congressional district nominee Eddie Edwards during an election night party in Portsmouth. (WMUR image)

It'll be Republican Eddie Edwards going against Democrat Chris Pappas for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, while former state Sen. Molly Kelly of Harrisville won the Democratic nomination for governor and the right to go against incumbent Republican Chris Sununu after Granite Staters voted in primary elections on Tuesday.

The campaign between Edwards and State Sen. Andy Sanborn was one of the most contentious of the primary season, with Sanborn mired in a long-ago Statehouse scandal and Edwards refusing to say he would back Sanborn if he won.

But Sanborn noted in a press release last night that he intended to back Edwards in November's general election despite the divisive rhetoric both exhibited leading up to primary voting.

"I want to congratulate my opponents on a well fought campaign and wish our nominee the very best in the general election," he said. "As I promised, I will do everything in my power to support our Republican nominee and I look forward to finally sending someone to Washington that we know will represent our shared values far better than any Democrat could."

Edwards got recent boosts with endorsements from former New York Mayor and President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani as well as the Union Leader and other GOP leaders.

Meanwhile, a crowded field of Democratic candidates seeking the 1st Congressional House seat dwindled to one with Pappas beating out a host of challengers, including Rochester City Counsel Terence O'Rourke. Pappas, a member of the Governor's Executive Council, bested second-place finisher, former Obama administration official Maura Sullivan of Portsmouth, by a decisive margin.

O'Rourke finished with just 45 votes from the city's six wards.

Meanwhile, in the race for governor, former state Sen. Molly Kelly of Harrisville won the Democratic nomination and will take on incumbent Republican Chris Sununu in November.

In Rochester, where voter participation hovered around 20 percent, the only contested race was for District 22 State Rep, where Peg Higgins defeated Shawn Mickelonis 347-57 in Ward 1 and 233-68 in Ward 5.

Matthew Winders, 18, a senior at Spaulding, who ran a spirited write-in campaign for a District 22 State Rep seat, was among those standing in line at the polls at the East Rochester Elementary School on Tuesday.

He said it was doubtful he would win this time but was still happy to be involved in the process.

He added it was also about getting his name out in the public eye and hinted he'd likely run for public office again.

"I am very passionate about politics and want to make a difference," he said.

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