GOP holds tiny majority in New Hampshire House

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 5:20 PM EST
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WEST LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) - Gov. Chris Sununu and fellow Republicans in New Hampshire once again will have a clear majority in the state Senate next year. But, when it comes to the House, it’s almost a 50-50 split.

As it stands right now, only a handful of votes determine which party controls New Hampshire’s House of Representatives. A tiny margin in a 400-member body that a least one lawmaker in the minority party says could be a good thing.

“New Hampshire rejected extremists. They did it at the federal level and they did it in the Statehouse if you look at some of the seats that are still held by Republicans, they are not held by the more extreme Republicans and some did flip to the Democratic side,” said Sen. Sue Prentiss, D-Lebanon.

Prentiss cruised to reelection in Lebanon last Tuesday. But, the Democrat will once again be in the minority party next session. She says civility is the key to getting things done.

“I got eight bills passed last year, four the year before by building relationships with people,” Prentiss said.

The Republican control of the Senate mirrors the last session, but the House is much closer. Experts say something as basic as simply showing up could determine which bills get passed.

“There is a fair amount of absenteeism in any given day in the Legislature and at this point, one of the challenges for both parties is to keep their members showing up for these close votes,” said Dartmouth College’s Linda Fowler.

Governor Sununu, who is known for breaking with his own party, was easily reelected with more than 57% of the vote.

Medicaid expansion will be on the agenda next session. Prentiss says she’s ready to get to work.

“Because no one party is so clearly in the majority that they can hold up the work like they have been able to in the past,” she said.

The official election night results could still be days away. More than a dozen House races are currently being recounted.