Nyquist demands recount in District 9 state Senate race
Lee Nyquist will call for a recount of the District 9 state Senate race he narrowly lost to Republican opponent Andy Sanborn.
In the nail-biter contest that had the candidates wondering past midnight who would come out ahead, Sanborn edged out Nyquist with just over 200 votes.
Nyquist announced Wednesday that he would demand a recount from the Secretary of State’s office, saying he owed it to the 15,225 people who voted for him.
“We have made the hard decision, after careful analysis, to pursue a recount under the circumstances,” Nyquist said. “We have to carry it through to the final process.”
Preliminary numbers show Sanborn won with 15,435 votes to Nyquist’s 15,225.
Sanborn’s victory happened, in large part, because of a landslide result in Bedford – a GOP stronghold which contains nearly half the district’s population – where voters favored Sanborn by more than 2,400 votes.
Sanborn said the recount will be a waste of taxpayer money.
“I think we heard from the voters, I think they made a decision, and let’s go do the people’s work,” Sanborn said. “I’m not sure a recount of that magnitude has ever changed (an outcome). I don’t think it would be a good use of the taxpayers’ money.”
Secretary of State Bill Gardner wouldn’t estimate the cost of a recount, but he said it’s always possible that a recount changes the results of an election. “It happens, but it’s not something that’s common,” Gardner said.
The 2004 elections resulted in 22 recounts, and the most occurred in 2000, with 28. Gardner said New Hampshire has more recounts than any other state.
Except for Mont Vernon and Richmond, Nyquist won the remaining 11 towns that make up the district, including Peterborough, Troy, Jaffrey, Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Sharon, Greenfield, Lyndeborough, Hancock, Temple and Nyquist’s hometown of New Boston.
He won Peterborough by a 2-to-1 margin.
During the campaign, critics accused Sanborn of carpetbagging because he moved to Bedford after resigning his District 7 state Senate seat after Republican-led redistricting earlier this year.
Asked if his opponent won because of the redistricting, Nyquist refused to place blame.
“I think that it was a very hard-fought race. Certainly there is (a wide Republican majority in the district), and we were well aware of that, and we ran a strong campaign.”
Nyquist said he led the Democratic ticket in Bedford, getting more votes than Maggie Hassan, Barack Obama and Carol Shea-Porter.
“We had extremely broad support throughout the district,” Nyquist said. “We worked hard at that. We worked perhaps even harder to make an impact in Bedford. But it just wasn’t quite enough, in the initial returns anyway.”
Asked what it says that Nyquist beat him in most of the towns in the district, Sanborn said he ran a campaign based on what the people want to talk about, “which is making sure everyone has a job, making sure our taxes are low, and our state is being frugal with our money.”
Sanborn said though he doesn’t believe government creates jobs, government can positively or negatively impact the job-creating environment.
“We need to continue to focus on allowing businesses to be businesses, to make sure people can hire and pay their employees.”
He said regulations have become an even greater burden on businesses than taxes. “Our state’s become anti-business – and we have to change that.”
Looking forward, Sanborn said he hopes to serve on the Senate Commerce Committee and to be involved in financial issues. He also said he’ll continue to work in a bipartisan fashion.
“I personally believe what you have seen from the Senate over the past two years is that we work on both sides of the aisle, and we have,” he said.
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