Gay candidate Chris Pappas wins the Democratic primary for U.S. House

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Flickr/Team Pappas

Chris Pappas was declared the winner of the Democratic primary in New Hampshire’s 1st U.S. House district.

With 84% of precincts reporting, he got 42% of the vote in the 11-way primary race to replace Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D), who is retiring.

Pappas, who is a member of the New Hampshire Executive Council and a small business owner, got endorsements from New Hampshire Democrats, including Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Represenatative Ann McLane Kuster.

His campaign focused on his ties to the state, as the second place candidate, Maura Sullivan, had recently moved to the state and raised more campaign funds.

“I’m the only candidate in this race pledging that the majority of my campaign donors live right here in New Hampshire,” Pappas said in a recent ad, an implicit attack on Sullivan.

Related: Here are 10 of our favorite LGBTQ candidates this year

“Chris Pappas continues to smash long-standing political barriers for LGBTQ New Hampshirites — and his victory is emblematic of the pipeline of LGBTQ leaders who continue to rise through the ranks to better serve their constituents,” Annise Parker of the LGBTQ Victory Fund said in a statement. “Democratic primary voters are demanding authentic, values-driven leaders who prioritize policies over politics — and they found that leader in Chris.”

In the general election, Pappas will face former South Hampton Police Chief Eddie Edwards, who has already been endorsed by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

If Edwards wins, he’ll be the first African American representative from New Hampshire’s 1st.

New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District is one of a handful of Democratically-held House seats that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. The district often swings between Democrats and Republicans.

In order to win the House this fall, Democrats have to win 23 seats without losing any that they currently hold.

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