NH GOP Primary Result Could Be Good News for Democrats

Don Bolduc supports Trump fraud claims, wants to repeal 17th Amendment
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2022 12:37 PM CDT
Election Denier Wins NH GOP Senate Primary
New Hampshire Republican US Senate candidate Don Bolduc smiles during a primary night campaign gathering, Tuesday Sept. 13, 2022, in Hampton, N.H.   (AP Photo/Reba Saldanha)

(Newser) – Retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc won New Hampshire's Republican Senate primary Tuesday—and Democrats believe Sen. Maggie Hassan's chances of keeping her seat are now stronger. Bolduc, who narrowly defeated establishment favorite and state Senate president Chuck Morse, supports Donald Trump's election fraud claims and has taken several other positions that could limit his statewide appeal, ABC reports. He has advocated repealing the 17th amendment, which established the direct election of US senators, and suggested that the FBI should be abolished. During his campaign, he called Republican Gov. Chris Sununu a "Chinese Communist sympathizer."

"I signed a letter with 120 other generals and admirals saying that Donald Trump won the election and, damn it, I stand by it," Bolduc said during a debate last month. In 2020, when Bolduc lost another GOP Senate primary in the state, he accused the Trump campaign of "rigging the election" by endorsing his rival. Trump didn't endorse Bolduc or any other candidate in this year's primary. Chris Cillizza at CNN sees the Bolduc victory as the latest blow to Republican hopes of regaining control of the Senate this fall. Bolduc joins candidates including JD Vance in Ohio and Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania who won primary campaigns with pro-Trump positions but have a lot of work to do "when it comes to courting a general election audience," Cillizza writes.

"We’re not a red state, we’re not a blue state, we’re a weird state," Republican operative Greg Moore told the New York Times last month. He said that while Bolduc could win the Republican primary by targeting the party's base, it was hard to see him winning the general election. Sununu—who had been expected to run for the seat himself, but chose to seek another term as governor—endorsed Morse, describing Bolduc as part of a group of "conspiracy-theory extremists" seeking Senate nominations around the country. A PAC with reported ties to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spent around $4 million on ads slamming Bolduc's "crazy ideas." (Read more Election 2022 stories.)

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