Sep 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Mayor concedes to pro-Trump businessman Robert Burns in N.H. House primary

An "I Voted" sticker on a voting machine during the New Hampshire Primary on September 13, 2022 in Bedford, New Hampshire. In one race, voters will decide which Republican candidate will face Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in the general election. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Robert Burns, a former New Hampshire county treasurer, won the GOP primary on Tuesday to advance to the general election that will decide who will represent the state's 2nd district.

Why it matters: Burns' victory tees up a November election pitting the pro-Trump businessman against Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), who is seeking her sixth term.

Driving the news: George Hansel, a moderate Republican mayor in New Hampshire who supports abortion rights, conceded to Burns, who touted his pro-Trump and "pro-life" abortion position.

  • Burns slammed his GOP rival as a "liberal, woke mayor," per FiveThirtyEight.
  • Hansel, who entered the race just three months ago, out-raised Burns. Late-stage polling showed Burns posting a lead, but the same polls also showed a large share of undecided voters in the state, FiveThirtyEight notes.
  • Hansel earned the endorsement from New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), Politico reports.

State of play: Burns may have benefited from a new Democratic PAC that poured money into the race in an attempt to boost him, as they thought the far-right candidate may be easier for Kuster to beat come November, Politico reports.

  • Biden won the New Hampshire district by nine points in 2020.

What they're saying: "Last night didn't go our way, but I would like to thank all of our supporters and voters who made this campaign possible," Hansel said in a statement. "I would also like to congratulate Bob Burns on his victory tonight."

Editor's note: This story has been updated after AP officially called the race.

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