Brendan Kelly, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Libertarian Party and a 2012 congressional candidate, has passed away at the age of 80 following a 5 year battle with cancer.
Kelly was an elected Selectman in the town of Seabrook for six years and mounted three unsuccessful bids for a seat in the New Hampshire state house between 2008 and 2011. It was in his 2011 campaign, a special election, that he captured more than 17% of the vote against a Republican and Democrat.
In 2012, Kelly was the LP’s nominee in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District and he won 14,521 votes or 4.2%. That race saw incumbent Republican Frank Guinta lose his seat to Democratic challenger Carol Shea-Porter. Kelly won over 2,000 more votes than the number that separated Shea-Porter and Guinta, prompting some to suggest his candidacy had helped tip the seat.
In 2014, Kelly would again seek election to the U.S. House but this time he ran as a Republican and finished a distant third in the GOP primary with 8.4% of the vote.
According to his obituary in the Hampton Union, Kelly was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Germany from 1958-1964, where he met his beloved wife, Helga. Married for 61 years, the couple had four children.