New Hampshire voters opted for Town Councilor Bill Boyd over Democratic former state representative Wendy Thomas in a special election to fill a vacant seat in the state’s legislature.
American Solidarity Party candidate Stephen Hollenberg made a valiant effort, raising funds and sending out an unusually positive piece of direct mail to voters in the district.
Bill Boyd (REP) – 2,531 votes (53%)
Wendy Thomas (DEM) – 2,144 votes (45%)
Stephen Hollenberg (ASP) – 104 votes (2%)
The district elected 7 Republicans and 1 Democrat in 2020, including re-electing the Republican State House Speaker Dick Hinch. Sadly, Hinch passed away in December after contracting COVID-19.
A race for the NH State House would normally have been a low budget affair, but this contest saw tens of thousands of dollars in outside money pour into the district. Voter turnout was unusually high for a special election of this type, reaching approximately 21% by the time polls had closed.
For his part, Hollenberg was pleased with his showing. Taking to social media a few hours after polls had closed he thanked his supporters and wished his former opponent well.
“I want to offer my congratulations to Bill Boyd on his successful campaign. I’ve already called to congratulate him and offer my assistance if there is any way I can help during his time in office,” said Hollenberg in a statement. “I’m proud of the campaign I ran. I tried to do so with honesty and integrity, to stand for my values, to stand against negative politics, and to represent myself, my family, my town, and the American Solidarity Party well.”
Hollenberg continued, noting that he had realistic expectations from the start: “I knew going in that it was going to be a nearly impossible race against 2 well established opponents. My goal was 100 votes and amazingly pulled it off! Thanks to all 103 people who came out to vote for me, especially my beautiful wife who had to put up with my campaigning the last 3 months. Thanks also to my party members who were my biggest fans and supporters. Proud to be a Pelican! I pray the people of Merrimack will continue to vote for their values and to stand against our broken duopoly. I wish Bill Boyd the best in Concord and pray for his success for the sake of Merrimack and NH.”