Democrat Overturns Election Result in Recount, Beats Republican by One Vote

A seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives flipped from Republican to Democrat by the narrowest of margins after a recount.

The race for the Hillsborough County House District 16 seat in Manchester, saw Democrat Maxine Mosley defeat her Republican opponent Larry Gagne by a single vote.

Mosley won the seat with 1,799 votes to Gagne's 1,798. Before the recount, Gagne led Mosley by 23 votes.

Adam Sexton, the political director for Manchester news outlet WMUR, gave updates on the ongoing recounts on his Twitter feed.

"Shocker in Manchester's Ward 6 New Hampshire House of Representative race - after she congratulated Gagne, there was still counting left and it turns out Maxine Mosley won by a single vote. A flip for the Democrats," he wrote in a tweet on Monday.

Nathaniel Rakich, a senior election analyst at election tracker Five Thirty-Eight, also commented on the shocking turnaround.

"Wow! Democrats erased a 23-vote deficit in a recount to win this NH House seat by ONE vote," he tweeted. "They need to do the same in 3 more seats to win a majority."

Gagne said he was surprised with the result, according to a report from local news outlet Manchester Ink Link. "It's very unusual, especially in Manchester with the machines we have, to make up 24 votes, we were winning by 23. I don't know what happened," he said.

Speaking to Newsweek, Mosley explained what her first thoughts were when she heard the news.

"I was truly overwhelmed by the result of the recount. A swing of more than nine votes is rare in New Hampshire so this result is historic! I am also very grateful for the voters who have shown their faith me, as a first-time candidate, to represent them," she said.

She also reiterated that Gagne was gracious in defeat.

"Directly following the recount, Mr. Gagne did approach me, and we shook hands as he congratulated me. He did tell me that he would not be requesting a challenge to the outcome," Mosley said.

"He was very gracious. We have always had a cordial relationship over many years, and I appreciate his service to our community.

"I would expect that the Republican Party will challenge the outcome, even though Mr. Gagne indicated that he would not. If a challenge is filed, it will be heard by the Election Commission on November 28th."

Mosley also told Newsweek why this win was so important. "I am so appreciative of all of the people that worked with me throughout this campaign to make sure that the voters heard my messages about supporting public education, a woman's right to choose, equity and other pressing issues here in New Hampshire," she said.

"I did not expect the recount to overturn the results but entered into this process for two reasons: One, to observe the process in person, and two, to make sure that the people that worked with me, and voted for me, had the most accurate outcome information.

"I will say strongly that this race clearly affirms that each-and-every vote does count and that our obligation to vote is foundational for our democracy."

After the result, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley released a statement praising Mosley.

"We are ecstatic to learn of Democratic candidate Maxine Mosley's win in Manchester Ward 6 following today's recount," the statement said. "With today being just the first day of several extremely tight races, we look forward to the remaining recounts.

"We appreciate the professionalism of the staff at the Secretary of State's office and the State Archives for their work in this process, and to our recount team on the ground, whose careful review of ballots aided in today's result."

Newsweek has reached out to Gagne for comment.

Election voting
Stock image of a ballot being placed in a box. A recount has resulted in Democrat Maxine Mosley defeating her Republican opponent Larry Gagne in New Hampshire's Hillsborough 16 House District by a single vote. Getty

Update 11/15/22, 10:28 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from Maxine Mosley.