Rich Ashooh and Rep. Frank Guinta meet at the NHGOP unity breakfast in Bedford on Sept. 14, 2016

Sep 14, 2016 8:23 AM

Ashooh concedes 1st Congressional District to Guinta

NH1 News Political Director

BEDFORD —Republican U.S. House candidate Rich Ashooh Wednesday conceded the 1st Congressional District GOP nomination race to incumbent Frank Guinta, 12 hours after the polls closed.

Prior to the start of the New Hampshire GOP unity breakfast the the Bedford Village Inn, Ashooh told NH1 News "we conceded. We made an announcement that the 100 vote margin that we had last night turned into a 600 vote margin and that’s enough I think, to declare that this race is over."

Asked why he didn't consider calling for a recount, the former longtime executive at BAE Systems said "we’ve got no interest in delaying the party’s ability to position for victory in November."

Guinta's narrow primary victory comes more than a year after a campaign contribution controversy that nearly crippled his political career.

Asked if he'll endorse Guinta, Ashooh told reporters "I’m supporting the ticket, I’m definitely supporting the ticket."

"I just came off a very difficult campaign so I’m not thinking about spending my energies on any other candidate right now," he added.

Speaking at the unity breakfast, Guinta said "we’re a family and families sometimes have disagreements, have discussions. And in our party, it’s called a primary, I’ve been through several, and this was a tough one."

He then said "I really want to first commend and thank Rich Ashooh for being in this campaign."

Guinta will now face off in the general election, for the fourth straight cycle, against former Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.

Later, talking with NH1 News, Guinta was asked if some of the top Granite State Republicans who last year called on the congressman to step down after he was fined by the Federal Election Commission, had reached out to him at the breakfast.

"We’ve talked to many of the candidates and nominees today. and we are all moving forward to make sure that we can do everything we can to have Republicans claim victory on November 8th," Guinta answered.

One of those politicians was Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, who's the GOP's gubernatorial nominee. Asked about Guinta, Sununu told NH1 News "Frank and I are friends. I think Frank’s going to be a great congressman. He’s going to take the charge all the way to November against Carol Shea Porter."

NH1 News also spotting Guinta and Ashooh shaking hands. Asked what Ashooh said to him, Guinta told NH1 News "he told me to go get them and beat Carol Shea Porter in November. I respect Rich. He was a great competitor."

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