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Nov 16, 2016 9:04 PM

Hosmer trails French by 17 votes after recount in state Senate District 7 race

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD -- State Sen. Andrew Hosmer’s hopes for winning a third term in District 7 are becoming much more tenuous.

The Democratic lawmaker from Laconia trailed Republican challenger state Rep. Harold French by just 13 votes out of more than 27,000 cast, according to the certified results from the Secretary of State’s office from last week’s election.

After Wednesday’s recount, Hosmer now trails French by 17 votes.

That was enough for the top Republican in state Senate, President Chuck Morse of Salem, to welcome French to the chamber.

"I want to congratulate Senator-Elect Harold French for his hard-fought election and enduring patience and officially welcome him to the Senate. I know Senator-Elect French will work hard for the citizens he represents and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Senate as we formally begin the 2017-18 Legislative Session in a few weeks,” Morse wrote in a statement Wednesday night.

But Hosmer isn’t giving up yet.

Members of his campaign team will meet Thursday morning with Secy. of State Bill Gardner to discuss disputed votes.

"As with every New Hampshire election, making sure that every vote is counted is paramount. Given the extremely narrow margin in this race and the uncertainty surrounding a substantial block of missing votes, we look forward to working with the Secretary of State's office tomorrow morning to resolve these outstanding issues and provide certainty to the voters of District 7,” Hosmer for Senate spokesman Lucas Meyer said Wednesday evening.

The results of the recount won’t change the balance of power in the state Senate. Republicans will keep control of the chamber, either by a 14-10 or 13-11 majority.

This is the second straight election Hosmer’s gone through a recount.

“I had a recount in 2014. It was requested by my opponent. We were up about 130 votes before the recount. After the recount we picked up 20 votes or so. I think the system works very, very well. Sometimes numbers get transposed or sometimes ballots are incorrectly counted. And you know, it may happen here. And if it does, maybe we can pick up some votes and get what we need to win,” Hosmer told NH1 News last week.

District 7 includes Andover, Belmont, Boscawen, Canterbury, Franklin, Gilford, Laconia, Northfield, Salisbury, and Webster.

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