Nov 9, 2016 5:07 PM
NH1 News Political Director
CONCORD – It didn’t take long for Gov. Maggie Hassan to declare victory.
But it was another six and a half hours before Sen. Kelly Ayotte conceded.
The Republican incumbent put out a statement just before 5pm on Wednesday saying “I just spoke with Governor Hassan to congratulate her on her election to serve in the U.S. Senate.”
According to the certified results put out by the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office early in the afternoon, Ayotte trailed Hassan by just 1,023 votes out of nearly 740,000 cast. The senator could have requested a recount, but she opted against such a move.
Wednesday morning, hours after a marathon Election Night, Hassan stood in front of a throng of supporters in front of the State House to declare victory.
“It’s clear that we have maintained the lead and have won this race,” the governor said to cheers.
She added that she was “confident that our margins are large enough that we will maintain our lead.”
“I am honored to be elected to the United States Senate. I’m going to be very proud to serve with (fellow Democrat) Jeanne Shaheen,” she declared.
Looking ahead to her new role on Capitol Hill, Hassan said “It will be my job in the United States Senate to make the best decisions for New Hampshire. To work with President-elect Trump when it is in the best interests of New Hampshire and the country and to stand up to him when it isn’t.”
The 14 month long campaign between Ayotte and Hassan was arguably the most high profile, expensive, and negative Senate race in the country.
With Hassan’s election, as well as former Democratic congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s victory over GOP incumbent Frank Guinta in the 1st District, and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster’s re-election in the 2nd CD, New Hampshire for the first time will have an all-female and all Democratic congressional delegation.
In her statement, Ayotte also said “I want to thank our family, friends, supporters, and volunteers who worked their hearts out for our campaign. I could never fully express how grateful and humbled I am by the outpouring of support our campaign has received since day one.”
“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve New Hampshire in the Senate and to make progress on addressing our heroin epidemic, making it easier for our small businesses to create good paying jobs, and supporting those who keep us safe in a dangerous world,” she added.
“This is a critical time for New Hampshire and our country, and now more than ever, we need to work together to address our challenges. The voters have spoken and now it’s time all of us to come together to get things done for the people of the Greatest State in this Nation and for the Greatest Country on Earth," Ayotte continued.
Gov. Maggie Hassan is hugged by her husband Tom and Rep. Annie Kuster, as she declares victory in her U.S. Senate election against Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte, in front of the State House on Nov. 9, 2016
Sen. Kelly Ayotte and her husband Joe, at their Election Night campaign headquarters in Concord, on Nov. 8, 2016
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