A large field of 10 New Hampshire Republicans is seeking their party’s nod in the primary on Sept. 13 for the state’s 1st Congressional District. The three frontrunners all have ties to the administration of former President Donald Trump.
Matt Mowers was the Trump White House liaison to the State Department. Karoline Leavitt worked in the Trump White House press office under press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Gail Huff Brown is married to Scott Brown, Trump’s ambassador to New Zealand.
They seek to challenge Democratic incumbent Chris Pappas, who has held the seat since being elected in 2018. Mowers, the former New Hampshire Republican chairman, was the GOP nominee in 2020 and lost to Pappas.
Pappas has held the seat since 2018 and won 51 percent of the vote last time. The district has shown a pattern: Republicans flipped the seat during each of the two midterm elections during Barack Obama’s presidency. Political forecasters rate the seat a toss-up and one to watch nationally as the Republicans seek to gain control of the House of Representatives.
The three Republicans with Trump ties lead the the rest of the field both in the polls and in fundraising. According to federal campaign spending records, Mowers has raised $1.7 million, Leavitt $1.5 million, and Huff Brown $1.1 million as of June 30. The three were the only candidates in double digits in a University of New Hampshire poll conducted during the last week of August. That poll showed Mowers with 26 percent, Leavitt with 24 percent, and Huff Brown with 16 percent.
“This race is a hot one!” Wendy Richardson, Republican chair for New Hampshire’s Carroll County, said in an email to The Epoch Times adding that Leavitt and Mowers are “neck and neck.”
Mowers scored endorsement from Trump orbit luminaries including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.
Leavitt, currently 24, will, if she wins the primary and the November election, be 25 years old by the time she’s sworn in, according to the New York Post. She has been endorsed by House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Brown, 60, is a familiar face to New Hampshire residents. She was a longtime television news reporter and anchor for the ABC news affiliate WCVB-TV in nearby Boston, has worked for the WWJE-DT station in Derry, New Hampshire, and reported for a Washington, D.C., station. Her husband, Scott Brown, is a former Massachusetts senator.
New Hampshire has become a bluer state in recent years. Its U.S. senators and congressional representatives—the state has two—are Democrats. Gov. Chris Sununu is a Republican.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly described the circumstances under which Matt Mowers moved to New Hampshire. The Epoch Times regrets the error.