Retired Army Brigadier Gen. Don Bolduc defeated state Senate President Chuck Morse to win the GOP nomination in the New Hampshire Senate race Tuesday.
With 83% of votes counted, Bolduc received 37% support, while Morse garnered 36%. Several polls conducted in the run-up to the race showed Bolduc leading by up to 21 points, despite Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s endorsement of Morse. A political action committee affiliated with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell supported Morse out of concerns that Bolduc will struggle more against incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan.
Morse conceded the race shortly before 2:30 a.m.
It’s been a long night & we’ve come up short. I want to thank my supporters for all the blood, sweat & tears they poured into this team effort. I just called and wished all the best to @GenDonBolduc. The focus this fall needs to be on defeating Maggie Hassan.
— Senator Chuck Morse (@Morse4Senate) September 14, 2022
The primary was considered wide open after Sununu declined entreaties from McConnell to run for Senate. He is seeking a fourth two-year term as governor.
A second-time candidate for Senate, Bolduc served in the Army for 36 years, doing 10 tours in Afghanistan. Despite his military record, national Republicans are concerned by Bolduc’s claims of a stolen 2020 election and suggestion that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips. (RELATED: Green Berets Launch PAC To Put ‘Warrior-Diplomats’ In Congress)
In an effort to elevate the perceived weaker candidate, Democrats spent $3.2 million on ads criticizing Morse. Democrats have spent $53 million promoting candidates who claim that the 2020 election was stolen throughout the primary season.
Bolduc’s campaign raised just under $579,000 throughout the primary, according to Federal Election Commission filings. In contrast, Morse raised $1.57 million. The state Senate president also received a boost from White Mountain PAC, which spent $4.6 million on pro-Morse advertising. Although White Mountain PAC has not yet revealed its donors, McConnell was reportedly involved in its fundraising efforts.
Hassan is considered one of the more vulnerable Democratic senators, with the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter rating her race as leaning Democrat. President Joe Biden won New Hampshire by seven points, although Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen won her race by 15.