3 With Trump Ties Lead Crowded New Hampshire GOP House Primary Slate

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, who narrowly leads the tightening race, 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.

Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), second from left, speaks during a press conference in Washington on Sept. 27, 2019. He’s running for re-election in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The three lead the others 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

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