“New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner wins re-election after fierce challenge”


New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, an ardent defender of his state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary status, narrowly held off a challenger Wednesday to win re-election to the post he’s held since 1976.

Gardner defeated Colin Van Ostern, a Democrat who argued Gardner had legitimized unproven GOP claims of voter fraud, 209 to 205, on the second ballot cast by a state legislature that had been sworn in hours earlier.
The race drew national attention because of Gardner’s unique role in presidential politics. He has the authority to set New Hampshire’s primary date and has held off other states’ efforts to move their primaries ahead of the Granite State’s for decades.
New Hampshire lawmakers choose the secretary of state — and while Gardner is nominally a Democrat, he’d been re-elected to the post for 40 years, largely without serious opposition.
But Gardner faced an intense backlash among Democrats over his decision to participate in President Donald Trump’s commission that sought — but did not find — evidence to support the President’s unproven claims of widespread voter fraud.

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