Republican Karoline Leavitt Nabs Primary Victory, Will Face Democrat Pappas in New Hampshire Battleground

New Hampshire Republican 1st Congressional District candidate Karoline Leavitt smiles as s
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Republican Karoline Leavitt, 25, pulled off a win in a competitive primary Tuesday in New Hampshire’s First District and will now compete to unseat Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) in the battleground district’s general election.

Leavitt, a former Trump assistant press secretary, was beating her closest opponent, Matt Mowers — who had been leading in recent polls and in fundraising — by about nine percent, Decision Desk HQ’s results showed at the time of this writing. Third place candidate Gail Huff Brown was trailing Mowers by about seven percent, the results showed.

Leavitt delivered a victory speech shortly after 11:00 p.m. local time, telling a crowd of supporters, “Tonight our hard work has truly paid off. Tonight, team Karoline, we smashed expectations.”

“Tonight, team Karoline, we defied the odds,” Leavitt continued. “And tonight, team Karoline, we are sending a strong and clear message to the Washington, DC, establishment and our Democrat opponents that our votes cannot be bought, that our conservative voices cannot be silenced, and the future of our beautiful, great Live Free or Die state is ours.”

Leavitt, whose 25th birthday was in August, is just old enough to join Congress and would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress should she defeat Pappas.

One PAC, Defending Main Street, spent more than a million dollars during the primary targeting Leavitt as a “woke Gen-Zer,” but during her speech Tuesday night, Leavitt embraced her young age.

“As many of you know, my youth is one of the many reasons that I felt compelled to run for Congress in the first place,” Leavitt said. “Because it’s my generation of Americans, your children, your grandchildren, who are not being served well by the current state of our education system, our media, and our entire culture.”

Leavitt will now face Pappas in what is poised to be a tough eight-week battle. The district is a swing district that former President Donald Trump won by single-digits in 2016 and lost by single-digits in 2020.

Election analyst Cook Political Report currently rates the race a toss-up. Dave Wasserman from Cook hinted the outlet could potentially change that down the road, saying Leavitt’s win was “probably good news” for Pappas but that “for now” the race would remain in toss-up status.

Leavitt, who also served as a former aide to House GOP Conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), ran as an America First candidate in the race with the backing of Stefanik and her affiliated E-PAC, as well as with the backing of multiple House Freedom Caucus members.

Leavitt ended her final full day of the race at Londonderry Fish & Game Club with Freedom Caucus members Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Byron Donalds (R-FL), and she encouraged voters to “REJECT the Swamp” and turn out to the polls in recent social media posts.

During her victory speech Tuesday night, Leavitt zeroed in on Pappas’s partisan voting record, which aligns with President Joe Biden’s agenda 100 percent of the time, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis.

Democrat Chris Pappas celebrates winning the New Hampshire U.S. House District One Congressional race at an election party in Manchester, N.H. Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter)

Democrat Chris Pappas celebrates winning the New Hampshire U.S. House First District race at an election party in Manchester, November 6, 2018. (AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter)

“Chris Pappas has campaigned his entire political career as a moderate bipartisan voice for our district, but he has voted as a far-left socialist Democrat,” Leavitt said.

Pappas, despite representing a battleground district, has not defected from the Democrat Party on any significant votes, including on votes in favor of Biden’s multitrillion-dollar spending packages, an “assault weapons” ban, two major amnesty bills for illegal migrants, late-term abortion access via the “Women’s Health Protection Act,” all three articles of impeachment against Trump, and more.

Leavitt said, “This upcoming election in November is about one thing, stopping the radical Biden-Pelosi-Pappas socialist agenda in its tracks that has been ripping off hardworking families likes yours and mine every single day.”

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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