Shaheen secures third term as N.H. senator in convincing fashion


Anna Kate Munsey

“6 more years! 6 more years!” 

Family and supporters chanted for veteran New Hampshire politician Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) as she gave her victory speech early Tuesday evening. Shaheen beat Republican challenger Bryant “Corky” Messner in the U.S. Senate Race in New Hampshire. The race was called very soon after the closure of all polls in the state by 8 p.m. 

“I am so grateful for all of your support. Thank you for making the calls for holding the signs for texting your friends. It was a campaign like no other. But it worked… Corky Messner just call me to congratulate me on winning reelection. I want to thank him and his supporters for a spirited campaign. I have always fought for New Hampshire, and I always will. That means working with Democrats, Republicans, or anyone to make a difference for the people of this state,” Shaheen said in a Facebook livestream following her win. 

Shaheen thanked her family, campaign staff, Senate staff, volunteers and candidates up and down the ballot. 

Businessman, attorney and veteran Messner had hoped to turn New Hampshire’s available Senate seat blue, but fell short by over 100,000 votes. 

With 97.7% of precincts in New Hampshire reporting, the Associated Press estimates 56.7% of the votes – 445,937 – will go to Shaheen, with 41.0% – 322,426 – going to Messner.  

Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Justin O’Donnell received 18,505 total votes – or 2.35%. 

“I am humble and grateful for the support I’ve received over this campaign. Traveling the state for the past 14 months, I have been inspired by my fellow Granite Staters, who faced incredible challenges these last few months and have shown great resilience and courage. This campaign has been an amazing journey and I am grateful for the experience. And now, we must come together to meet the many challenges we face. We need to restore our economy, address the issues that divide us, and ensure that we emerge from this pandemic stronger as a nation and as a people. I will continue to be involved in Republican politics and will work to preserve our individual liberty and economic freedom,” Messner said in a statement. 

In her victory speech, Shaheen outlined some of her objectives for this third term including student debt, health care, and the coronavirus (COVID-19.) 

Shaheen was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire. Prior to being elected her first term in 2008, Shaheen had served as the first female governor of New Hampshire from 1997 to 2003 and in the state senate from 1992 to 1996.  

Some have pointed to Shaheen’s well-known record and experience in New Hampshire politics as an advantage, compared to Messner’s fairly recent arrival to the state and its political world. 

Shaheen was among several prominent New Hampshire incumbents who gained reelection – including Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and Democratic Reps. Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster.  

New Hampshire’s other seat in the U.S. Senate, currency occupied by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D), is up for election in the 2022 midterms. 

“Tomorrow it’s time to get back to work. But tonight, Let’s celebrate,” Shaheen said.