Concord – April 22, 2009 — Former Republican congressman Jeb Bradley won election to the state Senate yesterday, bouncing back from two consecutive losses in campaigns for Congress. Bradley defeated former judge Bud Martin, a Democrat, in the special election to fill the vacancy in the Senate’s 3rd District. Former senator Bill Denley, a Republican, resigned from the seat after he was charged with drunken driving in February.
Unofficial returns had Bradley with 61 percent of the vote. In an interview last night, Bradley described his victory as a sign of his party’s rebound from two cycles of Election Day drubbings.
“Special elections are a real litmus test on what people are thinking,” Bradley said. “Given what happened in ’06 and ’08, we’re seeing the pendulum starting to swing back. People are saying, ‘Enough to new taxes, and enough to more spending.’ ”
But Bradley’s victory came in a district that has voted solidly for Republicans for decades, and it does not change the balance of power in the State House. Democrats hold majorities in the Legislature and the Executive Council, the governor’s office, both U.S. House seats, and one U.S. Senate seat.
State GOP Chairman John H. Sununu cautioned against reading too much into yesterday’s result.
“It is a big win, but we recognize that this is a good Republican seat, and we’re replacing a Republican who resigned,” Sununu said. “We’re not silly enough to make it more than that.”
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