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New Hampshire Special Election Winner Democrat David Fracht

“All Politics is Local” as Well as National—Congratulations Democrat David Fracht! August 27, 2023


The late Democratic House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill was credited with the saying, “All politics is local.” Yes, that is true, but all politics is, especially in our era, “national” as well. Both Democrats and Republicans, as well as political pundits not only look at the issues federal House and Senate candidates run on, but also, analyze the results of special elections in state contests. Why? By seeing what issues candidates run on to win their elections in state legislative chambers, national lawmakers believe they can better understand which matters will have political traction in future upcoming Presidential, House, and Senate contests. The “political class” is especially interested in seeing how effective such issues are in very competitive swing states, areas that will be key to either “Team Blue” or “Team Red” victories from President on down. On August 22, 2023 in very swingy New Hampshire, a key presidential primary election state, Democrat David Fracht overwhelmingly won a special election in the Granite State House of Representatives. With 99% of the votes counted, Fracht crushed his GOP opponent John Keane by the “y uu ge” margin of 43.68%-- 71.84%-28.16% (8/22/23, 270toWin Staff). Fracht performed 13 points better than Biden did in this area in 11/2020 (Kos, Morning Digest, 8/24/23). With his humungous win, the GOP has just 199 seats in the NH State House to the Democrats’ 197 (wmur.com, Kisluk, J.,8/22/23). There are two independents and two vacancies in the NH House. At full strength, NH has 400 members in its House of Representatives, the largest legislative body in the United States (270toWin Staff, 8/22/23). NH Members serve two-year terms. The next regular elections to this chamber will be in presidential election year 2024. Democrats are now very close to flipping the NH House. Let’s meet NH Rep.-Elect David Fracht.


Granite State Representative-Elect David Fracht won his special election in NH House District (HD) Grafton 16. Enfield is a town in NH’s Grafton County that lies in the west central part of that state. House District 16 constitutes a single town district, that of Enfield (270toWin Staff, vnews.com, Sauchelli, L., 7/20/23). Fracht will be serving the remainder of Democrat Joshua Adjutant’s term. Adjutant resigned in April, 2023. Adjutant, who was also serving as a security guard at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, had to leave the NH House after he was injured by a patient receiving psychiatric care (nvews.com, Sauchelli, 7/20/23). The town of Enfield is in NH’s 2nd U.S. Congressional District (CD) which is currently represented by 6th -term Democratic Congressmember Ann McLane Custer (CQ 118th Cong. At Your Fingertips). The NH 2nd CD has just a D+1 Cook Partisan Voting Index, PVI, just about as swingy as you can get. In 2010, Custer lost a race to a GOPer by a 1% margin and continues to have competitive election contests (Cohen & Cook, 2022 Political Almanac).


David Fracht moved to Enfield in 2009 from Fairlee, Vermont, a town on the Vermont-New Hampshire border. He graduated from Western Reserve University (wiki). In Fairlee, Fracht served on that town’s Development Review Board for 15 years. Currently, Fracht serves as chair of Enfield’s Planning Board. He, additionally, owns a large-format custom printing business. He also works part-time in consulting and providing printing services from his Enfield home (vnews.com, Sauchelli, 7/20/23). Fracht stated, “I definitely have an interest in land use, in preserving our natural assets, while allowing or even encouraging responsible and controlled growth. There’s a housing shortage in the Upper (NH) Valley and New England and the whole country, and one of my goals would be to figure out how to encourage more affordable housing without destroying the natural resources and rural character that exists in many New Hampshire towns, including Enfield (vnews.com, 7/20/23).” During his approximately five years on Enfield’s Planning Board, Fracht helped update Enfield’s zoning ordinances to permit higher-density housing in the town’s village area, and worked on the town’s master plan (vnews.com, 7/20/23).


Fracht had not considered running for office until he had been approached by Enfield Democrats and other “Team Blue” members in the area. He stated, “After doing a lot of research and soul searching and having a lot of people tell me they thought I would be good as a state rep, I decided I would try, so I’m in (vnews.com, 7/20/23).” Fracht’s path to political office clearly demonstrates that “all politics is local.” However, at the same time, Fracht’s reasonable land use views dovetail with national Democratic ideas of growth and increasing affordable housing opportunities, while at the same time, not tearing down everything in the name of unrestrained growth. Again, politics is both local and national.


And now let’s meet Fracht’s general election rival, GOPer John Keane. Keane said his family has lived in the Lebanon area, a town near Enfield, for close to 100 years, which is a plus for many old-time New England residents. Keane wrote in an email that his love for the area inspired him to run for office. Keane also discussed national political issues. According to Keane, “In recent years, I’ve become very concerned about our taxes. We have a 17% increase coming this year and with inflation and cost of living so high I would like to be a voice for Enfield and New Hampshire. I’ve been a small business owner and understand the struggle to make ends meet (vnews.com, Sauchelli, 7/20/23).” Inflation, despite GOP cries to the contrary, is now going down. Of course, anti-tax and anti-inflation platforms basically constitute the entire GOP economic program that all their candidates parrot in every election. True, Keane is a business owner, but so is Fracht. The usual anti-tax/anti-inflation GOP themes did not impress the majority of Enfield voters. These voters aptly believed that Fracht’s public land use planning experience as well as his business background would represent them better in the NH House of Representatives.


NH Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley, in discussing Fracht’s special election blowout, said it all. He congratulated Fracht as an “extraordinary Granite Stater and a dedicated public servant who will stop at nothing to help protect the rights and liberties of all Granite Staters.” He then added, these words, “The momentum of House Democrats cannot be overstated. With this seat, Democrats have decisively won their seventh victory in eight special elections since 2021 and come within a hair’s breadth of taking the majority (in the NH House of Representatives)….We want to thank Representative-Elect Fracht for running a fantastic campaign, and the Democratic Victory Campaign Committee and its staff, without whom this win could not be possible. We also want to thank the people of Enfield for showing up in huge numbers for their community.” Again, voter turnout is EVERYTHING along with “all politics being local and national.” Once more, congratulations, David Fracht!


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