Political rivals come together in separate shows of unity

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Former political rivals in New Hampshire came together in separate shows of party unity Thursday — Republicans at an in-person breakfast and Democrats in an event held online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On the Republican side, Retired Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc hugged Bryant “Corky” Messner, who defeated him to win the nomination for U.S. Senate on Tuesday. They then joined hands with other nominees and failed candidates from the U.S. House races, according to a video posted by the New Hampshire Republican Party on Facebook.

“We need to be united, and we need to be together. We need to cast off everything done in the past and said in the past,” said Bolduc. “God Bless America. Live free or die.”

It was an apparent change of heart for Bolduc, who on Tuesday night said he wouldn't back Messner in his campaign against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. “I will not disgrace my name to support a man like that,” he told WMUR-TV.

Democrats, meanwhile, held an online pep rally that was briefly interrupted by power outages in Concord. Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky voiced his support for state Sen. Dan Feltes, who defeated him and will challenge Republican Gov. Chris Sununu in November.

Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said the party made history Tuesday in nominating female majorities for state Senate and Executive Council, as well as more people of color and from LGBTQ communities than ever before.

“Democrats are united because Tuesday’s primary results have made it crystal clear: Donald Trump has completely, totally and unconditionally taken over the New Hampshire Republican Party,” he said. “While Donald Trump’s name may only be on the ballot once, his damage and special interest policies will be on the ballot in every single race.”

Official figures haven’t been released, but it appears turnout was significantly higher Tuesday than the record for a state primary set in 2018.