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Ret. Army Gen. Bolduc loses in NH after gaining nationwide attention

Brig. Gen. Donald C. Bolduc in a 2016 photo. (U.S. Special Operations Command Africa photo/Released)
November 09, 2022

Republican retired U.S. Army Gen. Don Bolduc has lost his bid to unseat Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan in the 2022 New Hampshire senate race.

As of Wednesday morning, the Associated Press reported the state had counted 81 percent of votes cast. Hassan had 54.2 percent of the vote, against 43.8 percent for Bolduc. Libertarian Party candidate Jeremy Kauffman held another two percent of the vote in the Senate race.

Bolduc conceded the race at about 11:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday night, WMUR reported. Hassan declared victory about five minutes later.

“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to represent the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate race here in New Hampshire,” Bolduc said in his concession speech, the Concord Monitor reported. “This is not a loss. We woke a lot of people up hopefully we put her on notice. And hopefully, she will do the right thing for Granite Staters.”

Buldoc’s military career spans 36 years, including 10 tours of duty in Afghanistan. He also commanded Special Forces Africa and his decorations two awards for valor, five Bronze Star medals, and two Purple Hearts. Buldoc’s candidacy caught national attention after several polls showed a close race with Hassan in a year where Republicans are trying to take back control of the Senate.

Bolduc’s general election loss came after a contentious Republican primary in which political action committees (PACS) aligned with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell backed Republican candidate Chuck Morse over Bolduc.

Last month, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) — another Super PAC aligned with McConnell — also canceled $5.6 million in television air time it had reserved the final two weeks leading up to election day. That canceled advertising time could have gone towards promoting Bolduc in the close Senate race.

In the final weeks before the election, the Real Clear Politics polling average put Bolduc less than 1.5 points down in the race to unseat Hassan, with some polls putting him as much as a point ahead of her in the race. Despite the close polling average, SLF characterized its move to pull advertising from the race as an effort to races where the money is needed more.

“As the cycle comes to a close, we are shifting resources to where they can be most effective to achieve our ultimate goal: winning the majority,” SLF president Steven Law told CBS News last month.