New Hampshire Senate

Last updated
New Hampshire State Senate
New Hampshire General Court
Seal of New Hampshire.svg
Term limits
New session started
December 2, 2020
Chuck Morse (R)
since December 2, 2020
President pro tempore
Sharon Carson (R)
since December 2, 2020
Majority Leader
Jeb Bradley (R)
since December 2, 2020
Minority Leader
Donna Soucy (D)
since December 2, 2020
Senate Diagram State of New Hampshire 2014.svg
Political groups
  •    Republican  (14)


Length of term
2 years
AuthorityPart Second, New Hampshire Constitution
Salary$200/term + mileage
Last election
November 3, 2020
(24 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2022
(24 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative control
Meeting place
New Hampshire State Senate.jpg
State Senate Chamber
New Hampshire State House
Concord, New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Senate has been meeting since 1784. [1] It is the upper house of the New Hampshire General Court, alongside the lower New Hampshire House of Representatives. It consists of 24 members representing Senate districts based on population. As of December 2, 2020, there are 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats. [1]



Under the 1776 Constitution, two chambers of the legislature were formed: the House of Assembly and the Council, the predecessors to the modern-day House of Representatives and Senate. The Council was originally elected by the House and was composed of twelve members: five from Rockingham County; two each from Cheshire County, Hillsborough County, and Strafford County; and one from Grafton County. [2]

In 1784, the state constitution was entirely rewritten, and the upper chamber was reconstituted as the popularly elected Senate. It was originally composed of twelve members to be elected from multi-member districts drawn by the legislature, [3] but this was increased to twenty-four members in 1879. Until districts were drawn, the apportionment of the Senate was continued from the 1776 Constitution. This constitution also imposed a majority-vote requirement for State Senate elections. If no candidate won a majority of the vote, a vacancy was declared and the full General Court would pick from the top two candidates. Similarly, if a vacancy occurred while the legislature was in session, the General Court would pick the successor from the top two remaining candidates. The constitution was amended in 1889 to provide that session vacancies would be filled by special elections and in 1912 to abolish the majority-vote requirement altogether. [4]

Between 1784 and 1912, more than 200 state senate vacancies were filled by a full vote of the legislature. During some years, nearly 60% of the State Senate was selected through this method, which frequently determined which party controlled the Senate majority. An analysis of the vacancy-filling patterns shows that the General Court was overwhelmingly likely to fill vacancies based on the party affiliation of the eligible candidates. In cases in which session vacancies were filled, the General Court occasionally selected third-party or independent candidates, who received no more than a handful of votes, over opposing major-party candidates. [4]

The predictability of the vacancy-filling procedures sometimes led to conflict. In 1875, outgoing Democratic Governor James A. Weston exercised his constitutional power to issue "summonses" to the winners of legislative elections to avoid the General Court filling two vacancies. In two districts, Democratic candidates won pluralities, but not majorities; the narrow Republican majority in the State House likely meant that the Republican candidates would be elected. The Senate was tied 5–5, so the allocation of the two contested seats would determine control. Weston, along with the Executive Council, invalidated votes cast for Republican Senators in two districts on the grounds that the votes were not cast in the candidates' "Christian names." They instead issued summonses to the Democratic candidates, who were seated by the Senate. The 7–5 Democratic majority then rejected a Republican challenge to the Democrats' qualifications, and the Republican minority sought an advisory opinion from the New Hampshire Supreme Court. [4] The state supreme court concluded that "the action of the senate is final," and affirmed the seating of the Senators. [5]

In 1912, the voters approved a constitutional amendment removing the majority-vote requirement for all elections. That year, however, the gubernatorial election failed to produce a majority winner, as did four State Senate elections. After concluding that the amendment applied after the election, not to it, the General Court proceeded to fill the vacancies. An unexpected alliance between Democrats and Progressive Republicans led to Democrat Samuel D. Felker elected Governor, Henry F. Hollis elected to the U.S. Senate, four Democrats selected to fill the State Senate vacancies, and a Progressive Republican as the Speaker of the House. [6]

2020–2022 biennial session

Composition [7]

(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of 164th General Court1013231
165th General Court1014240
166th General Court1410240
Start of the 167th General Court1014240
Latest voting share


Position [8] NamePartyDistrict
President of the Senate Chuck Morse Republican 22
Majority Leader Jeb Bradley Republican 3
President Pro Tempore Sharon Carson Republican 14
Minority Leader Donna Soucy Democratic 18
Deputy Minority Leader Cindy Rosenwald Democratic 13

Committee leadership


CommitteeChairVice ChairRanking Member
Capital Budget John Reagan (R) Jeb Bradley (R) Lou D'Allesandro (D)
Commerce Harold French (R) Bill Gannon (R) Donna Soucy (D)
Education Ruth Ward (R)N/A Jay Kahn (D)
Election Law, Municipal Affairs and Redistricting James Gray (R) Regina Birdsell (R) Donna Soucy (D)
Energy and Natural Resources Kevin Avard (R) Bob Giuda (R) Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (D)
Executive Departments and Administration Sharon Carson (R) John Reagan (R) Kevin Cavanaugh (D)
Finance Gary Daniels (R) John Reagan (R) Donna Soucy (D)
Health and Human Services Jeb Bradley (R) James Gray (R) Tom Sherman (D)
Judiciary Sharon Carson (R) Bill Gannon (R) Jay Kahn (D)
Rules and Enrolled Bills Jeb Bradley (R) Kevin Avard (R) Cindy Rosenwald (D)
Transportation Regina Birdsell (R) David Watters (D)N/A
Ways and Means Bob Giuda (R) Lou D'Allesandro (D)N/A

Members of the New Hampshire Senate [7]

Map of current (March 2021) partisan composition of legislative districts for state senate:
Republican senator
Democratic senator New Hampshire State Senate Map Current.svg
Map of current (March 2021) partisan composition of legislative districts for state senate:
  Republican senator
  Democratic senator
DistrictSenatorPartyResidenceFirst elected
1 Vacant
2 Bob Giuda Rep Warren 2016
3 Jeb Bradley Rep Wolfeboro 2009
4 David Watters Dem Dover 2012
5 Suzanne Prentiss Dem Lebanon 2020
6 James Gray Rep Rochester 2016
7 Harold French Rep Franklin 2016
8 Ruth Ward Rep Stoddard 2016
9 Denise Ricciardi Rep Bedford 2020
10 Jay Kahn Dem Keene 2016
11 Gary Daniels Rep Milford 2020 (2014–2018)
12 Kevin Avard Rep Nashua 2020 (2014–2018)
13 Cindy Rosenwald Dem Nashua 2018
14 Sharon Carson Rep Londonderry 2008
15 Becky Whitley Dem Contoocook 2020
16 Kevin Cavanaugh Dem Manchester 2017
17 John Reagan Rep Deerfield 2012
18 Donna Soucy Dem Manchester 2012
19 Regina Birdsell Rep Hampstead 2014
20 Lou D'Allesandro Dem Manchester 1998
21 Rebecca Kwoka Dem Portsmouth 2020
22 Chuck Morse Rep Salem 2010 (2002–2006)
23 Bill Gannon Rep Sandown 2020 (2016–2018)
24 Tom Sherman Dem Rye 2018

Past composition of the Senate

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John P. Hale</span> American politician (1806-1873)

John Parker Hale was an American politician and lawyer from New Hampshire. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1845 and in the United States Senate from 1847 to 1853 and again from 1855 to 1865. He began his Congressional career as a Democrat, but helped establish the anti-slavery Free Soil Party and eventually joined the Republican Party.

Colorado General Assembly Legislative branch of the state government of Colorado

The Colorado General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Colorado. It is a bicameral legislature that was created by the 1876 state constitution. Its statutes are codified in the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.). The session laws are published in the Session Laws of Colorado.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maryland Senate</span> Upper house of the state legislature

The Maryland Senate, sometimes referred to as the Maryland State Senate, is the upper house of the General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland. Composed of 47 senators elected from an equal number of constituent single-member districts, the Senate is responsible, along with the Maryland House of Delegates, for passage of laws in Maryland, and for confirming executive appointments made by the Governor of Maryland.

The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of New York:

Government of New Hampshire Government of the U.S. state of New Hampshire

The State of New Hampshire has a republican form of government modeled after the Government of the United States, with three branches: the executive, consisting of the Governor of New Hampshire and the other elected constitutional officers; the legislative, called the New Hampshire General Court, which includes the Senate and the House of Representatives; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire and lower courts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New Hampshire House of Representatives</span> Lower house of U.S. state legislature

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is the lower house in the New Hampshire General Court, the bicameral legislature of the state of New Hampshire. The House of Representatives consists of 400 members coming from 204 legislative districts across the state, created from divisions of the state's counties. On average, each legislator represents about 3,300 residents.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1912 and 1913 United States Senate elections</span>

In the 1912 and 1913 United States Senate elections, Democrats gained control of the Senate from the Republicans. Of the 32 seats up for election, 17 were won by Democrats, thereby gaining 4 seats from the Republicans. Two seats were unfilled by state legislators who failed to elect a new senator on time. They were the last Senate elections held before ratification of the 17th Amendment, which established direct elections for all seats in the Senate.

2007 Mississippi elections

A general election was held in Mississippi on November 6, 2007, to elect to 4 year terms all members of the Mississippi State Legislature, the offices of Governor of Mississippi, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Secretary of State, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, and Commissioner of Insurance, plus all three members of the Transportation Commission and all three members of the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

New Hampshire is often noted for its moderate politics and its status as a prominent swing state. Voters predominantly selected Republicans for national office during the 19th and 20th centuries until 1992. Since then, the state has been considered as a swing state. Since 2006, control of the state legislature and New Hampshire's congressional seats have switched back and forth between Republicans and Democrats. However, while southern New Hampshire is noted for its moderate views, northern New Hampshire tends towards hardline conservative politics.

Elections in New Hampshire Overview of the procedure of elections in the U.S. state of New Hampshire

Elections in the U.S. state of New Hampshire are held at national, state and local level. The state holds the first presidential primary in the national cycle. Elections for a range of state positions coincide with biennial elections for the House of Representatives.

The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of Connecticut:

The following tables indicate party affiliation in the U.S. state of Florida for the individual elected offices of:

The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of Kentucky:

The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of New Hampshire:

2017 United States elections

The 2017 United States elections were held, in large part, on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. This off-year election featured gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as state legislative elections in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature and in the Virginia House of Delegates. Numerous citizen initiatives, mayoral races, and a variety of other local elections also occurred. Special elections were also held for one seat of the U.S. Senate, representing Alabama, and six seats of the U.S. House of Representatives.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1913 United States Senate elections in Illinois</span>

Two United States Senate elections were held in Illinois on March 26, 1913. The two elections were interconnected through a compromise made to elect a Democrat in the regular election and a Republican in the special election.

1950 Illinois elections

Elections were held in Illinois on Tuesday, November 7, 1950.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1942 Illinois elections</span>

Elections were held in Illinois on Tuesday, November 3, 1942.

1812 New Hampshire gubernatorial election New Hampshire gubernatorial election

The 1812 New Hampshire gubernatorial election was held on March 10, 1812.

1863 New Hampshire gubernatorial election New Hampshire gubernatorial election

The 1863 New Hampshire gubernatorial election was held on March 10, 1863.


  1. 1 2 "New Hampshire Senate". Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  2. Article 3 of the Constitution of New Hampshire  (1776)
  3. Article 2, Section 34 of the Constitution of New Hampshire  (1784)
  4. 1 2 3 Yeargain, Tyler (2021). "New England State Senates: Case Studies for Revisiting the Indirect Election of Legislators". University of New Hampshire Law Review. 19 (2). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  5. Opinion of the Justices, 56N.H.570 , 573(N.H.1875).
  6. Wright, James (1987). The Progressive Yankees: Republican Reformers in New Hampshire, 1906–1916. University Press of New England. pp. 143–44. ISBN   9781584652618.
  7. 1 2 "New Hampshire Senate". Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  8. "New Hampshire Senate". Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  9. "Senate Standing Committees". Retrieved 2021-08-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Coordinates: 43°12′28.6″N71°32′09.6″W / 43.207944°N 71.536000°W / 43.207944; -71.536000