CONCORD, N.H. – Democrat Paul Hodes tapped into voter unrest Tuesday by linking six-term U.S. Rep. Charles Bass to a rising tide of national discontent with Republicans to win the 2nd Congressional District.
Two years ago, Bass cruised past Hodes with 58 percent of the vote. This time, Hodes linked Bass to Bush on Iraq and tax breaks for wealthy Americans and oil corporations.
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Supporters shouted "Hodes! Hodes! Hodes!" as the candidate was about to give his victory speech.
"Well, that feels pretty good, doesn't it?" Hodes said. "It is great night to be a Democrat in New Hampshire. It's a great night to be a Democrat in the United States of America."
He thanked Bass for his service to New Hampshire and for a race "well run."
"I'm grateful that we concentrated on the issues," Hodes said.
In his concession speech, Bass congratulated Hodes on "a hard-fought campaign" and wished him well, promising a smooth transition. He thanked his wife and children, who were standing behind him, and his supporters and the people he's met in office over the last 12 years.
Bass said if the opportunity presents itself again, "I will jump into the political fray with as much excitement, enthusiasm and passion as I have in the past."