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2002 United States Senate election in New Hampshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Senate election in New Hampshire, 2002

← 1996 November 5, 2002 2008 →
John E. Sununu.jpg
Jeanne Shaheen, official Senate portrait cropped.jpg
Nominee John E. Sununu Jeanne Shaheen
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 227,229 207,478
Percentage 50.8% 46.4%

Results of the United States Senate election in New Hampshire, 2002.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Bob Smith

Elected U.S. Senator

John E. Sununu

The 2002 United States Senate election in New Hampshire was held on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Republican/Independent U.S. Senator Bob Smith was defeated in the Republican primary by U.S. Representative John E. Sununu.[1] Sununu won the open seat, defeating Democratic Governor Jeanne Shaheen. As of 2019, this is the last time a Republican won the Class 2 Senate seat in New Hampshire.

Republican primary


Senator Bob Smith, the incumbent Republican Senator, briefly left the party in 1999 to run for president as an independent, claiming that the Republican platform was "not worth the paper it's written on".[2] He rejoined the GOP a few months later, saying he made a mistake.[3] Nonetheless, the party never fully forgave him, and some of his fellow Republican Senators went so far as to endorse his primary opponent, Rep. John Sununu,[4] who would go on to win by 8 points.


Results of the Republican primary for United States Senate in New Hampshire, 2002
Results of the Republican primary for United States Senate in New Hampshire, 2002
Republican primary results[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Sununu 81,920 53.35%
Republican Bob Smith (incumbent) 68,608 44.68%
Total votes 150,528 100.00%




Phone jamming scandal

During the campaign, there was a major scandal that involved the use of a telemarketing firm hired by that state's Republican Party (NHGOP) for election tampering. The GOP Marketplace, based in Northern Virginia, jammed another phone bank being used by the state Democratic Party and the firefighters' union for efforts to turn out voters on behalf of then-governor Jeanne Shaheen on Election Day. The tampering involved using a call center to jam the phone lines of a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) operation. In the end, 900 calls were made for 45 minutes of disruption to the Democratic-leaning call centers. In addition to criminal prosecutions, disclosures in the case have come from a civil suit filed by the state's Democratic Party against the state's Republican Party (now settled). Four men have been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, federal crimes and sentenced to prison for their involvement as of 2008. One conviction has been reversed by an appeals court, a decision prosecutors are appealing. James Tobin, freed on appeal, was later indicted on charges of lying to the FBI during the original investigation.


General election results[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John Sununu 227,229 50.8%
Democratic Jeanne Shaheen 207,478 46.4%
Libertarian Ken Blevens 9,835 2.2%
Republican hold Swing [citation needed]


  1. ^ Hulse, Carl (September 12, 2002). "Campaign Season; G.O.P. Is Relieved At Republican's Loss". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Cole, Jim (September 10, 2002). "Sununu ousts Smith in New Hampshire primary". Associated Press. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  3. ^ Cole, Jim (September 10, 2002). "Sununu ousts Smith in New Hampshire primary". Associated Press. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  4. ^ Hulse, Carl (September 12, 2002). "Campaign Season; G.O.P. Is Relieved At Republican's Loss". New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^ State of New Hampshire, Elections Division, State General Election - November 5, 2002 retrieved September 5, 2011
This page was last edited on 8 June 2019, at 16:13
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