Republican Eddie Edwards, nominee for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, speaks to a reporter, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Dover, N.H., one day after winning the primary race. Edwards would be the first black congressman from New Hampshire if he defeats Democrat Chris Pappas in the November general election. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

House race will mean state's first black or gay congressman

September 12, 2018 - 2:44 pm

DOVER, N.H. (AP) — The Republican and Democrat in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District race understand they have the chance to make history but are approaching their roles as trailblazers a little differently.

Democrat Chris Pappas is embracing the fact he could become the state's first openly gay congressman while his Republican opponent, Eddie Edwards, is directing questions away from the fact he would be the first African-American House member and, instead, trying to keep the focus on the issues.

Both men survived a crowded primary field Tuesday night that had 17 candidates and offer voters a clear contrast. They are competing to fill the seat left open after Democrat Carol Shea-Porter chose to step down after four non-consecutive terms. It is the first time in 16 years the seat is open.