'Gen Z' Trumpster Karoline Leavitt in Near Tie in N.H.-1 Race (Newsmax)
By John Gizzi Tuesday, 25 October 2022 10:00 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive
Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., and conservative Republican foe Karoline Leavitt squared off Monday night in their first televised debate a week after the latest poll showed their contest in New Hampshire's 1st District a virtual tie.
According to the survey conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons, two-termer Pappas has 48% to 47% for former Trump White House assistant press secretary Leavitt — who, at 25, is the minimum constitutional age to serve in the House of Representatives.
Earlier this year, Leavitt made nationwide news when she handily won the Republican primary over four opponents (among them 2020 nominee Matt Mowers). Last week, her former boss Donald Trump weighed in with a strong endorsement.
"She won her primary by out-Trumping a very Trumpy field," former State Republican Chairman Fergus Cullen told Newsmax. "And it's hard to move on from her primary rhetoric. But she is a skilled communicator who may be able to ride a tide of disappointment in Biden and worry about inflation past Chris Pappas."
But Cullen, the lone Republican on the Dover City Council, added, "I will refrain from voting for her because she is a full-throated election denier."
The first openly gay Member of Congress from New Hampshire, Pappas weighed in strongly against Leavitt during their encounter before the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
"She's one of the most radical candidates we've ever seen nominated for public office in New Hampshire," he declared, denouncing Leavitt as an "election denier" and "paid spokesman for Donald Trump."
The GOP nominee hit back at Pappas on the issues of illegal immigration and the opioid crisis, declaring "you've done nothing to push back against the Biden administration to stop the flow of illegal drugs into our communities."
"[Leavitt] could win in the most evenly split congressional district in New Hampshire," former State Attorney General Tom Rath, who has managed GOP, said. "She is organized, energetic and focused. And she definitely has been the aggressor. The Manchester area and Seacoast are strong for Pappas."
If elected, Leavitt will be the first "Gen Z" member of the House.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.