Joyce Craig Makes History as 1st Female Mayor Elected in Manchester
MANCHESTER — Voters elected Joyce Craig the first female mayor of Manchester in the city’s 171 year history Tuesday.
Craig won 12,053 votes to 10,554 (53 percent-47 percent), according to unofficial numbers from the New Hampshire Democratic party, deating four-term incumbent Republican Ted Gatsas in bid to run the largest city in New Hampshire.
Mayor-elect Joyce Craig is the first Democrat to be elected mayor of Manchester in 14 years. Tonight's victory mark's the fifth time New Hampshire Democrats have flipped a seat from red to blue in seven tries. However, the mayoral seat in Manchester is nonpartisan.
Gatsas conceded the race by offering his congratulations to the mayor-elect on Twitter.
U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, both New Hampshire Democrats, offered congratulations to Craig and expressed excitement at welcoming her to state politics.
"Today, Manchester made history," Shaheen wrote in a prepared statement. "As the first woman elected mayor of the city, Joyce adds to New Hampshire's outstanding legacy of electing strong woman leaders. I want to congratulate Joyce on running a tremendous campaign that focused on her positive vision for Manchester, and I look forward to working with her to achieve this vision.”
"Congratulations to my friend, Mayor-elect Joyce Craig, on her historic election," Hassan said in her prepared statement. "I look forward to working with Joyce as she fights to position Manchester to thrive in the innovation economy, improve the school system, and strengthen public safety. I also commend Mayor Gatsas for running a hard-fought campaign and for his years of service."
NHDP Chair Ray Buckley offered his congratulations to the mayor-elect and said that this will come as a surprise to Granite Staters.
"Tonight's historic victory is bound to send shockwaves across the state,” Buckley said in a prepared statement. “Congratulations to Mayor-elect Joyce Craig for running and winning a positive campaign based on the issues. There is no better person to make the most of our incredible potential, tackle our challenges head-on and lead this city to new heights.”
EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, also offered congrats.
“We are proud to congratulate Joyce Craig on her history-making victory today,” said EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, in a prepared statement. “Joyce is a committed public servant and passionate education advocate who is clearly the right person to move Manchester forward. …we know she will bring strong policy solutions and much-needed new leadership to her city.”
New Hampshire GOP Chair Jeanie Forrester expressed some disappointment saying she believes most people support Republican views while taking the time to thank Gatsas.
“Seventy percent of Granite Staters agree New Hampshire is heading in the right direction under Republican leadership,” Forrester said. “We are confident Republicans will continue to lead the way for New Hampshire working families in 2018 and beyond. I want to thank Ted Gatsas for his years of leadership and for his commitment to public service.”
NH1 News will update this story as it develops.