Two Democrats won state legislative contests on Tuesday night, flipping the seats from Republican hands and marking the 38th and 39th legislative flips since President Trump's inauguration. Democrats have now also flipped six this year alone.
Democrat Phil Spagnuolo won a special election in New Hampshire's Belknap County District 3 on Tuesday night 968-841 (54%-46%).
The contest for this state House race pitted Spagnuolo, a substance abuse recovery coach, against Republican Les Cartier, a former employee at the state fire marshal's office. The seat was left open after the death of Republican State Rep. Donald Flanders last September. Donald Trump won the district by a sizable 54-41 margin in 2016, four years after Barack Obama carried it by just one point, 50-49.
Democrat Phil Young won a contest in Connecticut's state House District 120 as well, a seat that had been held by Republicans for 40 years.
The race in House District 120 was a result of a vacancy when former State Rep. Laura Hoydick, a Republican, resigned after becoming mayor of Stratford. It pitted Young against Republican Bill Cabral, both of whom were former Town Council members. In the 2016 presidential election, the district voted for Hillary Clinton by a small margin 49-47, despite the fact that she beat President Trump statewide by nearly 14 points.
The Democratic flips tonight add to a string of recent victories for the party in state legislative races. Last week, Democrat Linda Belcher won back her seat in Kentucky’s state House District 49, which had favored Trump by nearly 50 points. It was the 37th legislative flip since Trump’s inauguration and the fourth this year, following a win by Margaret Good in Florida’s 72nd District the previous week. There have been additional flips in Missouri and Wisconsin earlier this year as well.
Another race on Tuesday night took place in Kentucky’s state House District 89. Democrat Kelly Smith, a librarian, faced off against Republican Robert Goforth, a pharmacist for the seat vacated by former Republican Rep. Marie Rader who resigned due to health concerns. Trump won the district in 2016 by a margin of 79-17. Goforth prevailed on Tuesday but by a smaller margin of 33 points.