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NH Voters Nominate Black, Gay Candidates in 1st Congressional District

It turned out to be a historic primary night in New Hampshire Tuesday as voters in the First Congressional District nominated a black Republican candidate and an openly gay Democratic candidate for the first time ever.

Both candidates told NBC10 Boston it’s an exciting time in New Hampshire, knowing that no matter which way the race goes in November, history will be made.

"It’s an awesome day for our state, it’s an awesome day for CD1," Eddie Edwards said a day after his primary victory.

If the former South Hampton police chief wins the general election, it will be the first time that Granite Staters have sent a black Representative to Washington.

"What it signals is that, if you're a hard-working person who gives back to your community, who strives to be better every day and puts others before yourself, like serving in the military or law enforcement, then you'll be rewarded for your hard work," Edwards said.

His opponent, Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, would also make history as New Hampshire's first openly gay member of Congress.

"At the end of the day, it's personal to me, it's the state where I grew up, the state I love,” Pappas said. "I hope that my election would send the same signal that everyone is welcome to have a seat at the table, that everyone counts, that regardless of who you are or who you love, the sky is the limit."

Political analyst Scott Spradling says the historic nominations are proof that when it comes to politics in the first-in-the-nation primary state, it"s the issues that matter most.

"What's wonderful about New Hampshire is that while it’s a predominantly white state, it is a colorblind conversation when it comes to politics," Spradling said. "The people of New Hampshire embody that 'live free or die' type of spirit, they want to know, 'what will you do for me as my representative,' not, 'what is your personal background.'"

Pappas and Edwards speak highly of one another and say they look forward to running a clean race leading up to the big day on Nov. 6.

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