Raymond Buckley elected to seventh term as NH Democratic Party chair


Members of the Democratic State Committee made it official on Saturday, electing Raymond Buckley New Hampshire Democratic Party chair for the seventh time.

Committee members, meeting at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, unanimously chose Buckley, who faced no opposition for the sixth time in his seven elections. He won his first two-year term in 2007.


The party also elected state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark as first vice chair for the seventh time as well. She was also unopposed.

In a contested race for the post of second vice president, former state Sen. Bette Lasky defeated the incumbent, former state Rep. Mo Baxley. In another contested race, Maitri Chittidi retained her seat as party secretary, fending off a challenge from Tejasinha Sivalingam.

Also re-elected without opposition was treasurer Brian Rapp.

Elected to the party's rules committee were State Rep. Renny Cushing, Esther Dickinson, Ryan Mahoney, Gene Martin and former Reps. Mindi Messmer and Jackie Weatherspoon. 

The state committee unanimously passed a resolution recognizing that high school Democrats should have representation on local, state and national Democratic committees. 

Buckley, who has also been a member of the Democratic National Committee executive committee for 18 years, is the second-longest-serving state Democratic Party chairman in the nation. Only Michael Madigan of Illinois has served longer.

In a statement provided to WMUR after his re-election, Buckley said:

“The New Hampshire Democratic Party flipped both the Legislature and the Executive Council because of our focus on grassroots organizing and community outreach. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue as chair and fire (Gov. Chris) Sununu for his corruption and self-dealing inaugural fund.

"New Hampshire deserves better than Sununu, who refuses to stand up to Trump on any issue, even when Trump's recent emergency declaration threatens to strip funding from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and New Hampshire National Guard. I have no doubt that if we continue to highlight our focus on New Hampshire families and Sununu and New Hampshire Republicans’ focus on lobbyists and corporate special interests, New Hampshire Democrats will continue to deliver in 2019 and 2020.”

Buckley is also former president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs. The first openly gay political activist to serve as president of the ASDC and as a vice chair of the DNC, Buckley ran unsuccessfully for DNC chair in 2017.

During his tenure as state chair, Democrats have won 10 of 13 statewide races and nine of 12 congressional races. The party has also built up its finances and grassroots organizing operations to unprecedented levels.

Two weeks ago, the party raised about $400,000 at its 60th annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club event, which was attended by more than 900 people.

In 2007, Buckley succeeded Kathy Sullivan as party chair. Sullivan had served as chair since 1999 and is currently the state party’s Democratic National Committeewoman.

Since 2001, while two people have served as state Democratic chairs, the New Hampshire Republican Party has had 11 chairs – John Dowd, Jayne Millerick, Warren Henderson, Wayne Semprini, Fergus Cullen, John H. Sununu, Jack Kimball, Jennifer Horn, Wayne MacDonald, Jeanie Forrester and MacDonald again, following Forrester’s resignation in June 2018.

The Republican State Committee elected Stephen Stepanek to a two-year term as chair on Jan. 26.

Mindi Messmer