NH House Democratic Caucus Nominates House Leader, House Clerk, and Sergeant at Arms
CONCORD – On Thursday, members of the New Hampshire House Democratic Caucus met virtually and through ranked choice voting, nominated Rep. Renny Cushing for Democratic Leader. Democratic Caucus Members, via a voice vote, also nominated Paul Smith as the House Clerk, and J.B. Cullen as the Sergeant at Arms.
To protect the health and safety of the House Caucus members, this year’s Caucus was conducted virtually over Zoom. 186 of the 187 members of the incoming 2020 House Caucus members were present. Caucus members voted on the adoption of the House Caucus Rules and then on the candidates for three positions.
For the first time, the New Hampshire Democratic Party employed ranked-choice voting to elect the Democratic Leader, an electoral system that allows people to vote for multiple candidates in order of preference. The candidate with the majority (more than 50%) of first-choice votes wins outright. If no candidate gets a majority of first-choice votes, then it triggers a new counting process. The candidate with the least votes is eliminated, and that candidate’s voters’ ballots are redistributed to their second-choice pick. That process continues until there is a candidate who has the majority of votes.
A majority vote to nominate the Democratic Leader of the House was achieved in the third round of voting with Representative Cushing coming in first place, followed by Representative Ley in second. A motion was unanimously passed to vote by acclamation for Representative Cushing to be the next Democratic Leader.
“Congratulations to Rep. Renny Cushing, the newly elected Democratic Leader of the New Hampshire House, and thank you to Rep. Doug Ley, Rep. Marjorie Smith, and Rep. Matt Wilhelm for running and for sharing your visions about how we can work together over the next two years to ensure progress for Granite Staters,” said Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “While we narrowly lost the majority in the State Legislature this year, I know that as Leader, Rep. Cushing will continue to remain focused on the fight to help Granite Staters by building back better after the pandemic, making health care more affordable, raising the minimum wage, and advancing a clean energy future, and will regain our majority in 24 months.”
About the Democratic Leader:
Representative Renny Cushing of Hampton is serving his seventh term in the New Hampshire House. He is a founder of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights, and the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and is a former member of the Board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. Representative Cushing received the Legislator of the Year from the National Alliance on Mental Illness – New Hampshire.