Former U.S. Senator Takes State Senate Seat
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ Gordon Humphrey left the U.S. Senate for a seat Wednesday in a state Senate that for the first time in years has a strong Democratic presence.
″Well, it’s not what I quite had in mind,″ the Republican said. ″All these years I’ve been pretty much under a Democrat majority and I figured, ‘This is really going to be great. I’ll go back, there’s a big Republican margin, it’ll be a piece of cake.’
″And here we are neck and neck.″
A deadlock on the state Senate presidency prompted Humphrey to make a quick move from Washington to Concord. He resigned early Tuesday from Congress and was sworn in Wednesday to his new post.
After hours of wrangling Wednesday, the state Senate, with 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats, had yet to elect even a temporary presiding officer to oversee the election of a Senate president.
With two Republicans voting with the Democrats and one Democrat voting with Republicans, senators deadlocked 12-12 on two votes.
″Actually, if I wasn’t here, the other side would prevail, so it’s a good thing I did it,″ Humphrey said of his decision to resign early.
Humphrey, 49, honored a campaign promise this year by bypassing almost certain re-election and not seeking a third term.
He said moving from the national limelight to relative obscurity in a 24- member chamber has its advantages.
″It has a much more manageable feel to it than Congress,″ he said. ″I think there’s diversity here, but we’re all from the state of New Hampshire and it’s not like trying to rectify the interests of the entire country.″
His first day on the job went well, he said, adding:
″Nobody tripped me. Everyone’s very nice.″