Speed Reads

2018 elections

Democrats win two state House seats, flipping their 39th GOP seat of the Trump era

Democrats contested three state legislative seats in Republican-leaning districts on Tuesday and won two of them, flipping their 39th seat since President Trump's inauguration and their sixth this year.

In New Hampshire, Democrat Phil Spagnuolo beat Republican Les Cartier, 54 percent to 46 percent, to represent a state House district Trump won 54 percent to 41 percent in 2016. Spagnuolo, a substance abuse recovery coach, campaigned on fighting the opioid epidemic and improving the economy. The seat was vacated after the death of state Rep. Donald Flanders (R) in September.

In Connecticut, Stratford town council member Phil Young became the first Democrat to win the House seat in District 120 in 44 years. He beat fellow town council member Bill Cabral, a Republican, to replace Laura Hoydick (R), who stepped down when she was elected Stratford's mayor. Hillary Clinton narrowly won the district in 2016, 50 percent to 49 percent. Young's platform included fighting opioid addiction, protecting the environment, and funding schools.

The Democrats' luck ran out in Kentucky's House District 89, where Republican Robert Goforth, a pharmacist, beat Democratic librarian Kelly Smith by 33 percentage points in a district Trump won by 62 points.