MAGA candidate Leavitt defeats Christie-backed Mowers in N.H. primary

MAGA candidate Leavitt defeats Christie-backed Mowers in N.H. primary

25-year-old MAGA candidate Karoline Leavitt is the winner in Tuesday’s New Hampshire 1st Congressional District Republican primary, Save Jerseyans, defeating the 2020 nominee Matt Mowers in a crowded 10-member field. 

President Trump didn’t intervene in the contest which did produce an internal leadership divide: GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy backed Mowers while Republican House Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik went with Leavitt.

There’s a Jersey angle (when isn’t there). Prior to landing a position with the Trump State Department, Mowers was a rising star New Jersey political operative. Among his former roles was serving as an aide to Chris Christie; Christie fundraised for Mowers in 2020 and again in 2024 in the hopes that the ex-New Hampshire GOP executive director could assist Christie’s presidential ambitions in the first primary state. It didn’t work out that way, of course, with Christie flatlining in the Granite State six years ago and failing to register in most 2024 GOP primary polls of hypothetical candidates.

Mowers was thought to be in a strong position this year after falling short of winning the seat by 5-points in the less-GOP-friendly 2020 cycle but appears to have fallen victim, at least in part, to a loaded field that included ex-Senator Scott Brown’s wife.

Leavitt will now face off with Democrat Congressman Chris Pappas in November in what’s considered a toss-up seat by most race raters.