Chris Pappas (politician)

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Chris Pappas
Chris Pappas, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byCarol Shea-Porter
Member of the
New Hampshire Executive Council
from the 4th district
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byRaymond Wieczorek
Succeeded byTed Gatsas
Personal details
Christopher Charles Pappas

(1980-06-04) June 4, 1980 (age 40)
Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationHarvard University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Christopher Charles Pappas (/ˈpæpəs/ PAPP-əss; born June 4, 1980) is an American politician and businessman who has been serving as the U.S. Representative for New Hampshire's 1st congressional district since 2019.[1] He previously served on the New Hampshire Executive Council from 2013 to 2019, representing the 4th district. These include the city of Manchester along with two additional towns in Hillsborough, six towns in Merrimack, eight towns in Rockingham, and two towns in Strafford County.[2][3]

A member of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, Pappas was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 election to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.[4] He was elected on November 6, 2018, and is the first openly gay man to represent New Hampshire in Congress.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Pappas was born in Manchester, the son of Dawn and Arthur Pappas.[6] His paternal great-grandfather arrived in New Hampshire as a new American citizen in the early 20th century, having recently emigrated from Greece.

Pappas graduated from Manchester Central High School in 1998. He then attended Harvard College, where he wrote for The Harvard Crimson.[7][8] He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Government in 2002.[9]

He has also served as a board member of Southern New Hampshire Services and the Manchester Historic Association.[10]

Early political career[edit]

In 1996 as a high school student, Pappas met then-State Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who was running for Governor at the time. He signed on as a volunteer for Shaheen's campaign, marking his first foray into politics.[6]

First elected to public office in 2002, Pappas served two terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives (elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2004).[6]

In 2006, Pappas was elected to the first of two terms as treasurer of Hillsborough County.[11] In 2010 he lost reelection to Robert Burns.[12]

In 2012, Pappas was elected to the New Hampshire Executive Council, defeating Hillsborough County Treasurer Robert Burns.[13] He was reelected in 2014[14] and 2016.[15]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



For years, Pappas was floated as a potential candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives,[16] for U.S. Senator, or for Governor of New Hampshire.[17][18] Following U.S. Representative Carol Shea-Porter's announcement that she would not seek reelection in 2018, Pappas announced his candidacy for her seat, representing New Hampshire's 1st congressional district.[19]

On September 12, Pappas defeated ten other candidates, including former Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Maura Sullivan and Levi Sanders, son of Bernie Sanders, in the Democratic primary. Pappas received 42.2% of the vote[20]

Pappas defeated Republican Eddie Edwards, a former member of the New Hampshire State Division of Liquor Enforcement and former police chief, in the general election,[21] receiving 53.6% of the vote.[22] Pappas won all but one county (Belknap County) in the general election.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

New Hampshire's 1st congressional district Democratic primary, 2018[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chris Pappas 26,875 42.2
Democratic Maura Sullivan 19,313 30.4
Democratic Mindi Messmer 6,142 9.7
Democratic Naomi Andrews 4,508 7.1
Democratic Lincoln Soldati 1,982 3.1
Democratic Deaglan McEachern 1,709 2.7
Democratic Levi Sanders 1,141 1.8
Democratic Mark MacKenzie 746 1.2
Democratic Terence O'Rourke 656 1.0
Democratic Paul Cardinal 317 0.5
Democratic William Martin 230 0.4
Total votes 63,619 100.0
New Hampshire's 1st congressional district, 2018[26]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chris Pappas 155,884 53.6
Republican Eddie Edwards 130,996 45.0
Libertarian Dan Belforti 4,048 1.4
Total votes 290,928 100.0
Democratic hold
New Hampshire's 1st congressional district, 2020[27]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chris Pappas 205,606 51.3
Republican Matt Mowers 185,159 46.2
Libertarian Zachary Dumont 9,747 2.4
n/a Write-ins 83 <0.1
Total votes 400,595 100.0
Democratic hold

Political positions[edit]

Pappas campaigning for Hillary Clinton at Southern New Hampshire University in October 2016

In 2016, Pappas voted in favor of extending substance abuse treatment to 140,000 New Hampshire residents.[28][29] He also supported increased funding for substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery.[30]

Pappas criticized Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro. In March 2019 he and 29 other Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that read in part, "Since the election of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro as president, we have been particularly alarmed by the threat Bolsonaro’s agenda poses to the LGBTQ+ community and other minority communities, women, labor activists, and political dissidents in Brazil."[31][32]

In July 2020 Pappas voted against a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 that would reduce the authorization amount by 10%, excluding military personnel, United States Department of Defense civilian workforce, and defense health program accounts.[33][34]

On December 3rd, 2020, Pappas joined a minority of five other Congressional Democrats in voting against H.R.3884, the MORE Act, which would federally decriminalize marijuana. The measure enjoyed Democratic support by a 222-6 margin, with 5 members not voting (NV), and passed the House 228-164.[35][36]

Personal life[edit]

Pappas co-owns the Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire.[37] The Puritan Backroom is well known within the state as a frequent stop for presidential candidates during the New Hampshire primary.[38]

Pappas is an Orthodox Christian and is affiliated to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.[39]

Pappas is single and has never been married, although he has said he hopes marriage and children are in his future.[17] Pappas is openly gay.[11]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "District 4 | Councilor Chris C. Pappas". State of New Hampshire | Executive Council. 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "Democrats Make Gains On Executive Council". New Hampshire Public Radio, November 7, 2012.
  4. ^ Steinhauser, Paul (November 9, 2017). "Manchester Democrat Chris Pappas announces bid for Shea-Porter seat". Concord Monitor. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  5. ^ "LGBTQ Candidates Record Historic Midterm Wins In Rainbow Wave | HuffPost". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Chris Pappas has learned politics, family business from ground up | New Hampshire". Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Christopher C. Pappas". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  8. ^ "Chris Pappas". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  9. ^ "Manchester, Redux". Harvard Magazine. February 17, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  10. ^ "Councilor Christopher C. Pappas Biography – District 4 – New Hampshire Executive Council".
  11. ^ a b "Gay N.H. Executive Council candidate stumps in D.C.". Washington Blade, June 19, 2012.
  12. ^ "County Offices – NHSOS". Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "Executive Council – 2012 General Election – NHSOS". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  14. ^ "Executive Council – 2014 General Election – NHSOS". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  15. ^ "New Hampshire 4th District Executive Council Results: Chris Pappas Wins". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  16. ^ DiStaso, John (September 23, 2015). "Executive Councilor Chris Pappas won't run for US House, backs Carol Shea-Porter". WMUR. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Q&A: Chris Pappas likes mixing politics and ice cream | New Hampshire". Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  18. ^ "Hassan Waits to Choose Her Adventure in New Hampshire". Roll Call. August 31, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  19. ^ "WMUR first: Democrat Pappas announces candidacy for 1st District US House seat". WMUR. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  20. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah. "New Hampshire Primary Election Results". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  21. ^, The Washington Times. "Eddie Edwards, Trump-backed candidate, wins New Hampshire Republican U.S. House primary". The Washington Times. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  22. ^ "New Hampshire Election Results: First House District". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  23. ^ "House LGBT Caucus Denounces SCOTUS Decision on Trans Military Ban". LGBT Equality Caucus. January 22, 2019. LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-4)
  24. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  25. ^ "New Hampshire Primary Election Results: First House District". The New York Times. September 24, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  26. ^ "New Hampshire Election Results: First House District". The New York Times. January 28, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  27. ^ "New Hampshire Election Results: First Congressional District". The New York Times. November 24, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  28. ^ "Union Leader article: 140,000 in NH now eligible for addiction treatment under Medicaid".
  29. ^ "G&C Late Item Agenda #A2 from 6/15/16".
  30. ^ "Hassan, drug czar outline actions taken against drug crisis".
  31. ^ "Brazil's far-right president tweeted out a pornographic video to condemn Carnival". Vox. March 6, 2019.
  32. ^ "Reps. Susan Wild and Ro Khanna Urge Sec. of State Pompeo to Condemn Human Rights Abuses in Brazil".
  33. ^ "Roll Call 148 Bill Number: H. R. 6395". United States Congress.
  34. ^ "H.Amdt.839 to H.R.6395". United States Congress.
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Hillary Clinton looks at home campaigning in New Hampshire". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  38. ^ Garnick, Darren (February 2016). "Eating with the Presidential Candidates". New Hampshire Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  39. ^ "Greek-American Leaders Criticize Capitol Riot, Call for Unity". January 7, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Carol Shea-Porter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Lizzie Fletcher
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Greg Pence