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
Member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
from the Hillsborough County district
In office
December 4, 2002 – December 6, 2006
Personal details
Born
Christopher Charles Pappas

(1980-06-04) June 4, 1980 (age 42)
Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationHarvard University (AB)
WebsiteHouse website

Christopher Charles Pappas (/ˈpæpəs/ PAPP-əss; born June 4, 1980) is an American politician who has been the U.S. representative from New Hampshire's 1st congressional district since 2019.[1] From 2013 to 2019, he represented the 4th district on the New Hampshire Executive Council. The district includes Manchester, two 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 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, also named Arthur Pappas, arrived in New Hampshire as a new American citizen in the early 20th century, having recently emigrated from Greece. In 1917 Arthur Pappas and his cousin Louis Canota founded an ice cream shop in Manchester. By 1919 they had expanded the business into a restaurant, now known as the Puritan Backroom, and in 1949 they added a function room. In 1974 Charlie Pappas, grandfather of Chris Pappas and co-owner of the Puritan at the time, invented the chicken tender. The business remains family-owned, and as of 2020 Chris Pappas was one of the owners.[7]

Pappas graduated from Manchester Central High School in 1998. He then attended Harvard College, where he wrote for The Harvard Crimson.[8][9] He earned his Bachelor of Arts in government in 2002.[10]

Early political career[edit]

In 1996, while in high school, 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 in 2002, Pappas served two terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.[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 Burns.[13] He was reelected in 2014[14] and 2016.[15]

In 2016, Pappas voted to extend substance abuse treatment to 140,000 New Hampshire residents.[16][17] He also supported increased funding for substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery.[18]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2018[edit]

For years, Pappas was floated as a potential candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives,[19] for U.S. Senator, or for governor of New Hampshire.[20][21] After U.S. Representative Carol Shea-Porter announced that she would not seek reelection in 2018, Pappas announced his candidacy for her seat, representing New Hampshire's 1st congressional district.[22]

In the September 12 Democratic primary, Pappas defeated ten other candidates, including former Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Maura Sullivan and Bernie Sanders's son Levi Sanders, with 42.2% of the vote.[23]

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,[24] with 53.6% of the vote.[25] He won every county except Belknap County.

2020[edit]

Pappas ran for reelection to a second term and was unopposed in the Democratic primary.[26] He defeated Republican Matt Mowers, the former Executive Director of the New Hampshire Republican Party and a former U.S. State Department staffer,[27] in the general election, receiving 51.32% of the vote.[28]

2022[edit]

Pappas is running for reelection in the district for the 2022 elections.[29]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

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

As of June 2022, Pappas had voted in line with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[32]

Pappas was one of six House Democrats to vote against the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act to legalize cannabis at the federal level in 2020.[33] Pappas said he supports removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, but that he had concerns with other provisions of the bill and felt that it was being rushed through.[34]

In August 2022, Pappas criticized President Biden's plan to cancel $10,000 in federal student debt for those making less than $125,000 and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients, calling it "no way to make policy" and saying it did little to address the root cause of increasing costs of higher education.[35][36]

Electoral history[edit]

New Hampshire's 1st congressional district Democratic primary, 2018[37]
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[38]
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[39]
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

Personal life[edit]

Pappas co-owns the Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester.[40] The Puritan Backroom is well-known in New Hampshire as a frequent stop for presidential candidates during the New Hampshire primary.[41]

Pappas is an Orthodox Christian and is affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.[42]

Pappas is gay.[11] In December 2021, Pappas became engaged to Vann Bentley.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leader, PAUL FEELY New Hampshire Union. "Pappas takes historic 1st CD race". UnionLeader.com.
  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". Huffingtonpost.com. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Chris Pappas has learned politics, family business from ground up | New Hampshire". UnionLeader.com. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "ANNOUNCING THE 2020 AMERICA'S CLASSICS WINNERS". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  8. ^ "Christopher C. Pappas". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  9. ^ "Chris Pappas". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  10. ^ "Manchester, Redux". Harvard Magazine. February 17, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Gay N.H. Executive Council candidate stumps in D.C.". Washington Blade, June 19, 2012.
  12. ^ "County Offices – NHSOS". sos.nh.gov. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "Executive Council – 2012 General Election – NHSOS". sos.nh.gov. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  14. ^ "Executive Council – 2014 General Election – NHSOS". sos.nh.gov. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  15. ^ "New Hampshire 4th District Executive Council Results: Chris Pappas Wins". The New York Times. August 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  16. ^ "Union Leader article: 140,000 in NH now eligible for addiction treatment under Medicaid".
  17. ^ "G&C Late Item Agenda #A2 from 6/15/16".
  18. ^ "Hassan, drug czar outline actions taken against drug crisis".
  19. ^ DiStaso, John (September 23, 2015). "Executive Councilor Chris Pappas won't run for US House, backs Carol Shea-Porter". WMUR. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  20. ^ "Q&A: Chris Pappas likes mixing politics and ice cream | New Hampshire". UnionLeader.com. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  21. ^ "Hassan Waits to Choose Her Adventure in New Hampshire". Roll Call. August 31, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  22. ^ "WMUR first: Democrat Pappas announces candidacy for 1st District US House seat". WMUR. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  23. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (September 11, 2018). "New Hampshire Primary Election Results". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  24. ^ "Eddie Edwards, Trump-backed candidate, wins New Hampshire Republican U.S. House primary". The Washington Times. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  25. ^ "New Hampshire Election Results: First House District". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  26. ^ "2020 State Primary Democratic State Primary". New Hampshire Department of State. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  27. ^ Sexton, Adam (August 26, 2020). "Republicans Mayberry, Mowers push for chance to unseat Pappas in First Congressional District". WMUR 9. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  28. ^ Gardner, William M. (November 19, 2020). "2020 General Election Results". New Hampshire Department of State. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  29. ^ "2022 Election Information". New Hampshire Department of State. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  30. ^ "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)
  31. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  32. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  33. ^ Daly, Matthew (December 4, 2020). "House votes to decriminalize marijuana at federal level". Associated Press. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  34. ^ Sylvia, Andrew (December 4, 2020). "Pappas one of six Democratic 'no' votes on marijuana decriminalization proposal". Manchester Ink Link. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  35. ^ "Vulnerable House Democrat rebukes Biden's $300 billion student loan handout: 'No way to make policy'". Fox News. August 24, 2022.
  36. ^ McPherson, Lindsey (August 24, 2022). "Biden to cancel up to $20K student debt per borrower". Roll Call.
  37. ^ "New Hampshire Primary Election Results: First House District". The New York Times. September 24, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  38. ^ "New Hampshire Election Results: First House District". The New York Times. January 28, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  39. ^ "New Hampshire Election Results: First Congressional District". The New York Times. November 24, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  40. ^ "Hillary Clinton looks at home campaigning in New Hampshire". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  41. ^ Garnick, Darren (February 2016). "Eating with the Presidential Candidates". New Hampshire Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  42. ^ "Greek-American Leaders Criticize Capitol Riot, Call for Unity". GreekReporter.com. January 7, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  43. ^ Street, Mikelle (December 21, 2021). "Congressman Chris Pappas Announced He Is Engaged to Boyfriend". www.advocate.com. Retrieved February 17, 2022.

External links[edit]

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

2019–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
329th
Succeeded by