Hampstead Republican Regina Birdsell topped the ballot for the state Senate District 19 seat over Democratic opponent Kristi St. Laurent of Windham.

The Senate seat was up for grabs after longtime state legislator Sen.James Rausch, R-Derry, announced he would not seek another term earlier this year

District 19 includes Derry, Windham and Hampstead.

Preliminary results gave Birdsell the top spot with 11,547 votes to St. Laurent’s 7,268 votes.

In Derry, voters gave Birdsell 5,676 votes to 3,946 for St. Laurent, Windham voters gave Birdwell the top count with 3,366 votes to 2,202 for St. Laurent; Hampstead voters gave Birdsell the nod with 2,505 votes; St. Laurent earned 1,120 votes.

Birdsell, 58, has served Hampstead as a two-term state representative and said she wanted the Senate job so she could continue the momentum she has had as a state representative.

“This is what I’ve done in Hampstead, this is what I’ll also bring to Derry and Windham,” she said.

She credited her consistency in supporting key issues like responsible state budgets and opposing tax increases.

St. Laurent, 47, is the chairman of Windham’s Planning Board and ran the race saying she supported public education, affordable health care and also responsible budgeting.

In the primary, Birdsell ran against Derry Republican Frank Sapareto. A third Republican candidate, James Foley of Derry, dropped out of the race the week before the September primary election after revelations about his troubled past surfaced.

St. Laurent ran uncontested in the Democratic primary in September.

Both women stood at the polls throughout the day in all three District 19 towns.

Birdsell began her day in Derry at Pinkerton Academy, greeting voters from Districts 1 and 3.

A few hours later she arrived at Calvary Bible Church in Derry and planned to head home to Hampstead to cast her own ballot by midday.

St. Laurent also made the rounds visiting all three District 19 towns throughout the day.

Birdsell had hometown support.

Hampstead resident Chris Howe said he supported Birdsell and said she would keep Democrats “in check.”

“I think she’ll keep the conservative balance that we need,” Howe said.

Natalie Gallo, also of Hampstead, said Birdsell was genuine.

“She really responds to all her constituents,” she said.

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