Update, 3 a.m.: U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta conceded the race with Carol Shea-Porter after the final numbers for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District came in:
“I would like to congratulate President Obama, Governor-elect Maggie Hassan, Congresswoman-elect Anne McLane Kuster and Congresswoman-elect Carol Shea-Porter on their victories.
“What’s important in these races is the future of New Hampshire. I am committed to continuing my support of our constituents and a collaborative vision for a stronger America. I called Carol Shea-Porter early this morning. We had a great conversation as I pledged to her my commitment to transition the congressional office with integrity and respect.”
Update, 2:30 a.m.: Carol Shea-Porter took the stage for a short victory speech shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday morning when the race between herself and U.S. Frank Guinta, R-Manchester, was called in her favor.
"In 2006, I said this was not a solo performance, this was a choir," Shea-Porter said she and her supporters learned at the Portsmouth Country Club in Greenland that she defeated Guinta.
CNN called the race for Shea-Porter around 1 a.m. after projecting that she had a 49 to 46 percent edge in votes.
"My pledge is to work very hard for everybody in a bipartisan manner to solve the problems that we're facing," Shea-Porter said at the podium with her husband, Gene, her daughter, Kathleen, and her campaign manager Naomi Andrews.
It was a long night for the contenders in the First District Congressional race. As results filtered in from around the state, Shea-Porter and Guinta flip-flopped as the leader of the race.
Her supporters cheered when they saw she was up 100 votes at 10:30 p.m., despite remaining locked in a tight race with Guinta.
"I feel really good. It was a really good campaign and the message was solid," Shea-Porter said as the night progressed. "I am grateful for all of the support."
Shea-Porter's left her optimistic for the future.
"We can do this," Shea-Porter said. "Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. We're going to get this job done."
At Murphy's Taproom in Manchester, the night ended somberly around midnight. Guinta appeared for a few minutes shortly before midnight and spoke to those collected at his official headquarters. Patch did not arrive in time to hear his remarks.
However, Kevin Smith, of Litchfield, who ran against Ovide Lamontagne in the gubernatorial primary, called the race "razor thin" and conceded that it had "clearly been a very good night for the Democrats.
"I don't think we'll know the winner until the very last votes are counted," Smith said.
Wayne MacDonald, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee said shortly before the race was called for Shea-Porter that he thought the Republicans in New Hampshire made a valiant effort.
"We did everything we could," MacDonald said.
Given how close the race was, MacDonald suggested that there could be a recount.
"Guinta can and should ask for a recount," he said.
MacDonald and Merrimack Town Councilor Bill Boyd both expressed surprise at both how close the race was and at the fact that Guinta was losing.
Boyd said he was disappointed, and he didn't get it.
"There's obviously something underlying there," Boyd said.
Boyd said Shea-Porter aligns herself with Nancy Pelosi and favors more taxes and more intrusion into people's personal lives.
"I think Frank Guinta has represented our district very well," Boyd said. "Call me biased, I am biased."
He said it's disheartening that Guinta's message of lower taxes, less spending and lower debt didn't resonate with the voters in CD1.
"I guess we need to figure out a way to say it's not good to spend our way into debt," Boyd said.
In Portsmouth, supporter were excited to see their candidate rising slowly above Guinta.
Lee-Ann McQuilken of Portsmouth believed that Shea-Porter needed to win Manchester to defeat Guinta, a former Manchester mayor. "Winning Manchester helped her before and winning Manchester would help her again," she said.
Jackie Cali-Pitts of Portsmouth, fresh off her win for the House District 30 over Republican Kevin Kervick, also felt optimistic about Shea-Porter's chances. "I believe Dover and Durham will push Carol over the top," she said. "Guinta shouldn't count on his pension yet."
Mike Schwartz of Rye brought his daughter, Lilia, 8, with him to Shea-Porter's election night party. He, too, liked what he was seeing in terms of Shea-Porter's progress, especially in Rochester where she won a majority of the Lilac City's wards.
"I'm certainly optimistic. She's the type of candidate who represents all of the people of New Hampshire," he said.
Original story: The Associated Press has called a very close race between U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, R-Manchester, and Carol Shea-Porter, D-Rochester, in favor of Shea-Porter.
Shea-Porter, who served in the U.S. House from 2006-10, was unseated by Guinta in 2010, when Republicans took over majority control of the House.
But on Tuesday night, Shea-Porter has reclaimed her seat in what Kevin Smith called a "razor-thin race." Smith ran against Ovide Lamontagne in the gubernatorial Primary in New Hampshire this year.
Shea-Porter's win, on the back of Annie Kuster's win in the Second Congressional District and Maggie Hassan's win for Governor means that New Hampshire is the first state, ever, to have an all-female Congressional delegation and governor. They join U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-Nashua, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-Madbury in leading New Hampshire.
Patch will have more on this story shortly.