New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has sent legislators back to the drawing board after he promised to reject their congressional redistricting map that created a heavily Republican First Congressional District.

The proposed map drew criticism for swapping several Seacoast towns between the two Congressional districts, radically changing their makeup. Dover, Durham, Portsmouth, Rochester, and Somersworth were moved into the second Congressional district and Atkinson, Hudson, Pelham, Salem, and Windham in the first.

“The proposed Congressional redistricting map is not in the best interest of New Hampshire and I will veto it as soon as it reaches my desk. The citizens of this state are counting on us to do better," Sununu said in a statement.

Sununu earlier indicated that he was not pleased with the map and the changes to the districts.

"My guess is that he got sufficient political blowback for signing the last budget that he needed to take a stand here," SNHU Civic Scholar Dean Spiliotes told Seacoast Current.

The House can override Sununu's veto with a two-thirds vote.

Bi-partisan Support of Sununu's Intent

Incumbent 1st congressional district Rep. Chris Pappas said he was in rare agreement with Sununu on the veto.

"I couldn’t agree more with Governor Sununu that this Congressional map was not in the best interest of New Hampshire, and I join Granite Staters of all political stripes in applauding his intention to veto this plan," Pappas wrote on his campaign Twitter account.

Republican challenger Karoline Leavitt, in a re-tweet of Pappas' message, touted her own campaign.

"No map will save Chris Pappas from his Far-Left voting record that has ripped off Granite State families like my own. #TeamKaroline has the momentum, resources, and grassroots support in #NH01 and we WILL flip this seat in November," she tweeted.

Special Committee on Redistricting Chairwoman Barbara Griffin, R-Goffstown, defended the map in an "open and transparent process."

“The proposed Congressional redistricting map was vetted appropriately through an open and transparent process where public input was taken and carefully considered," Griffin said. “Redistricting bills are part of the legislative process which require full participation from the elected representatives in the House. We will remain steadfast in ensuring these maps will represent the best interests of this state and our constituents.”

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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