New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday that he will once again veto a congressional map from the Republican-led state legislature.

The new map cleared the state legislature Thursday as Republicans hoped to break a monthslong party stalemate, but Sununu quickly dashed hopes with his veto announcement as the prospects of a court takeover in the impasse rise.


"The citizens of New Hampshire will not accept this map, which moves both members of Congress into the same district. Our races have to be fair, which is why I will veto this map," he said, according to WMUR9 reporter Adam Sexton.

Sununu, who is a Republican, noted that the state's current Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Annie Kuster (D-NH) would live in the same district under the new map. He has long implored the legislature to send him an apportionment plan that left both of the state's two congressional districts competitive. But Republican state lawmakers have instead pushed for a map that would cement a 1-1 partisan split between Republicans and Democrats.

The state Supreme Court has undergone preparations to take over the process if the impasse continues. The filing period for congressional contenders opens on June 1, and the primary is slated for Sept. 13. The high court has already appointed a special master to help craft a map and has favored a "least change" approach to appointment. This means its map would likely hug the current arrangement and be favorable to Sununu's wishes.

In March, Sununu unveiled a congressional map proposal after vetoing another map from the legislature. His plan moved in the direction of what Republican state lawmakers wanted, making District 1 more competitive for Republicans at the expense of District 2 being more favorable to Democrats. However, his changes did not virtually guarantee a Republican victory in District 1, to the chagrin of the legislature.

Over the past 10 years, Republicans have only held at least one of the state's two congressional seats on two occasions. Democrats controlled both seats in all other instances. Haunted by this, Republicans want a guaranteed safe seat, but Sununu has argued that would be too partisan and emphasized that keeping both somewhat competitive will give Republicans a chance to win both.


A new map is legally required to be drawn because of the census, which takes place every 10 years. With neither side appearing keen to blink, the high court appears poised to impose a temporary map for the midterm elections.

New Hampshire remains the sole state without a legally binding congressional map in place. About a dozen states have litigation pending over their maps.