NEW HAMPSHIRE: Gov. Maggie Hassan Declares Victory Over GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Media Withholds Call

The Manchester Union Leader reports:

Gov. Maggie Hassan declared she’s won New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race, unseating Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. During a hastily-called press conference outside the State House, Hassan said she’s ahead now by enough votes to survive returns from the few outstanding towns that are left.

“I am proud to stand here as the next United States senator from New Hampshire,” Hassan said to cheers from a large group of supporters led by Congresswoman Annie Kuster and Hassan’s husband, Tom.

The two-term governor said she hadn’t spoken with Ayotte. The New Hampshire Union Leader confirmed Hassan’s team had not let Ayotte’s campaign know that the Democratic challenger would have a media event to declare herself the winner before any media outlet had projected her as the victor. “It’s clear we have maintained the lead in and have won this race,” Hassan said.

With 99% of the vote counted, Hassan leads by less than 1%. Local media has not declared a winner at this writing.