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N.H. House mourns loss of 18-term Democrat

Representative Sharon L. Nordgren, 80, from Hanover, was remembered as a spirited “powerhouse” for the legislature and her party

State Representative Sharon L. Nordgren, 80, a Democrat from Hanover, N.H., passed away over the weekend. Shown here in 2022, Nordgren was remembered by Democratic colleagues as a “straight-talker” and “powerhouse” for the party and her communities.Courtesy of Karen Liot Hill

One of the longest-serving members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives died over the weekend, prompting a swell of condolences from those who knew her well.

Representative Sharon L. Nordgren, 80, a Democrat from Hanover, was remembered as a spirited “powerhouse” for the legislature, her party, and the Upper Valley communities she served for well over three decades.

“I’ll always remember Sharon for her cheerful encouragement, quick wit, and candid counsel,” said Democratic minority leader Representative Matthew B. Wilhelm of Manchester.

Democratic Representative Laura Telerski of Nashua called Nordgren “a tiny dynamo” who brought a welcome energy to the State House.

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“I sat next to her in House Finance Division III where she was always quick with a giggle and joke as we slogged through the budget,” Telerski said.

State politicos remembered Nordgren as Hanover’s “senior stateswoman” and “a straight-talker.” All four members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation weighed in on her enduring legacy as well, calling her “an extraordinary public servant,” “an indispensable leader who always fought for what’s right,” and “our dear friend.”

First elected in 1988, Nordgren was reelected in 2022 to her 18th two-year term in the House. She also served earlier on the Hanover Board of Selectmen. She is survived by a husband and two children.

The vacancies created by Nordgren’s passing, and by the resignation of independent Representative Dan Hynes of Bedford on Friday, will remain unfilled for the remainder of the year because it’s too late in the session to schedule any more special elections before the March 15 deadline.

The final two special elections for the 2023-2024 term are slated for March 12 in Rockingham County District 21 and Strafford County District 11.

One member switched his party affiliation last week from Democrat to Republican, so there are now 201 Republicans, 193 Democrats, two independents, and four vacancies in the House.

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Steven Porter can be reached at steven.porter@globe.com. Follow him @reporterporter.