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Results: Manchester's mayoral primary

MANCHESTER — Democratic incumbent Mayor Joyce Craig will face off with Republican challenger former state Rep. Victoria Sullivan in the general election, after the two candidates finished first and second in Tuesday’s primary.

Unofficial results released by the City Clerk’s Office indicate 8,716 residents voted in the primary: 4,983 for Craig, 3,416 for Sullivan, and 317 for city resident Glenn Ouellette. Those numbers show Craig captured about 57% of the vote, while Sullivan snagged about 39%—which suggests Sullivan may face an uphill battle.

But that didn’t stop the Sullivan campaign from singing an optimistic tune when at least 75 supporters gathered for a primary night party at Murphy’s Taproom. The campaign pointed to former Mayor Frank C. Guinta, a Republican who won the general election in 2005 after securing about 39% of the primary vote that year, as justification for their optimism in Sullivan’s chances.

Sullivan took the stage, thanked her campaign’s volunteers, and told the room that the primary results “look really great for us.”

“The message is very clear,” she said. “People are really concerned about the way the city is going.”

Craig hosted a reception for staff and volunteers at her campaign office on Mammoth Road. A campaign staffer said the event was closed to the press.

“In the past two years, we’ve made meaningful progress strengthening our schools, growing our economy, and combating the opioid epidemic,” Craig said in a statement thanking supporters.

“I look forward to continuing our conversations with voters about all we have accomplished, and how we can continue to keep the momentum going to build a stronger Manchester,” Craig added.

The general election is Nov. 5.