SOMERSWORTH — Emmett Soldati announced he has filed to run for chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. He is challenging Ray Buckley, who is seeking an eighth two-year term.

Soldati is owner of Teatotaller cafe, head of the Somersworth Democrats and was a 2020 candidate for state Executive Council.


Soldati is eying the March 14 election by the state party committee. Democrats lost majority control of the state House of Representatives, the state Senate and the Executive Council in the November 2020 election while Republican Gov. Chris Sununu won reelection in a sweep for the GOP.

Democrats’ lack of success in New Hampshire state-level races was countered in the state’s federal-level contests. All three Democrats seeking reelection won (Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas) as did President-elect Joe Biden.

Soldati is running on what he calls a “Local First” platform encouraging an “up-ballot” approach. He plans a Jan. 25 campaign kickoff event on Zoom video conference to explain his plans.

“There were definitely wins to celebrate this past November, but in my community and in communities across this state there’s also deep disappointment,” Soldati said in a prepared statement. “People are frustrated that they’ll have to wait years for solar expansion through net metering, cannabis legalization, and adequate funding for our public schools. If you speak to folks about their neighborhoods or main streets, they are not thrilled with the election results, and we need to give them hope, and a voice, as we build our party for the future.”

Soldati announced in December he was exploring a run for the seat. It became official when he filed Jan. 14.

Soldati and his Teatotaller Cafe are known for advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community. Stay Work Play New Hampshire named him the 2019 Young Entrepreneur of Year. He is a Somersworth native and graduate of the London School of Economics. He finished a close second in the Democratic primary for the Executive Council District 2 seat in 2020.