Chris Pappas was 22 when he was first elected as a New Hampshire state representative in 2002 and soon distinguished himself as a Democratic rising star.
Now 38, Pappas, a Harvard-educated small businessman and a descendant of Greek immigrants, is poised to make history as the first openly gay man elected to Congress from that state.
Pappas, co-owner of the Puritan Backroom, a restaurant started by his family and popular with politicos, has run an aggressive campaign against Republican opponent Eddie Edwards, a former police chief, and a Navy veteran, in an effort to keep the seat in Democratic hands. ABC News partner FiveThirtyEight currently gives the Democrat a 5 in 6 chance to win the seat on Tuesday.
On Halloween day, Pappas toured a rubber manufacturing plant in the town of Rochester to highlight the importance of job training and technical skills, telling ABC News "I run every campaign like I’m five votes behind, and we’re just sprinting through the finish."
When asked about the district's political indecision, Pappas said it's in New Hampshire's nature to look at candidates not solely through the prism of partisanship.
"Most voters are Independents. They pick and choose based on the issues and the individuals and not based on party affiliation," Pappas said, "We’ve got an important case to make to the broad section of voters that are in the middle, who are Independents and who tend to focus late on political decisions like this."
Pappas continued to hammer home an economy-centric message in the campaign's final days, telling ABC News "I think we’ve got to make sure that we have policies that can respond and ensure that we reward hard work and allow people to reach the middle class and stay there."
On the question of whether or not he will support Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House if Democrats re-take the chamber on Tuesday, Pappas says he's taking a wait and see approach.
"There’s going to be a leadership fight, we’ll see who runs and what the contours of that would look like," Pappas said.
"The tone matters and our leaders help set that tone. And we’ve seen a very divisive couple years in this country in part because of the statements and policies of this President," Pappas said, "I think it’s important that we have checks and balances in Washington, that we look for ways to bring people together and create a conversation about the priorities of the voters and not get into the sort of name-calling and baseless attacks that people are just sick and tired of."