Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Preview Articles: New Hampshire State Executive Officials

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October 29, 2012

By Jennifer Springer

See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2012
Portal:State Executive Officials

Concord, New Hampshire: One state executive position is up for election this year in the state of New Hampshire. Voters will make their choice for Governor of New Hampshire on November 6.

 Candidates for governor 

In September 2011, incumbent governor John Lynch (D) announced he would not seek another term in office. He explained although "for me, being governor of the State of New Hampshire is the best job in the world [and] serving in this role is the highest privilege of my life, democracy demands periodic change. To refresh and revive itself, democracy needs new leaders and new ideas."[1]

In the primary elections, six candidates were eager to take Lynch up on his call to "refresh and revive" the state of New Hampshire: three Republicans and three Democrats filed to run.

The field was narrowed down to the following nominees:

Democratic Party Maggie Hassan: Hassan is a former Democratic member of the New Hampshire State Senate; she represented district 23 from 2004 to 2010, serving as Majority Leader.[2]
Republican Party Ovide Lamontagne: Lamontagne is making his second run for the state's top office; he ran unsuccessfully in 1996

Libertarian Party John Babiarz: Babiarz was the 2010 Libertarian candidate for Governor of New Hampshire

The race has been consistently close and is considered to be a toss-up. The latest poll from Suffolk University Political Research Center from October 12-14, 2012 showed Hassan with a slight lead over Lamontagne.[3] However, another poll conducted by the American Research Group just days before showed Lamontagne with a significant lead over his Democratic challenger.[4] Hassan is expected to "face an uphill climb" to keep the governor seat in the Democratic party's favor.[5] If Lamontagne wins and Republicans hold control of the legislature, then New Hampshire would become a trifecta for Republicans. Conversely, if Hassan wins and Democrats take back the legislature, that could give Democrats a trifecta.

As of October 18, 2012, Lamontagne's campaign had a 2-1 lead over any other competitor in campaign funds.[6] Lamontagne had nearly $286,000 on hand, compared with a little more than $134,000 for Maggie Hassan's campaign.[6] Lamontagne's campaign reports that it has raised nearly $302,000 since the September 11th Republican primary and has spent more than $274,000, leaving it with nearly $286,000 in the bank as of October 18, 2012.[6]

Hassan raised nearly $1.1 million prior to the September 11th Democratic primary but spent almost all of it to defeat challenger Jackie Cilley in order to take the Democratic nomination.[6] Hassan entered the general election with just $16,000 on hand, compared with $258,000 in the bank for Republican challenger Lamontagne. In the month following the primary election, Hassan raised more than $470,000, according to the report filed October 18, 2012, and she spent nearly $353,000, leaving her with a little more than $134,000 cash-on-hand.[6]

In a news release, Hassan's campaign reported that more than 2,100 individuals have donated money since the September 11th Democratic primary.[6] Reports also show that more than 5,500 people have given money to Hassan's campaign in total, with 77 percent giving $100 or less, according to the campaign's news release.[6]

Among Hassan's larger donors are famed filmmaker Ken Burns, a Walpole resident who has given Hassan a total of $3,500 including $1,000 on October 1, 2012 and Joseph Morone, the president and chief executive officer of Rochester-based Albany International, who has donated $8,100 including $1,000 on September 28, 2012.[6]

Babiarz reported $217.36 on hand as of October 16, 2012, having spent $522.64 and raised $740, including a $500 contribution from himself.[6]

The Republican Governors Association has raised $88 million and the Democratic Governors Association has collected $23.6 million, according to the October filings with the IRS.[5] Both groups have poured money into the tossup race in New Hampshire. The Live Free PAC, which is funded by the Republican Governors Association, on October 17, 2012 reported spending nearly $5.81 million so far on the race.[6]

See also

New Hampshire


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