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

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December 13, 2012

By Jennifer Springer

Portal:State Executive Officials

Concord, New Hampshire: Only one state executive position was up for election this year in the state of New Hampshire. Voters in the state decided who would lead the state by filling the vacancy in the office of 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 to Maggie Hassan (D), Ovide Lamontagne (R) and Libertarian candidate John J. Babiarz.

The race was consistently close and was considered a toss-up up until the general election. Polls leading up to the election showed mixed signals, with a poll from Suffolk University Political Research Center from October 12-14, 2012 showing Hassan with a slight lead over Lamontagne,[2] while another poll conducted by the American Research Group just days previous showed Lamontagne with a significant lead.[3]

Campaign fundraising showed Lamontagne's campaign had a 2-1 lead over any other competitor in campaign funds leading up to the general election as well.[4] Lamontagne had nearly $286,000 on hand, compared with a little more than $134,000 for Maggie Hassan's campaign in mid-October.[4]

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.[4] 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.[4]

In the end, Hassan was able to defeated her challengers and keep the seat in Democratic control.[5][6]

Hassan became the second woman in state history to lead New Hampshire. If she had lost to her Republican challenger, Ovide Lamontagne, it would have been the first time in 17 years that there would not have been a Democratic female governor in the country.[7]

Here are the election results:[6][8]

Office Incumbent General Election Candidates 2015 Winner Partisan Switch?
Governor John Lynch
Democratic PartyMaggie Hassan
Republican PartyOvide Lamontagne
Libertarian PartyJohn Babiarz
Maggie Hassan No

Official Results


See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2012
Governor of New Hampshire General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMaggie Hassan 54.7% 378,934
     Republican Ovide Lamontagne 42.6% 295,026
     Libertarian John J. Babiarz 2.8% 19,251
Total Votes 693,211
Election Results via New Hampshire Secretary of State.

National picture

States with 2012 executive elections

There were 94 total seats up for election across 22 states this year, including 11 Governors, 9 Lt. Governors, 10 Attorneys General, 7 Secretaries of State and 57 down ballot seats.

  • Before the election, 51 of these offices were held by Democrats, 38 were held by Republicans, and the remaining 4 positions were held by non partisan or Independent officers . After the election, Democrats hold 49 (net loss of 2 seats), Republicans 42 (net gain of 4 seats), and Independents/non partisans only 1 (loss of 3).
  • Of the 69 incumbents who ran for election in 2012, 7 were defeated-6 Democrat and 1 Republican. Democratic Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau narrowly escaped that fate, having had to wait for her challenger to cancel a self-financed recount on December 11, 2012 before being named the official winner.[9]
  • Out of 25 total open seats, 13 were won by Democrats, 11 went to Republican, and 1 went to an Independent (nonpartisan) candidate. In all, there are 34 new state executives as a result of the election.
  • From the gubernatorial perspective, after the November 2012 election, there are 30 Republican and 19 Democratic governors.[10] If the GOP had taken five governor seats from Democrats on November 6, that would have given the party 34 -- the most for Republicans since 1922. As of December 2012, the number of Democratic governors in the country is at its lowest since 2001.
2012 State Executive Election Partisan Breakdown
Party Before 2012 Election After 2012 Election Net Change
Democratic 51 50 -1
Republican 38 43 +5
Independent (Nonpartisan) 4 1 -3
TOTALS 931 vacant 94
2012 State Executive Election Analysis
Party Open Seat Winners Defeated Incumbents New State Executives
Democratic 13 6 15
Republican 11 1 18
Independent (Nonpartisan) 1 0 1
TOTALS 25 7 34

See also

New Hampshire


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