John H. Lynch

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John Lynch
Governor of New Hampshire
Former officeholder
In office
January 6, 2005 - January 3, 2013
Date of birthNovember 25, 1952
Office website
John H. Lynch (b. November 25, 1952, Waltham, Massachusetts) is a former Democratic Governor of New Hampshire, serving from 2005 to 2013. Lynch currently sits on the Board of Directors at Dyn, a "worldwide leader in Internet Infrastructure as a Service."[1]

In 2010, Lynch was elected to an unprecedented fourth consecutive two-year term. In September 2011, he announced he would not seek another term in office. He made the announcement at Northwest Elementary School, saying that 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."[2]

Lynch was succeeded by Maggie Hassan (D) who won election on November 6, 2012.


Prior to his election, Lynch's career included work as Director of Admissions at Harvard Business School, CEO of Knoll Inc., a national furniture manufacturer, and president of The Lynch Group, a business consulting firm in Manchester, New Hampshire. Lynch was serving as Chairman of the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees when he announced he would run for governor.[3]


Lynch earned his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1974, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center.[3]

Political career

Governor of New Hampshire (2005 - 2013)

A businessman and Democratic Party politician, Lynch was elected on November 2, 2004, defeating Republican incumbent Craig Benson by a narrow margin. Lynch was the first challenger to defeat a one-term incumbent in New Hampshire in 78 years. He was sworn in on January 6, 2005. As Governor, he is a member of both the National Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association.

In a poll released on December 20, 2005,[4] Lynch was ranked as the most popular of all Democratic incumbents, with 69% approval versus 21% disapproval. As of February, 2008, he has an approval rating of 73%, one of the highest such ratings in the country.[5]. As of June 20, 2008 his approval rating is 57% good or excellent and 11% poor.[6]

In April 2006, Lynch was awarded the National Chairman of Volunteers Award for Volunteer Excellence by the American Red Cross, mainly due to his leadership during the 2005 floods.[7]

Lynch was elected to a second two year term in a 74-26 landslide over Republican Jim Coburn. Lynch's coattails helped Democrats take over both houses of the State Legislature, and upset incumbent Congressmen Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley. Lynch's 74 percent of the vote was the largest margin of victory ever in a New Hampshire gubernatorial race.[8] Lynch's poll numbers also improved following his successful re-election. His approval rating rose to 79% in November and his disapproval rating dropped to 17%. This makes him the second most popular governor in the nation behind John Hoeven.[9]

Lynch described his first term as a period in which bipartisan unity was accomplished. With the support of Republicans, Lynch was able to eliminate the state's budget deficit, design a plan to help small businesses with health care costs, and create new laws protecting children from predators. He lists some of the goals of his current term as raising the graduation rate and test scores, increasing the quality of education is struggling schools, making health care more accessible, and preserve the state's environment.[10] (dead link)

Governor Lynch generally held liberal social views but more conservative economic beliefs, as is in line with the somewhat libertarian nature of New Hampshire. He supported abortion rights and would have liked to make emergency contraception more accessible, favored legalizing civil unions for gay couples within his state, and supported upholding New Hampshire's gun laws and death penalty. However, he was a strong supporter of requiring balanced budgets and was an opponent of the sales and income tax.[11]

Judicial appointments

As governor, Lynch was responsible for appointing judges to New Hampshire state courts. In New Hampshire, the governor makes a judicial appointment after candidates are recommended by a judicial nominating commission. After the governor selects a judge, the appointment must be confirmed by the executive council. For an up-to-date list of all of Lynch's appointees, see Judgepedia's page on his appointments.

State Budget Deficit

During his third term, Lynch faced a severe budget deficit brought about by increased state spending and revenues that failed to meet budget projections.[12]. On April 8, 2010, Lynch estimated that the total deficit would reach $220 million[13], short of estimates from the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy.

Lynch's proposed fix for the budget hole[14] included targeted cuts at various state agencies, a $.20 per pack tax on cigarettes, anticipated aid from the federal government, and significant borrowing[15]. On April 12, 2010, the Legislative Fiscal Committee unanimously approved Lynch's Executive Order[16] cutting $25 million from state agencies in Fiscal Year 2010[17]. The remainder of Lynch's proposal needs approval from the full Legislature.

False surplus

On October 4, 2010, Lynch announced that the state ended Fiscal Year 2010 with a $70 million surplus. However, that figure includes both new debt and an $80 million transfer, or loan, from the current fiscal year. The unaudited "surplus statement" comes from the Department of Revenue Administration.

The FY10 Budget borrowed money to meet the state’s payments to local school districts under the Building Aid Program. By taking $45 million out of the General Fund, and paying for it out of the Capital Budget, the Governor and Legislature have created the illusion of a spending cut, while actually increasing the cost of the program.[18]

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

In early July 2011, Lynch vetoed legislation that would repeal New Hampshire’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Lynch--a longtime RGGI supporter--promised throughout 2011 that he would veto any bill pulling New Hampshire out of ten-state cap and trade compact. The RGGI auctions off the right to emit carbon dioxide from fossil fuel power plants.

The New Hampshire House passed the RGGI repeal with more than enough support to override a veto. However, the Senate is likely to uphold Lynch’s veto, as five Republican Senators have joined all five Senate Democrats in supporting the program, with reforms in how RGGI revenues are distributed.[19]



See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2012

In September 2011, incumbent governor Lynch announced he would not seek another term in office.[2] Maggie Hassan (D) won election on November 6, 2012.


See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010

Lynch overwhelmingly won the September 14 primary, defeating Timothy Robertson and Frank Sullivan.

Lynch defeated John Stephen (R) and John J. Babiarz (L) in the general election on November 2, 2010.[20]

Governor of New Hampshire, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn H. Lynch Incumbent 52.6% 240,346
     Republican John Stephen 45% 205,616
     Libertarian John J. Babiarz 2.2% 10,089
     Scatter - 0.1% 537
Total Votes 456,588

Campaign donors

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of John Lynch's donors each year.[21] Click [show] for more information.


He and his wife, Dr. Susan Lynch, live in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. They have three children, Julia, Hayden and Jacqueline.

See also

Contact information

Office of the Governor
State House
25 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301

External links

Suggest a link

The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine was used to recall this version of the website from November 6, 2012.


  1. San Francisco Gate, Dyn Adds Former NH Governor John Lynch to Its Board of Directors, August 7, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1, "Governor won't seek corner office again," September 19, 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 National Governors Association, "John Lynch" accessed September 18, 2012 (dead link)
  4. Survey USA Governor's Ratings
  5. Lynch still enjoys high job approval - (dead link)
  6. Rasmussen Reports™: The most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a presidential election (dead link)
  7. American Red Cross Honors John Lynch American Red Cross
  12. "Measuring the Revenue Shortfall," Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, April 19, 2010
  13. New Hampshire Watchdog, "Lynch Budget Fix includes cuts, taxes, and transfers," April 8, 2010
  14. Governor John Lynch, "Ensuring a Balanced Budget," April 8, 2010
  15. New Hampshire Watchdog, "Lynch Budget relies on new debt to balance budget," April 13, 2010
  16. Governor John Lynch, "Executive Order 2010-02, April 8, 2010
  17. New Hampshire Watchdog, "Fiscal gives swift approval to $25 million in cuts," April 12, 2010
  18. "NH "Surplus" relies on borrowing, transfers," NH Watchdog, October 5, 2010
  19. "John Lynch vetoes RGGI Repeal," New Hampshire Watchdog, July 6, 2011
  20. New Hampshire Secretary of State, "2010 general election results," accessed December 10, 2011
  21. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  22. National Governors Association, "John Lynch" accessed September 18, 2012 (dead link)
Political offices
Preceded by
New Hampshire Governor
Succeeded by
Margaret Hassan