Walter Havenstein

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Walter Havenstein
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Former candidate for
Governor of New Hampshire
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUnited States Naval Academy
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service1971-1999
ProfessionRetired business executive
Personal website
Campaign website
Walter Havenstein campaign logo
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Walter Havenstein was a Republican candidate for Governor of New Hampshire in the 2014 elections.[1] He won the Republican primary on September 9, and took on Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) in the general election. Walter Havenstein lost the general election on November 4, 2014.


Havenstein served in the United States Marine Corps and Marine Reserves from 1971 until his retirement in 1999. He previously served as the chief executive officer of BAE Systems, Inc. and Science Applications International Corporation.[2]


  • Bachelor's degree, aerospace engineering, United States Naval Academy[2]



See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2014

Havenstein was a candidate for election to the office of Governor of New Hampshire. Havenstein won the Republican nomination in the primary on September 9, 2014.[1] The general election took place November 4, 2014.


Primary election
Governor of New Hampshire, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngWalter Havenstein 55.7% 62,766
Andrew Hemingway 37.3% 42,005
Daniel Greene 4.8% 5,362
Jonathan Smolin 2.3% 2,620
Total Votes 112,753
Election Results Via:New Hampshire Secretary of State.
General election
Governor of New Hampshire, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMaggie Hassan Incumbent 52.5% 254,659
     Republican Walter Havenstein 47.3% 229,596
     Nonpartisan Scattering 0.2% 907
Total Votes 485,162
Election Results via New Hampshire Secretary of State.

Campaign themes

Havenstein's campaign website listed the following themes for the 2014 race:

When our elected officials walk up the State House steps, we expect them to put aside the partisan attitude of campaign season. Walking up the State House steps means that they have accepted a responsibility to use their best judgment on behalf of the entire state.

As Governor, Walt Havenstein will restore integrity to New Hampshire’s campaign finance laws, close the Hassan Loophole allowing unlimited PAC contributions, and bring the light of open government back into the Governor’s Office.

Walt Havenstein proposes a simple but sweeping reform to New Hampshire’s ethics laws: The State House Steps.

1) Independent Campaign Finance Review under the Secretary of State’s Office

The Attorney Office makes no attempt to check campaign finance reports to ensure that candidates, political committees, and political parties are complying with state law. We rely on the two parties to police each other.

By giving the Secretary of State’s Office, long recognized for its independence and impartiality, the authority to review and certify the campaign finance reports it collects, we can ensure that every campaign is playing by the same rules.

Despite his membership on the 2012 Hassan fundraising committee, Attorney General Foster says he “probably will” recuse himself from investigating that campaign’s questionable fundraising practices. New Hampshire deserves impartial enforcement of our campaign finance laws.

2) Close Hassan Loophole

Political Committees should be held to the same contribution limits as individuals. Candidate committees should not be allowed to accept more than the established limits from any source.

PACs should not be allowed to contribute unlimited funds to candidates before they file for office, who then transfer those unlimited funds to their campaigns after they file.

3) Real penalties for campaign finance violations.

The Secretary of State’s Office should impose fines on campaigns that accept illegal contributions, in addition to having them return those contributions. Repeated or excessive violations should be referred to the Attorney General’s Office for criminal prosecution.

Maggie Hassan has had to return $33,000 in illegal campaign contributions, but faces no penalty for these serious violations. In fact, she has been allowed to keep thousands more in contributions from union PACs that have failed to comply with New Hampshire law.

4) Quarterly fundraising reports for elected officials, PACs, and political parties

Incumbents should not be able to raise campaign cash for 18 of their 24 months in office without reporting who’s giving them money.

Members of Congress must file quarterly reports of their fundraising, and New Hampshire officials who raise or spend more than $500 should be forced to do the same.

5) Ensure that the Governor’s Office is subject to the Right To Know Law

Maggie Hassan claims that the Governor’s Office is completely exempt from New Hampshire’s Right To Know Law. This stretches a narrow exemption for providing confidential advice to the Governor to outrageous lengths, and should be reversed.

The people of New Hampshire have as much Right To Know about the Governor’s Office as they do any state or local government agency. As Governor, Walt Havenstein will bring his office under the Right To Know Law.

6) Prohibit elected officials and staff from campaigning or fundraising on state property

Not only did Maggie Hassan film her campaign’s television commercial in the Governor’s Office; she used her taxpayer-funded staff to assist her.

She thinks there is nothing wrong in using state employees to run her re-election campaign out of the State House.

As Governor, Walt Havenstein will prohibit campaigning or fundraising by state employees on state property. Political campaigns should stop at the State House steps.

7) 48-hour disclosure rule for all state contracts

Maggie Hassan recently pushed the Executive Council to approve a $292 million contract just two hours after presenting it. Not only did the Council approve a contract it hadn’t read, but the people of New Hampshire never had a chance to see it before the vote.

As Governor, Walt Havenstein will post all proposed contracts at least 48 hours prior to asking the Council for its approval.

Hassan’s failure to notify the Council and the public of such an important contract shows her inability to manage New Hampshire’s finances. [3]

—Walter Havenstein's campaign website, (2014), [4]


August 12 Republican debate

Republican candidates Walter Havenstein, Andrew Hemingway and Jonathan Smolin debated economic policy and casino gambling at Franklin Pierce University. Havenstein argued for a reduced tax on business profits and budget cuts that he claimed would produce 25,000 jobs by 2017. Hemingway proposed a flat income tax rate, a decreased corporate tax rate and reducing regulations to strengthen businesses. Smolin suggested that the state could reduce or eliminate college tuition to keep young workers in New Hampshire.[5]

The three primary opponents disagreed on the prospect of casino gambling in the state. Havenstein argued against casinos on the grounds that they wouldn't significantly improve the economy. Hemingway was more amenable to casinos, suggesting that current groups that run charity gambling operations could oversee new casinos. Smolin voiced support for a small number of casinos to provide a boost to New Hampshire's economy.[5]

All three candidates found consensus in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act and support for school choice in New Hampshire public schools.[5]


General election

General election - Major party candidates and "other" category
Poll Maggie Hassan Walter HavensteinOtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
New England College
September 19-20, 2014
University of New Hampshire
September 29-October 5, 2014
New England College
October 3, 2014
New England College
October 9, 2014
October 18-21, 2014
American Research Group Inc.
October 19-22, 2014
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
New England College
October 24, 2014
AVERAGES 49.54% 41.66% 1.84% 6.85% +/-3.25 1,023.75
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
General election - Hassan v. Havenstein
Poll Maggie Hassan Walter HavensteinUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports
September 10-11, 2014
American Research Group, Inc.
September 12-15, 2014
American Research Group, Inc.
September 27-29, 2014
October 22-26, 2014
American Research Group
October 27-29, 2014
AVERAGES 50.8% 40.6% 8.6% +/-4.08 609.8
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Primary election and hypothetical match-ups

Hypothetical Match-up Poll Hassan vs. Republican candidates
Poll Maggie Hassan Daniel GreeneWalt HavensteinAndrew HemingwayJonathan SmolinMax AbramsonUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Suffolk University
June 14-18, 2014
Suffolk University
June 14-18, 2014
Suffolk University
June 14-18, 2014
Suffolk University
June 14-18, 2014
AVERAGES 51.75% 3.25% 4.75% 4.25% 3.75% 3% 29.5% +/-0 800
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Due to the nature of the match-up poll. A value of 0 was given to candidates not included in that round.

Republican gubernatorial primary
Poll Daniel Greene Walt HavensteinAndrew HemingwayJonathan SmolinUndecidedRefusedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Suffolk University
June 14-18, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


Havenstein and his wife, Judy, have one adult son and two grandchildren.[2]

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