Governor of New Hampshire

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New Hampshire Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $1,588,232
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:  New Hampshire Constitution, Article 41
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Margaret Wood Hassan.jpg
Name:  Margaret Hassan
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 3, 2013
Compensation:  $121,896
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other New Hampshire Executive Offices
GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerLabor CommissionerDirector of Fish & GamePublic Utilities Commission
The Governor of the State of New Hampshire is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in New Hampshire. The Governor is popularly elected every two years by a plurality and has no term limit.

Current officer

The 81st and current governor of New Hampshire is Margaret Hassan, a Democrat first elected in 2012. Hassan previously served in the New Hampshire State Senate from 2004-2010.[1]


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Articles 41-59, Executive Power.

Under Article 41:

There shall be a supreme executive magistrate, who shall be styled the Governor of the State of New Hampshire, and whose title shall be His Excellency. The executive power of the state is vested in the governor.


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Candidates for governor must:

  • be at east 30 years old
  • have been a resident of New Hampshire for at least seven years on the day of the election


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Executive Power, Section 49 and 49a.

The state of New Hampshire lacks an office of the Lieutenant Governor, making the President of the Senate the first officer in the line of succession. At any time she is mentally or physically unable to discharge the office, she shall notify the Secretary of State and the Senate President in writing. By notifying the same two officers again, she shall resume the office.

The Attorney General and a majority of the Executive Council may, when they believe the Governor is mentally or physically unfit to serve but it unable or unwilling to take an absence from the office, petition the Supreme Court for a declaratory judgment. The justices of the Court shall hear the petition and shall also be in charge of considering a petition to consider declaring the Governor able to resume his duties.

If, either by written declaration or court judgment, the Governor has been absent for six months, the General Court may, by concurrent resolution, declare the office vacant. Similarly, if a Governor-elect fails to take office for any reason other than death or resignation, the Court may declare the office vacant six months after the inauguration date.

Whatever the reason for the vacancy, if more than one year remains in the current term, a special election shall be held.

After the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the Secretary of State, and the State Treasurer are next in the line of succession.

Whoever is filling the office shall have the title of "Acting Governor" and shall have the full powers of the office. She or he receives compensation equal to that of an elected governor and takes no additional oath of office. The Acting Governor does not resign the office she was elected to and is instead suspended from those duties while serving as governor.


New Hampshire

Unlike in many other states in which Executive Councils are merely advisory, the Executive Council of New Hampshire has a strong check on the governor's power. The five-member Executive Council has a veto over many actions of the governor. Under Article 47, both the Governor and the Council "have a negative" on one another.

Together, the governor and Executive Council approve contracts with a value of $5,000 or more, approve pardons, and appoint the directors and commissioners, judges, the attorney general and officers in the National Guard.

The governor has the sole power to veto bills, subject to a two-thirds legislative override, and to command the state National Guard.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Adjourning the legislature when the two chambers cannot agree to do so, prolonging and convening the legislature for extraordinary reasons, not to exceed 90 days, and moving the meeting place of the legislature
  • Making all appointments for "judicial officers, the attorney general, and all officers of the navy, and general and field officers of the militia" with the approval of the General Court.
  • Granting pardons, not extending to impeachment
  • Granting a warrant, with the advice and consent of the Council, before the Treasury may issue any money


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Governor of New Hampshire has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

State budget

Role in state budget

See also: New Hampshire state budget and finances

The state operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[2][3]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August.
  2. State agencies submit their requests by October 1.
  3. Agency hearings and public hearings are held in November.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the New Hampshire State Legislature by February 15.
  5. The legislature adopts a budget in May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
  6. The biennial budget cycle begins in July.

New Hampshire is one of only six states in which the governor cannot exercise line item veto authority.[3]

In New Hampshire, the governor is required by statute to submit a balanced budget. However, the legislature is not required by law to pass a balanced budget.[3]

Governor's office budget

The budget for the Governor's office in Fiscal Year 2013 was $1,588,232.[4]


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: NH Rev Stat § 94:1-a

Under Article 58 of the New Hampshire Constitution, the governor's salary is legally fixed and may not be raised or decreased effective during the current term. The compensation for governor, secretary of state, and attorney general, amongst other public officers, are set under NH Code 94:1a. [5]

New Hampshire Constitution, Article 58

The governor and council shall be compensated for their services, from time to time, by such grants as the general courts shall think reasonable.


In 2014, the governor received a salary of $121,896, according to the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2013, the governor's salary remained in $113,834.[7]


In 2012, the governor received a salary of $113,834, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]


New Hampshire state government organizational chart
See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2012

New Hampshire is one of only two states that elects governors biennially, that is, each even-numbered year. For New Hampshire, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2022 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Wednesday following the first Tuesday in the January following an election.

To win the governorship, a candidate must have a plurality of votes; if no candidate does, then the legislature shall convene and choose a winning candidate from the two highest vote receivers.



See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2014
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.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

New Hampshire governors do not face any term limits.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of New Hampshire State Governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of New Hampshire Partisanship.PNG

Full history


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, New Hampshire
Partisan breakdown of the New Hampshire governorship from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, in New Hampshire there were Democratic governors in office for 15 years, including the last nine, while there were Republican governors in office for seven years.

Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire State Senate and the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of New Hampshire state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the New Hampshire state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. New Hampshire experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas during the years of the study. Two Republican trifectas occurred in the first years of the study, from 1992-1996 and from 2003-2004. The state then shifted and had a Democratic trifecta from 2007-2010. New Hampshire ranked high in the SQLI, finishing in the top-10 every year of the study, and in 1st over half of the years of the study. The state finished 1st during both Democratic and Republican trifectas as well as during years of divided government. Its lowest rankings occurred in the last two years of the study, when the government was divided.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 2.00
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 1.71
  • SQLI average with divided government: 2.20
Chart displaying the partisanship of the New Hampshire government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Historical officeholders

Governor of New Hampshire

The title of the "supreme executive magistrate" of New Hampshire changed from President to Governor by constitutional amendment in 1792.[9] There have been 87 Governors of New Hampshire since 1792. Of the 87 officeholders, 49 were Republican, 21 were Democrat, 10 were Democratic Republican, three were Federalist, one was Know Nothing, one was Whig, one was National Republican and one is unknown.[10][11]

President of New Hampshire

From 1784 to until a constitutional amendment in 1792, the "supreme executive magistrate" of New Hampshire was called the President.[9] During this time, there were seven Presidents.[10][11]

Revolutionary Executive

Matthew Thornton was the Revolutionary Executive of New Hampshire from 1775 to 1776.[10]

Provincial Executives

There were 20 Provincial Executives of New Hampshire between 1680 and 1775.[10]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term New Hampshire + Governor

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Governor of New Hampshire News Feed

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Contact information

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

See also

External links

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