2012 elections review: State executive ballots set after primaries in Delaware and New Hampshire

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September 12, 2012

By Ballotpedia's state executive team

DOVER, DE and CONCORD, NH: In the final state executive primaries of 2012, Delaware and New Hampshire voters went to the polls yesterday to select candidates for the general election.



In Delaware three state executive offices were up for election in 2012: governor, lieutenant governor, and insurance commissioner. In the race for governor and lieutenant governor, a single candidate from each party ran unopposed, automatically advancing them to the general election where they will face off for the state executive positions. Incumbent Jack Markell (D) will face challenger Jeff Cragg (R) in the gubernatorial election. In the race for lieutenant governor, incumbent Matthew Denn (D) will face Republican challenger Sher Valenzuela in November.

In the race for insurance commissioner, four Democratic candidates, made up of one incumbent and three challengers, all battled for the nomination. Incumbent Karen Weldin Stewart defeated challengers Mitch Crane, Paul Gallagher, and Dennis Spivack in the Democratic primary.[1] While candidate Mitch Crane looked to be the front-runner coming into the primary, Stewart managed to beat out Crane for the nomination.

As the final votes were being counted, Stewart said, “I feel good. I had expected it – I worked really hard for the people of Delaware. They know I worked hard for them, and they voted me back in.”[2] Stewart will advance to the general election, where she said if re-elected, she will continue to advocate for consumers. “The consumer always comes first,” she said. “Everything we look at revolves around the consumer in Delaware, whether it’s a small business, large business or an individual. We’re going to keep that our focus.”[2]

Crane said he was very happy with the support he received in Kent and Sussex counties, but wished he would have had the support of New Castle County voters."I believe I raised the issues that needed to be raised. I believe there needs to be a consumer advocate in that seat, as Matt Denn was, and I didn’t think it was currently being run that way. Voters had the right to make decision elsewhere and that’s what they’ve done … I knew getting in this race that I may not win. I set out to win and I came close.”[2]

Candidates Paul Gallagher and Dennis Spivack were also defeated in the primary, but expressed pride in their campaigns. Gallagher said he was not surprised by the results. “I’m very happy with where I ended up. I’m exactly where thought I would be, and I’ll be back.”[2] Spivack said he was disappointed by his showing in the polls, but said he would not change anything about his campaign, stating “All I could do is make the best effort that I could. We did everything that had to be done. I had great volunteers, great consultants, we just came up short."[2]

On the Republican ticket a single candidate, Benjamin Mobley, ran unopposed, automatically advancing to the general election to face incumbent Karen Weldin Stewart. Stewart and Mobley will also face Libertarian Party candidate David R. Eisenhour in the general election on November 6, 2012.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

New Hampshire voters had a single state executive office, governor, on the ballot in 2012. Voters in the state narrowed down the race of three Democratic candidates and three Republican gubernatorial candidates to each party's nominee. In September 2011, incumbent governor John Lynch 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."[3]

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. Ovide Lamontagne (R) is making his second run for the state's top office; he ran unsuccessfully in 1996 but is now the best known of the candidates and has a slight lead over all of the Democratic candidates in polling. Two former state Senators are running for the Democratic nomination, though neither Maggie Hassan nor Jackie Cilley is well known among New Hampshire voters who have, in the context of this election, been dubbed "an unengaged electorate."[4]

On the Democratic ticket, former state senators Jackie Cilley and Maggie Hassan, along with candidate Bill Kennedy, all ran for the nomination. In the end, Hassan emerged as the winner of the nomination.[5]

In the Republican primary, Ovide Lamontagne, former state representative Kevin Smith, and Robert Tarr all ran for the nomination. Lamontagne was favored to win the primary and did so, beating out Smith and Robert Tarr for the nomation.[6]

On August 23, 2012, Republican candidate Ovide Lamontagne revealed his campaign had roughly $718,000 remaining from the nearly $1.2 million he had raised.[7] Lamontagne had at that time approximately $600,000 more cash on hand than any other candidate. Democratic candidate Maggie Hassan raised nearly as much as Lamontagne.[7] Of the $930,000 total raised by Hassan's campaign, only $100,000 remained as of August 23.[7] Fellow Democratic candidate Jackie Cilley had $52,000 on hand as of August 23 from the $269,000 total that has been donated to her campaign, and Republican candidate Kevin Smith had $101,000 cash on hand from the $342,000 total his campaign raised.[7]

Lamontagne and Hassan will go head to head in the general election for governor on November 6, 2012.

See also


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