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Hassan Wins Governor's Race [VIDEO]

The Exeter Democrat defeats Manchester Republican Ovide Lamontagne.

Democrat Maggie Hassan has defeated Republican Ovide Lamontagne to become New Hampshire's 81st governor, according to the Associated Press, which called the race at 8:55 p.m. on Nov. 6.

Hassan succeeds four-term Democrat John Lynch, who decided not to run for a fifth two-year term.

"Thank you to the people of New Hampshire for the trust you have placed in me," Hassan said during her victory speech in Manchester. "I will not let you down."

Hassan thanked Republican challenger Ovide Lamontage for his public service and said she will work with both sides of the Legislature to get things done.

"The challenges our state faces must be met with the best solutions and ideas we can muster," she said. "Good ideas and good people reside on both sides of the aisle."

The crowd at Hassan's election night party in Manchester erupted in cheers when the race was called.

The early call surprised those who closely watched this race. The AP called the race at 9 p.m., with Hassan ahead 59 percent to 38 percent, with 14 percent of precincts recorded. 

The news had some at Lamontagne's election night party shaking their heads. Hassan campaigned in the final 48 hours with President Obama, and former President Bill Clinton, but Jack Kimball, a former state GOP chairman, said he doesn't think the numbers are a result of any presidential coattail effect.

If anything, it would be because of Governor Lynch's endorsement and campaigning on Hassan's behalf, according to Kimball, noting Lynch's popularity in New Hampshire.

Hassan had backing of several labor unions, and NH AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie was quick with a statement:

"Maggie Hassan's victory tonight should send a strong message to our elected leaders that New Hampshire workers want a governor who will continue in the footsteps of Governor Lynch. Maggie will govern based on the Granite State's needs, not a particular brand of ideology, and she will continue Governor Lynch's tradition of even-handedness and fiscal responsibility."

Lamontagne supported right-to-work legislation, which failed in the last legislative session in New Hampshire, while Hassan opposed it. Hassan argued that right-to-work would not benefit the state's economy.

Emily's List hailed the news, saying the pro-choice Hassan is now the only Democratic woman governor in the country.

Hassan, an attorney and former state senator, cast herself in the campaign as a leader in Lynch's image.

In debates, she described herself as a critical check-and-balance to Tea Party leaders in the Legislature. She said Lamontagne would do the bidding of House Speaker Bill O'Brien (R-Mont Vernon).

The race grew heated at times, as supporters of each aired various attack ads. Some ads called Lamontagne an "extremist" who would meddle with women's health care, not just opposing abortion rights. Another ad zeroed in on Hassan, classifying her as a tax-and-spend liberal who did not pay any property taxes on her house in Exeter – the ad failing to mention that her husband Tom, as principal of Phillips Exeter Academy, is required to stay on campus in the school-owned house.

Both candidates said job creation was their priority. However, the campaign season saw them trading barbs over social issues. Hassan supported the state's gay marriage law. Lamontagne did not.

Lamontagne warned of federal government overreach. He promised to do everything in his power as governor to block the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare." Hassan, who fought for expanded insurance coverage as a state senator, said the issue showed a disconnect between Lamontagne and middle class families.

They found some common ground in support for expanded gambling, in the form of a highly regulated proposed casino in the southern part of the state, and support for medical marijuana.

Still, despite the broad range of issues debated over the past year, the two candidates kept bringing the debate back to pocketbook issues.

Hassan, 54, and her husband have two grown children. 

Sonia Prince November 08, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Proof please!
Gary G. Krupp November 08, 2012 at 02:27 AM
@ Sonia - I am not sure why you are responding in such a condescending manner. I just asked a simple question that had nothing to do with pay. I am genuinely interested in how teachers, as professionals, are different than other careers we call professionals. Since you mentioned that you were a teacher, I thought you might have a perspective. I have been to several other countries but that is completely beside the point. I was asking how professionals are treated in this country and besides teachers, I can't think of any that are unionized. If you don't care to share your perspective or engage in a discourse, that is fine but please spare me the insults. I wouldn't presume to know the first thing about you based upon a comment or two. Who knows? We may actually agree on some things.
Sonia Prince November 08, 2012 at 03:24 AM
@Gary, Your wording "expect to be paid as professionals" was a little off to me. Are pilots professionals? They are unionized? What does being a professional or not have to do with unions? Advantages of unions: Greater Access to Healthcare Coverage; Lower Cost.Dental Care: Union, 70% | Non-union: 44%; Vision care: Union, 53% | Non-union: 24%; Prescription drug benefits: Union, 90% | Non-union, 68%; Union workers also pay less out of pocket for their insurance than non-unionized workers do. Paid Leave: Union workers get 28 percent more days of paid vacation, on average, than non-union workers. 82 percent of union workers have paid sick leave, compared to 63 percent of nonunion workers. Wouldn't everyone enjoy these benefits? •46 percent of unionized workers receive full pay while on sick leave, versus only 29 percent of non-union workers. A More Secure Retirement •Nationally, 77 percent of union employees in 2009 were covered by pension plans that provide a guaranteed monthly retirement income. Only 20 percent of non-union workers are covered by guaranteed (defined-benefit) pensions 20%. •Union workers are 53.9 percent more likely to have employer-provided pensions.
Gary G. Krupp November 09, 2012 at 12:51 AM
@Prof. Kenney, Thank you for sharing your perspective. I understand your rationale for forming the union but I am still not sure why it is necessary. So the pay isn't what you think it should be ... then why continue to work there? If all adjuncts feel the way you do and walked out as a result, wouldn't the system be forced to raise wages to attract you back? I would think that like engineering, there are many factors that contribute to making a good professor so shouldn't the employer be able to weigh those attributes to determine a mutually beneficial starting salary and career progression? For instance, I have a master's degree but over half of my department has PhD's. I also have the 3rd least number of years in our department of 50 engineers. Based on those two factors one might be tempted to assume that my pay scale and/or benefits would be in the bottom half of the group yet I am still in the top 3rd over many of those PhDs and more experienced engineers. This is because their are other attributes that make me marketable to my employer that go beyond years of experience and educational attainment. Wouldn't that also be true for professors?
rick barasso November 10, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Those Republicans are some poor losers... There were times over the past few months, I wondered if I was the only one who realized they are some crazy people with no idea of the future,truth, or reality. Thank "God" I was wrong. The people of NH saw them for what they are and gave them the boot. Congratulations Granite Staters, and I hope Obrien has made some other plans for his future....

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