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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. 

Jay Gatsby November 07, 2012 at 02:57 AM
I will admit that keeping either party from total control is a wonderful thing!
Watts November 07, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Massive night in NH for Democrats! I really don't think that Obama could have done it without the help of News Fish and Dumpy. Without them scaring off the centrist, by showing just how rabid extremists can be, I honestly think that NH could have been in play. So a tip of the hat to News Fish and Dumpy!
Atlant November 07, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Hear, hear!
Tom Grant November 07, 2012 at 03:36 AM
So much for New Hampshire going back to being a great place to live. We might just as well allow Mass to just annex they state. Unbeliveable that so many people out of work and the state goverment continuing to waste money . Stunning .
Super Fun Size November 07, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Congratulations Maggie, New Hampshire had to be protected from that radical Republican State Legislature and you rose up to the task. Thank you.
Stephen LaBranche November 07, 2012 at 03:54 AM
It is 10:52 pm and I am watching the news and still bitting my fingernails... but I certainly look forward to the finish.
Paul Mercury November 07, 2012 at 08:59 AM
Do us proud, Maggie.
Dot Knightly November 07, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Taxes and more taxes!
Mark Trafton November 07, 2012 at 02:37 PM
The people have spoken. To the folks who will spill salty tears and offer sour grapes, I would remind you what many "conservatives" and "right wingers" said after Gore v. Bush in 2000. Many of them said, "President George W. Bush", get used to it. Maggie Hassan is governor and even those who do not embrace the results need to get used to it and move on, just as we who did not support Bush, Craig Benson, Kelly Ayotte and their ilk moved on. While I'm at it, People who seek to SERVE THE PUBLIC as statesmen do and politicians claim to do, should well remember that in service to others, humility is a virtue. The lack of humility on the part of Speaker O’Brien over the last two years greatly diminished the credibility of the conservative cause, and the loss of his party in the state may be laid at his feet. Likewise, the lack of humility and decorum in defeat demonstrated by Ovide Lamontagne speaks volumes about his attitude toward voters and to the his oppontent. Dante and Dean are right, Ovide’s lamentations about negative ads against him make his arrogance manifest. After all, didn’t his campaign and the RNC air equally vitriolic and false ads against Maggie Hassan. Mr. Lamontagne and Mr. O’Brien might come to learn that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Holly Smith November 07, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Ovide Lamontagne's concession speech was a disgrace. Congratulations Maggie!
Jan Schmidt November 07, 2012 at 03:05 PM
They are very different, very, very different. One allows for a woman to control her own body,, to be responsible for her own decisions, and doesnt allow the government to make her decisions. The other would punish businesses that prefer to deal with one bargaining unit for all it's workers, it would politicize public worker's jobs, it would allow corporations to abuse workers and give them an historically proven distructive power over the economic and physical health of the community. If you want a better community all the way around, dump RTW and maintain a woman's right to choose.
Gary G. Krupp November 07, 2012 at 03:11 PM
@Jan - I don't think you've given a fair characterization of Right to Work. The bill simply allowed workers to choose whether or not to belong to a union and pay their fees. This, in no way, took away the bargaining rights of unions.
Billnh November 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Eh, she's gonna be about the same as Lynch. That's not too bad.
Atlant November 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM
What did Ovide have to say? (The place where I was watching the news was too noisy to hear his speech.)
Super Fun Size November 07, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Lynch was an excellent Governor. Remember how crazy Craig Benson was?
Holly Smith November 07, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Lamontagne's speech http://www.wmur.com/news/politics/Raw-Video-Ovide-Lamontagne-s-concession-speech/-/9857748/17296138/-/ohb55s/-/index.html#comments
Sonia Prince November 07, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Gary, I was a teacher and was not forced to join the union. Also, breaking up unions allows tyrants and radicals to fire anyone at any time for any reason or no reason. Everyone needs protection from the powerful and the goal of busting unions is to get cheaper and cheaper labor.
Sonia Prince November 07, 2012 at 06:24 PM
First time a state elects an all women delegation!! Yay for leading the way in history and breaking the old ways of the good old "boys' club" and the bible that suppressed women to "serve and obey" from a book that thought the earth was flat and that Mary was a virgin!
B. E. Grady November 07, 2012 at 06:37 PM
He lost because of the negative ads ? He lost because people saw his own negativity.
Atlant November 07, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Thanks!
Billnh November 07, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Today NH, tomorrow Libia !
Atlant November 07, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Billnh: > Today NH, tomorrow Libia ! You know, I can't figure out which typoed word you intended. One's hilarious and one is just weirdly disconnected from reality.
Gary G. Krupp November 07, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Sonia - interesting that you mention teachers as this is the one group I could never figure out. They are college-educated and expect to be treated and paid as professionals yet they unionize like labor. I am an engineer and like other professionals, I work at the will of my employer and can be let go at any time. I don't, however, live in fear of that happening because I work to stay current in my area and strive to be a valued part of my company's technical staff. I recognize that if I don't bring my company more value than the cost of my salary & benefits, then I will become a liability to the company putting my continued employment in jeopardy. Doctors, lawyers, accountants and many other professionals work under these same kind of principles. Why is teaching different?
Michael F. Kenney November 08, 2012 at 12:08 AM
To: Gary G.Krupp I can’t vouch for K-12 public school teachers but I can for community college professors. As an adjunct professor I teach a slightly less course load than my full-time counterparts. New Hampshire is #1 in the nation for both cost of college tuition and individual student loan debt yet adjunct pay is severely anemic, half of what adjuncts in other states make which is why we formed the SEIU Local 1984 adjunct faculty union. In fact, it is less than K-12 public school teachers who only need a Bachelor’s Degree to teach whereas at the community college level a Master’s Degree is the minimum. I have three graduate degrees and maintain currency. We have been in collective bargaining for the last year on our first contract with the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH). We are now in a state of impasse going to independent arbitration-mediation because the CCSNH administration absolutely refused to negotiate compensation. In addition, their Board of Trustees still refuses to recognize the union even exists as the bargaining unit for all adjuncts. Do you understand now why we unionized? Bottom line is that adjuncts teach 70% of all college classes, are highly credentialed, competent and have many years of both teaching and real work experience. Now don’t you think we should be compensated equitably for such? Prof. Michael F. Kenney
Sonia Prince November 08, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Dear Gary, I didn't say it was different, it's just better to be part of a union so some thug boss can't mistreat you. I'm happy if you have a great boss and he's fair to everyone who works hard but that's not always the case. What does the pay rate have to do with being unionized? In many developed nations, teachers make great money and don't have to depend on a partner to survie on their own like they do in the US, and they are all unionized. You really need to travel a little. Many college educated people are in unions all around the world. You realize there are other countries out there right? Do you own a passport because I know that only 30% of Americans have passports. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-04/travel/americans.travel.domestically_1_western-hemisphere-travel-initiative-passports-tourism-industries?_s=PM:TRAVEL
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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