Maggie Hassan’s 13 point win ended this race far earlier than many expected, and made her the second woman elected to N.H.’s corner office.
“Thank you to the people of N.H. for the trust you have placed in me. I will not let you down.”
Hassan’s win came on a night when democrats performed well up and down the ballot, in no small part due to her strong performance. And while the former state senator majority leader was savoring her party’s big night, she also told supporters that divided government needn’t be a prelude to gridlock in Concord.
“We should see this not as an obstacle but as an opportunity to move beyond the partisan divide.”
Republican Ovide Lamontagne, meanwhile, was downcast in defeat. The loss was the Manchester Attorney’s 4th in 4 tries at elective office. It clearly stung. In brief remarks to a sparse crowd of supporters, Lamontagne blamed his loss on attack ads that labeled him as extreme on abortion and education.
“It wasn’t just a negative attack against me. It was a negative attack against our entire team and that includes you. NH deserves better than that.”
Top democrats, though, saw the election as affirmation of a strategy that helped Hassan romp over a better known candidate. Hassan carried many democratic strongholds by near 2-1 margins and did well in GOP leaning towns too, carrying Merrimack and Milford. Former state party chair Kathy Sullivan says Hassan’s opposition to broad-based taxes and tolerant approach on social issues like abortion and same sex marriage is a time-tested approach.
“If you look at it things starting in 1996, we saw it in 2004. When it comes to calling more and more a governor on the economy and what they call social issues, people trust democrats now.”
Democrats have now won 8 of the last 9 Governors races, and won the majority of those with relative ease.