Craig Benson

josh rogers/nhpr

 

It was a big day at the State House for a man rarely seen in Concord these days: former Governor Craig Benson. Benson’s official portrait was unveiled in a large public ceremony held in Representatives Hall. The ceremony was what you’d expect: a procession of state leaders recalling the legacy of a former governor. But it was also a recasting of Benson’s short time in office.

 

Jim Cole/AP

  The official portrait of former New Hampshire Gov. Craig Benson is going up at the Statehouse, a dozen years after he left office.

Benson, a Republican, served one term as governor from 2003 to 2005. The former CEO of a company called Cabletron, he promised to run the state like a business, but ended up being the first governor in 78 years to be denied a second term.

The portrait being unveiled Thursday was painted by Richard Whitney, who has painted five other New Hampshire governors.

Planet Fitness is famous for taking a non-judgmental, no-grunting approach to working out. But as it readies to go public, it’s been straining  -- loudly -- to get lawmakers to tweak the state business profits tax or BPT.

Specifically, to exempt companies that trade or sell stock or any beneficial interest from paying that tax’s 8.5 percent levy on any increase in value. 

Michael Brindley for NHPR

On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte threw her support behind fellow Republican Scott Brown, who is running for the state’s other Senate seat.

Brown also picked up endorsements from former Republican governors Steve Merrill and Craig Benson.

Standing before a large crowd of Brown’s supporters in Nashua, Ayotte described the former Massachusetts Senator as a proven leader who will get things done for New Hampshire.

“And I am very proud to stand here today and endorse Scott Brown. Working together, I can assure you we’ll put New Hampshire first,” she said.

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

Flanked by Former Governors John Sununu, Steve Merrill, and Craig Benson, Ovide Lamontagne told a boisterous crowd  at Browns’ Lobster Pound in Seabrook, that the GOP needs to recapture  the office its held for only two of the last 16 years.  Lamontagne heaped special praise on Benson, N.H.'s last Republican Governor.

If you haven't seen an earnest and energetic campaign worker waving a sign today, you probably haven't left your house.