Today, Governor Maggie Hassan begins her second term facing a far different political landscape than she faced two years ago. Scroll down for real-time updates from the Statehouse featuring news, tweets from NHPR reporters and photos by Allegra Boverman. Click through additional photos in the gallery above.
Visit the official inaugural committee website here.
Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 8:36 am
Gina Raimondo’s long path to the top job in Rhode Island politics culminated when she was sworn in Tuesday as the state’s first female governor. Raimondo has cautioned that making change won’t be easy in a state plagued by persistently high unemployment.
Raimondo’s inaugural on the south portico of the Statehouse was steeped in tradition, from the singing of the National Anthem to the firing of a 19-gun salute.
Under the Vermont Constitution, Gov. Peter Shumlin, shown here in January 2014, didn't earn enough votes for reelection, despite getting more than challenger Scott Milne. A proposed Constitutional amendment would allow a candidate to win with 40 percent.
Longtime Washington County Sen. Bill Doyle says he'll propose a constitutional amendment to make it less likely that lawmakers will be asked to elect a governor in the future. Doyle says the results of this year's election show why his amendment is needed.
The discovery of 21 so-called "phantom ballots" in Maine's state Senate District 25 has Democrats crying foul. All 21 ballots were cast in Long Island for Republican Cathleen Manchester. Some Democratic officials are calling on Maine's Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to intervene. But Dunlap says the outcome of the disputed election is up to the Maine Senate.
Nationally, only thirty six percent of Americans eligible to vote did so in the recent elections. Not since the start of World War Two has turnout been so low. Here in New Hampshire, results were much stronger, but, still, many eligible voters did not participate. We’ll explore what’s behind this seeming voter malaise.
Although top races got the attention in this year’s mid-term elections, voters in a majority of states also had a slate of ballot measures to consider. We’ll look at what some of the big topics were, from marijuana laws to the minimum wage, and how the results fit into the overall narrative for this year’s election. First, though, we'll look at a law in New Hampshire that prohibits 'ballot selfies.'
The U.S. Senate race went to incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, while our Congressional districts split, with Republican Frank Guinta the First District victor, and Democrat Ann McLane Kuster winning in the Second.
We’ll also look at the Governor’s race, and another term for Democrat Maggie Hassan, and the new balance of power in the legislature.
Democrats Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan buck national Republican trends; state republicans pick up seats in the State House and a look at the strength of the Democratic party's local political machine. NHPR's senior political reporter Josh Rogers discusses some of the key midterm results with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley on this special edition of On the Political Front.
The polls had predicted this race would be tight, and for a time last night, even after media outlets had declared Jeanne Shaheen the winner, Scott Brown briefly held a slim lead. But by nights end, it was Shaheen and her backers savoring a win in a contest party leaders here and in Washington wanted dearly.
“Tonight, tonight, the people of NH chose to put NH first.”
Democrat Maggie Hassan defeated Republican Walt Havenstein to claim a second term as governor. Despite a solid showing by Havenstein it was one of the first state races to be called last night.
Standing before her supporters in Manchester, Hassan cited familiar priorities and stressed that much work remains to be done.
“Together we will make it easier for our families to get ahead, by continuing our healthcare expansion, by holding down the cost of higher education, and by restoring or increasing the minimum wage in New Hampshire,” she said.
Governors in New Hampshire are rarely tossed after a single term, but this race ended up being tougher than expected. Walt Havenstein started a thirty point underdog, but the race became increasingly closer as the season progressed.
“To go from a standing start – 7 percent name recognition and Judy didn’t know who they were – to bringing this race to a competitive finish is an incredible accomplishment,” remembered Havenstein as he conceded defeat, “and you should all be proud of what you have done.”
Havenstein, who led two defense contracting firms, including BAE systems, dropped more than $2 million dollars of his own money into this race, but even so top Republicans knew Havenstein faced long odds.
“This contest was a little bit David and Goliath as I think everybody knows,” said State Senator Jeb Bradley, “Our David, Walt Havenstein fought the fight of his life, and came very close tonight,”
First district Republican Frank Guinta came out on top yesterday in his third matchup with incumbent Democrat, Carol Shea-Porter. NHPR’s Emily Corwin reports Guinta edged Shea-Porter by 3 points.
After her defeat Carol Shea-Porter was unexpectedly upbeat, saying “I love election day! And I love the people that I got to see, I’m proud of the constituent services we did, I’m proud of the work we did in the office in Congress, but I love the campaign side too!”
Former state Rep. Kevin Avard upset Democrat incumbent Sen. Peggy Gilmour on Tuesday, adding at least one seat to the Republican’s majority in the New Hampshire Senate.
Avard took 50.8 percent of the 21,335 ballots cast in the District 12 contest to beat Gilmour by 323 votes. The narrow margin gives Republicans a 14-10 majority in the Senate, with at least one race that was too close to call.
In District 7, Democratic incumbent Andrew Hosmer had a lead of about 100 votes over Republican challenger Kathy Lauer-Rago.
The mid-term elections are almost but not quite over - with polls still open in some New Hampshire communities. This hour on The Exchange, as we wait for results to come in, we’re reflecting back on some of the major themes at play in 2014.
Here are some of the important facts about today's election in New Hampshire. You can also read NHPR's reporting on the candidates and find all of our election coverage and resources right here.
RACES TO WATCH
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen is vying for a second term. She's up against Scott Brown, the former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts who is trying to become just the third person to represent two states in the Senate.
Hoping to retain the GOP’s slim majority in the state Senate, if not build on it, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee has spent tens of thousands of dollars on an advertising push over the final weeks of the campaign.
The party has focused its spending on a handful of races that could determine who takes control of the state’s upper chamber, which Republicans now control 13-11.
The NHGOP has poured a total of roughly $72,000 into two rematches from 2012 that Republicans won by the slimmest of margins.
Political Junkie Ken Rudin never left public radio. His weekly podcast has your dose of political analysis. And in time for the midterms this year, he's put together a special program for radio audiences as well. Before you dig in to this program, remember that he'll be live in studio with us on 4 November for our election night coverage as we track returns around the state.
If you are seeking nuance or restraint, you wont find it at a get out the vote rally on the Sunday before a tight election.
Here’s State GOP chairman Jennifer Horn last night in Manchester:
"This is our time. We need to crush it. We need to grab it. We need to run with it, push their heads under over and over again until they cannot breathe anymore, until the elections are over Tuesday night."
Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 7:41 pm
The very close U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire could come down to where Republican challenger Scott Brown is from. While detractors say the former Massachusetts senator crossed the state line in search of a Senate seat, an unusually large number of New Hampshire voters are originally from out of state themselves.
Spending on the New Hampshire Senate race cracked the $46 million mark this week to become the most expensive election campaign in Granite State history.
And to the surprise of no one, outside groups have far outspent the candidates: party organizations, political action committees, super PACS and other non-candidate groups have poured $28.7 million into the race, one of a handful of closely watched contests that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.
The candidates split on key issues from the start. Asked to identify the greatest threat facing America, Scott brown was unequivocal: radical Islamic Jihadists.
"It's something that’s real, that’s serious. Obviously we have Boko Haram in Africa, we have ISIS and Al- Qaeda elements, still, and their number one goal is to disrupt and dismantle the society as we know it. Senator Shaheen has called what we are discussing fear-mongering. I call it a very rational fear."
Many national pundits say that if any of the Democratic incumbents at the top of New Hampshire’s ticket lose to the GOP, it’s going to be a good night for Republicans everywhere. If not, then an anticipated GOP wave may prove to be less than tidal.
And in New Hampshire, the first measure of any swell may be taken in Nashua: the state’s second largest city is finding prominence on the state’s political charts.
Laura Knoy sits down with U.S. Congresswoman Ann Kuster for an in-depth discussion about the issues on New Hampshire voters’ minds this election season. This special broadcast is a part of our election series presented in partnership with the Rudman Center at the UNH School of Law.
More information about NHPR's special election series presented with UNH Law School can be found here.
2nd Congressional District Democrat Ann McLane Kuster worked to distance herself from President Obama during an appearance Thursday night at the UNH Law School.
Earlier this year, Kuster told NHPR’s Laura Knoy that she considered herself one of the President Obama’s biggest supporters. Thursday night, in a public conversation with Knoy, she cited areas when she disagreed with the president.
She also defended her vote on the farm bill which cut food stamps by more than $8 million.
Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen hit familiar themes on the US senate campaign trail today.
Brown campaigned alongside former Governor John Sununu in Seabrook, while Shaheen stumped at a Manchester tech company.
Scott Brown’s visit to the Seabrook station nuclear plant was off-limits to reporters, but according to his campaign, Brown wanted to underscore the role nuclear power needs to play in US energy policy and Shaheen’s past criticism of Seabrook.