Governor's Race

Flikr Creative Commons / Herkie

In the last budget, one of lawmakers’ most controversial decisions was to cut the state’s contribution to New Hampshire’s public universities by 48 percent. Restoring those cuts has emerged as a big issue in the governor’s campaign. But how that will happen is a question politicians have yet to answer.

The people who don’t approve of the cuts that the New Hampshire legislature made to the university system – like UNH president Mark Huddleston – describe those them in a certain way.

Bill Kennedy of Danbury is one of three Democratic candidates on the primary ballot for New Hampshire governor. He’s a business owner who served 29 years in the US Air Force. This is his first run for statewide office.

Republicans Spar Under the Spotlight

Sep 6, 2012
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Both Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith are known for being strong social conservatives. Lamontagne is a champion of the pro-life movement. And Kevin Smith has long been one of the loudest voices opposing gay marriage in the state. But during last night’s debate at Saint Anselm College, both tried to play down these hot-button issues. 

When talking about the Democratic gubernatorial primary it’s almost impossible to NOT think about...the pledge.

Former state Senator Jackie Cilley is the first prominent candidate in a decade to say she’s willing to consider a new broad-based tax.

Her main opponent, former state Senator Maggie Hassan opposes a sales or income tax.

Given their very different starting points here's a look at how the two candidates would build the state’s next two-year budget.

With just under a week before primary day the Democratic Candidates for Governor met in Goffstown for their first televised debate. But anyone hoping for clear contrasts between the two leading candidates --  former state Senators Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley -- were likely disappointed.

photos courtesy of candidates

Thursday, GOP gubernatorial candidates Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith will square off in a televised debate.  One of the biggest challenges that awaits the state’s new governor – building the next two year budget.

We took 10 questions to all six candidates for governor -- and have organized it all for you right here

Are you a visual person? Check out the notes NHPR reporter Emily Corwin jotted down to compare each candidate's responses on the issues.

Want to see the details? Read each candidate's positions in his/her own words.

Gov. Candidate Kevin Smith Collects on LLC Loophole

Aug 24, 2012

No candidate in the  2012 gubernatorial race benefited more from a major loophole in New Hampshire's political-finance regulations than Republican Kevin Smith. 

State election law limits corporate campaign contributions to $7,000 per election cycle, the same as individual donors. But nothing in the law prohibits multiple limited-liability companies controlled by the same individual to donate on behalf of each LLC, making it easy for wealthy donors to exceed the statutory limits.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

After almost a decade of unsympathetic leadership from Governors John Lynch and Craig Benson, all four major contenders for Governor support expanded gaming in one way or another. What does this mean for high stakes gambling in New Hampshire? Read more at StateImpact New Hampshire -- slideshow and all. 

Courtney Cania / NHPR

Our coverage of the New Hampshire Gubernatorial primary continues with Democrat Jackie Cilley.  A former State Representative, Senator and UNH Business Professor, Cilley has been vocal about not taking the traditional anti-tax pledge.  We’ll talk with her about that, and other issues in this primary campaign, including why she thinks she's the best choice for Democrats this fall.


Jackie Cilley - Former State Representative, Senator, UNH Business Professor and current Democratic Candidate for Governor

Courtney Cania / NHPR

We continue our coverage of the New Hampshire gubernatorial primary, with Republican Kevin Smith.  A former State Representative and lobbyist, Smith is a social and fiscal conservative, emphasizing in this race his plans to improve the state’s business climate.  We’ll get his stance on that and other issues including why he thinks he’s the best choice for Republicans this fall.


  • Kevin Smith -  Former State Representative, Lobbyist and Republican Gubernatorial Candidate.

Sen. Ayotte To Address Republican National Convention

Aug 16, 2012

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly  Ayotte will be addressing the Republican Party's national convention in Florida this month.

Ovide Lamontagne Outlines Campaign for Governor

Aug 14, 2012
Portrait of Republican candidate for state  governor, Ovide Lamontagne
courtesy of the candidate

Republican candidate for governor, Ovide Lamontagne, came on NHPR’s ‘The Exchange’ today to discuss his campaign.

Lamontagne says his campaign is focused on the economy and jobs. He wants to loosen regulations on local business and support free enterprise.

He also says he would develop a ‘zero-base’ or ‘prospective’ budget versus New Hampshire’s current ‘maintenance’-style budget.

Courtney Cania / NHPR

Our coverage of New Hampshire’s Gubernatorial Primary continues today with Republican Ovide Lamontagne.  The Manchester lawyer and former candidate for Senate, Congress and Governor is once again running for the state’s highest office, as a solid conservative on both social and fiscal matters. We’ll get his stance on the issue and why he thinks he’s the best choice for Republicans this fall.


  • Ovide Lamontagne - Manchester Attorney and a Republican Candidate for Governor.
Jonathan Lynch

In a largely bloodless exchange, Lamontagne and Smith took turns answering audience-submitted questions in front of the standing-room only crowd.

Both candidates said they oppose the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Healthcare Act.

Both candidates affirmed they are pro-life and that they support traditional marriage.

They both staunchly oppose broad-based income or sales taxes.

But the two GOP candidates broke step when a question came up about bringing gambling to the granite state.

Meet The N.H. Gubernatorial Candidates

Jul 26, 2012
Courtesy of Jackie Cilley
Courtesy photo

We launch our coverage of New Hampshire’s gubernatorial primaries with Democratic candidate Maggie Hassan. An Exeter business attorney, Hassan was elected to the state Senate in 2004 and served as Senate Majority Leader. We’ll talk with Hassan about her candidacy, including why she’s the only democrat in this race to take the pledge against broad-based taxes.

Gubernatorial Candidates React to Health Care Ruling

Jun 28, 2012
Photo by Chickenlump, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s gubernatorial candidates are weighing in on the Supreme Court’s ruling, and they stand, pretty much, where you'd expect.

The two leading GOP contenders for the state’s corner office didn’t like the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court ruling, and that hasn’t really changed.

Ovide Lamontagne, the current front runner, says that as Governor, he would do everything possible to slow down or block the law’s implementation.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

One of the state’s largest public unions, the State Employees Association, endorsed democratic gubernatorial candidate Jackie Cilley on Monday.

SEA President Diana Lacey cites Cilley’s refusal to take the state pledge against new broad-based taxes and her commitment to collaborative leadership as the most significant factors in the union’s decision.

“It wasn’t just the pledge. It’s the manner in which we anticipate Jackie will lead.”

The three Democratic candidates for New Hampshire Governor – Jackie Cilley, Maggie Hassan, and Bill Kennedy – met at New England College for their first debate.

The three outlined their views on an income tax, which is seen as the most controversial difference between the three candidates. 

Flikr / Cityyear


Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas still won’t say if he has decided whether or not to run for Governor of New Hampshire.