She's been a business attorney, a state Senator, Senate Majority Leader and now the Exeter lawyer, Maggie Hassan wants to be your next Governor. Hassan defeated Jackie Cilley and Bill Kennedy in the state primary this September to be the Democratic Gubernatorial candidate but still needs to get through her Republican challenger, Manchester attorney, Ovide Lamontagne. Today we sit down for the hour with Maggie Hassan, talk with her about where she stands on the big issues facing the state and why she says she'd be the best next person to sit in the State House corner office.
Last month, NHPR in partnership with NHPTV, the Union Leader and the NH Business and Industry Association put together three debates on the economy with the Candidates for Governor, and both Congressional districts. Today we listen back to parts of those debates, look at some of the major themes raised, and pull back the curtain a bit to look at the stories, challenges and process of putting together these debates in our special Power Morning.
Candidates for Governor, Ovide Lamontagne (R) and Maggie Hassan (D) debate in a forum on business and the economy.
The battle lines in this debate became clear early, very early. In fact, Maggie Hassan was just 6 seconds into her first answer to a general question on the economy when she sought to blunt the tax and spending critique she must have known was coming.
"It’s really important that we have a strong and competitive economy, and that of course comes with opposing an income or a sales tax."
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.
When the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act, it said states must be given a choice about expanding their Medicaid programs.
Option A: Keep things as they are.
Option B: Enroll more people, and the Federal government will help you pay for their care.
Democrat Jackie Cilley likes that second option. She says that if New Hampshire doesn’t grow its Medicaid rolls, poor people will continue to slip through the cracks, and that Republican lawmakers in Concord would bear the blame.
In just a few days New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats will choose their nominees for Governor….after a lively campaign on both sides, with competing ideas on some major issues….such as taxes, prisons, and health care. We’ll look at all the candidates, what they’re saying and how they might stack up against each other in a general election.
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.