Jackie Cilley

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

New Hampshire Democrats met in Manchester this morning at a Unity Breakfast to set the tone for the run up to the general election in November.

Gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan, her former challenger Jackie Cilley, and other Democratic candidates spoke at the party’s first major post-primary event.

In a show of solidarity, Jackie Cilley removed her own campaign button from her coat and pinned a Hassan button in its place, asking her supporters to do the same.

“We have one opportunity in this country to elect a pro-choice, Democratic woman governor. It’s here.”

Marc Nozell / NHPR

Jackie Cilley concedes the Democratic gubernatorial race to Maggie Hassan, and says the primary debate was worth it for the party.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Perhaps the biggest surprise of last night was not that Democrat Jackie Cilley lost to her rival Maggie, Hassan, but by how big a margin. What was supposed to be a close race turned out to be a run-away.

This primary season the question has been: will democrats elect a candidate who hasn’t pledged to veto an income or sales tax? From the outset, Cilley has made not taking such a pledge the centerpiece of her campaign.

But with the very first poll returns it was clear that Cilley was in for a rough night. Later she took the podium to concede the race.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

If Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jackie Cilley thought being a Berlin native would give her a crucial edge in the North Country she was wrong.

Cilley did win in Berlin but her 546 votes were only 56 percent of the total.

Down the road in neighboring Gorham she snared 55 percent of the votes.

But it was downhill from there despite spending five consecutive days touring the North Country from Littleton to Colebrook and Pittsburg and then over to Berlin and the communities along the Androscoggin River.

In Littleton she got only 35 percent of the vote.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Former Exeter state senator Maggie Hassan was out early this morning, working the breakfast crowd in Manchester’s Chez Vachon restaurant.


"Yes, and I’m running for governor. I am running for Governor and worked very closely with Governor Lynch when I was in the state senate."

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.

You might have seen more than a few political TV ads this summer. Many candidates are gearing up for the general election this November, but New Hampshire still has a Primary coming on September 11th. Granite Staters will be voting to winnow the field of candidates for governor, and these candidates are using TV commercials as part of their campaign strategy.

To analyze these ads we spoke with…

Democratic candidate for Governor Jackie Cilley is defending breaking with her party to oppose mandatory seatbelt laws and banning pay-day loans. Former State Senator Cilley defended her record on NHPR’s the Exchange with Laura Knoy. Her primary opponent Maggie Hassan has criticized her refusal to support a seatbelt law and outlaw payday loans.

The professional firefighters are one of several public sector unions to back Jackie Cilley in the democratic primary. At a firehouse in Manchester, Cilley said the state needs to do better by public employees, and to do that, she says, will require more than simply winning the concern office.

"I would ask you to support those who are running for rational policies and common sense in our statehouse because we have a state to take back and take forward."

Meet The N.H. Gubernatorial Candidates

Jul 26, 2012
Courtesy of Jackie Cilley
Chris Jensen for NHPR

There are three Democratic hopefuls in the gubernatorial primary this September. One is Jackie Cilley, an outspoken Berlin native. She’s not shy about not taking the pledge. She says ideologues in the legislature are embarrassing and undermining the state. And she says in crucial ways the government is failing its citizens and businesses.

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. 

House Speaker William O'Brien's bill to allow any employer with a religious objection to exclude contraception coverage from employee health plans draws fire from Democrats and leaves GOP Gubernatorial hopefuls leery.

Democrats’ problems with this bill are by far the more pronounced. Gubernatorial hopeful Jackie Cilley, for instance, has urged supporters to “take to the streets” over the issue. Fellow candidate Maggie Hassan, meanwhile, took to the statehouse for a morning press conference.

Josh Rogers, NHPR


Former Barrington state Sen. Jackie Cilley stressed her blue collar roots has she kicked off her campaign at the Manchester YWCA. Cilley recalled growing up in a tenement and taking a job at the Waubec mill before heading to college and going on to teach at UNH’s Whittemore School of Business. Cilley said she believes in compromise, but said she won’t stand for what she called attacks on education, workers, women and gays being made by “The Free State/Tea Party/John Birch politicians in Concord.” Cilley also she won’t be taking a pledge to veto a sales or income tax.