Walt Havenstein

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

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,”

Allegra Boverman/Steve Fallon via Flickr CC

New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie is returning to New Hampshire for a fifth time this year to campaign with Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein.

Christie and Havenstein will greet voters at MacKenna's Restaurant in New London on Monday afternoon. Havenstein faces Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in Tuesday's election.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Arizona Senator and former Republican presidential nominee John McCain was out campaigning for gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein Sunday.

  McCain and Havenstein greeted people as they dined at the Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester, shaking hands and posing for pictures. McCain says he came to lend Havenstein support in what he calls his ‘second favorite state’ because of Havenstein’s business background.

Chris Jensen/Ryan Lessard for NHPR

Democrat Maggie Hassan and Republican Walt Havenstein faced off in their first televised debate Wednesday night on NH1.

Hassan and Havenstein agreed on one thing: those responsible for the riots in Keene should be held accountable.

After that, there was plenty of daylight between them. At times the two seemed to talk past one another, both defending their own records - and distorting their opponents.

Havenstein repeatedly accused Hassan of fomenting “toxic partisanship” in Concord. Hassan said Havenstein is misinformed.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s governor’s race is flying a bit under the radar. Most of this season’s campaign drama – not to mention spending – is focused on the U.S. Senate and Congressional races. 

But no one would say that incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan has it entirely locked up. Republican challenger Walt Havenstein is seen as the underdog, but there are political factors – both national and local, that could help him beat a path to the governor’s office.  

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Laura Knoy sits down with Walt Havenstein 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.


Brady Carlson/NHPR

In a wide-ranging conversation with NHPR’s Laura Knoy Monday evening, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein covered a gamut of economic and social policy issues.

Havenstein’s overall campaign is focused on the state’s economy. At the taping of NHPR’s “Rudman Center Conversations with the Candidates” Havenstein said his view of New Hampshire’s poor business climate was cemented when his 31-year-old son had to leave the state in order to take the next step in his tech career.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

NHPR and UNH School of Law present

Walt Havenstein
Republican candidate for NH Governor

October 20th at 5:30pm
Reception to follow

UNH School of Law, 2 White Street, Concord, NH

Join Laura Knoy for an in-depth discussion with the candidates about the issues on New Hampshire voters’ minds this election season. Each forum will be broadcast the following day during The Exchange at 9 am on the stations of NHPR.

In a debate Thursday morning on WGIR, Governor Maggie Hassan repeatedly went after Republican Walt Havenstein for a pledge he signed earlier this year with the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

“By singing that Koch brothers pledge, he is pledging to undo our Medicaid expansion, he’s pledging no matter what to do what the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity tell him to do.”

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan touted her economic credentials at a campaign stop at a Manchester marketing company Tuesday. She also fired a few shots at her opponent, Walt Havenstein.

Hassan argued she’s better equipped to help small businesses than rival Walt Havenstein. Internet marketing company Commonplaces was a beneficiary of job training grants. Hassan championed that program and what she terms bipartisan successes like increasing higher ed funding, raising the gas tax and expanding Medicaid.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is set to campaign with Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein for the fourth time.

Sam Evans-Brown

New Hampshire's gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates are addressing energy industry leaders, consumers and policy makers at an annual summit in Concord.

The New Hampshire Energy Summit being held Monday is organized by the Dupont Group and the New Hampshire Independent Energy Council, a coalition of non-utility electric generators, renewable generation developers, private transmission companies and electricity suppliers.

Gov. Maggie Hassan and her Republican challenger both will speak, as will U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Scott Brown.

Walt Havenstein campaigned at a Manchester charter school with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.  As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports the GOP gubernatorial hopeful met with students and pressed the message that NH needs more choice in public education.

Walt Havenstein and Bobby Jindal toured classrooms at Polaris charter school on Manchester’s West Side. Along the way,  Havenstein took some blunt questions from the students.

"Why do you want to run for governor?"

Derek Bridges via Flickr CC

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein for two education related campaign stops.

Brady Carlson/NHPR

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Walt Havenstein unveiled an expanded anti-tax pledge Monday.

What Havenstein has dubbed 'Pledge 2.0' not only calls for opposition to a sales or income tax but also for politicians to “oppose any policy that commits New Hampshire taxpayers to unfunded obligations.”

Walt Havenstein says the traditional pledge to oppose new broad-based taxes  is no longer enough. And can’t simply be a “political commitment.”

NHPR Staff

Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein is taking New Hampshire's traditional anti-tax pledge, while incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan picks up the endorsement of state troopers.

For decades, New Hampshire governors and candidates have promised to veto a personal income or general sales tax. Havenstein will be signing the pledge Monday in Concord, where he will be joined by Republican legislative leaders.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential Republican presidential candidate, is making his third trip to New Hampshire to campaign with the Republicans topping the party's ticket this November.

Christie will campaign Wednesday with gubernatorial nominee Walt Havenstein in Nashua then join U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown for a rally in Salem.

Josh Rogers/NHPR

The unity message could be heard from the podium and heard from the banquet room floor -- and not simply from the usual suspects.

“The Democrats will say this is all for show, Republicans will keep fighting, and will beat them by letting them split hairs and they will stay home.”

That’s Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who keynoted the breakfast.

“So I want to show N.H. today, what I want to show the country, is that we are unified.”

Here’s former N.H. House Speaker Bill O’Brien:

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Former BAE Systems CEO Walt Havenstein is the Republican nominee governor.

Walt Havenstein didn’t always run strong in this race but he won by nearly 20 points over Andrew Hemingway. He said voters in the general election will have a clear choice.

“The choice is going to be about the future of our state and whether or not we’re gonna maintain and stay in this economic stagnation or if we’re actually gonna take a bold course to change our economic outcome for the future prosperity of our state.”

Sara Plourde / NHPR

  Republican gubernatorial hopefuls Walt Havenstein and Andrew Hemingway held their last debate Friday. They differed on how they say they would lead and improve the state’s business climate.

Political activist and serial entrepreneur Andrew Hemingway, when asked how his business experience would inform his style of governance, said New Hampshire is a small-business state.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  As former President of BAE Systems, Walt Havenstein led one of New Hampshire’s largest employers. That’s one reason top Republicans encouraged the millionaire business-man to get into the governor’s race. Havenstein has vastly outspent his Republican opponent but this race remains tight.

Brady Carlson/NHPR

We continue our conversations with Republicans running in the gubernatorial race with former BAE Systems CEO Walt Havenstein.

You've proposed as part of your jobs plan cutting business profit taxes by just over 1%. Given the shortfalls that we've seen in business tax revenue in this current budget, how confident can we be that revenue will offset those cuts?

Chris Jensen/Ryan Lessard for NHPR

Alleged violations of the state’s campaign finance rules are once again front and center in the New Hampshire governor’s race, with the top candidates on the receiving end of accusations that they accepted illegal donations.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party was first out of the gate Tuesday, asking Attorney General Joe Foster to investigate Republican candidate Walt Havenstein for “multiple violations,” including allegedly taking money from political action committees that failed to register with the state.

Thanks to nearly $1.5 million from his own pocket, Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein is keeping pace in the race for campaign money with Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan.

According to reports filed today with the Secretary of State, Havenstein reports a campaign war chest of $1,989,876. That includes $1,474,000 in personal loans and another $17,000 from other family members.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

  Republican candidates for Governor, Walt Havenstein and Andrew Hemingway, squared off Wednesday morning on WGIR. Their debate was heated and, at times, personal.

While this race remains tough to call, in this debate, Andrew Hemingway acted the part of underdog. He went after Walt Havenstein repeatedly, hoping to turn what Havenstein says is his strength—his experience leading billion dollar defense companies—into an example of how moneyed interests use campaign contributions to get their way at tax payers’ expense.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Former Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney has endorsed New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein.

In a statement, the former Massachusetts governor praised Havenstein’s leadership abilities, pointing to his tenure as the CEO of BAE Systems.

Havenstein is running against Republican activist Andrew Hemingway, who led Tea Party protests against Romney in the last election.

The two will face off in a September 9th primary.

The winner will face Governor Maggie Hassan in the November general election.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein says lowering the state’s business profits tax is part of his plan to create 25,000 new jobs by August 2017.

Walt Havenstein says under his plan, reducing the tax from 8.5% to 7.4% would take place over two budget cycles.

The former BAE CEO acknowledged it would cost the state $50 million in revenue in the first biennium, but says no spending cuts would be needed.

“Even at our meager, meager anemic growth rate, our growth rate will offset that particular reduction.”

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visited New Hampshire for the second time in as many months Thursday night to aid Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein with his campaign.

Chris Christie, who’s Chair of the Republican Governors Association is again signaling establishment support for former defense contractor Walt Havenstein.

Christie said when Havenstein took over BAE Systems in 2000, the company had a budget three times the size of the state.

  The 3-2 vote by clears the way for Republican Walt Havenstein to run for governor. Havenstein sought the hearing after Democrats argued the former defense contractor hadn’t met the 7-year residency requirement set by the state constitution.

At issue was whether Havenstein surrendered New Hampshire as his domicile by living part time in Maryland from 2007-2012.

By a 3-2 vote, in which democratic member Martha Van Oot and joined Republicans Michael Eaton and Brad Cook, the commission said no.


The state's Ballot Law Commission won't delay a hearing on the residency of Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party said Monday that it has filed a petition challenging Havenstein's claim that he's a legal resident of New Hampshire. The party says he was a resident of Maryland in 2010 and 2011, which would disqualify him from running for office here. Candidates for governor must live in New Hampshire for at least seven years.

Havenstein said he has owned a home and voted in New Hampshire for the past 15 years.