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Hassan And Lamontagne Downplay Social Issues

Sheryl Rich-Kern

The Southern New Hampshire Jewish Men’s Club sponsored a political breakfast forum on Sunday morning that pitted gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan against her rival, Ovide Lamontagne.

Republican Ovide Lamontagne and Democrat Maggie Hassan are both lawyers and business people. And both have put the economy, jobs and healthcare at the forefront of their campaigns.

When an audience member asked about Lamontagne’s social agenda, the second-time gubernatorial candidate said he prefers to put those issues aside:

"Two years prior to this legislature, we saw a Democratic controlled legislature that in the midst of the Great Recession, tackled the bathroom bill, pushed gay marriage, without any input from the people. We’re not going to do that this next two years if I’m the governor. I’m going to focus on jobs, the economy and reforming state government."

Hassan, who served with Governor Lynch during the recession, said the citizen legislature process must embrace social issues.

"The marriage equality bill passed with enormous public input.  What you need to ask each candidate is where they’ll be on extreme bills that have already been filed by members of this legislature for the next governor that would essentially ban abortion in the first trimester. Will Ovide sign those or not? I won’t. I would veto that. Those are the types of decisions we will have to make."

The two candidates also sparred on commuter rail, Obamacare and education funding.

Sheryl Rich-Kern has been contributing stories for NHPR since 2006, covering education, social services, business, health care and an occasional quirky yarn that epitomizes life in New Hampshire. Sherylâââ

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