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Full Debate Audio: Havenstein Defend Records While Attacking Each Other's

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.

"I think if Mr. Havenstein understood the way democracy works better [and] the way New Hampshire government works better, he might understand the notion of compromise," said Hassan.

Hassan meanwhile stuck to her claim that Havenstein was a “failed CEO,” and that he had pledged allegiance to the Koch brothers. Havenstein said Hassan has got it wrong.

"The most important pledges to me are the Pledge of Allegiance and the pledge never to spend money that the state doesn’t have," said Havenstein.

A recent poll shows Hassan with a comfortable eight-point lead.

The tone of last night’s debate was in keeping with this race: an analysis of advertising by the Wesleyan Media Project found this gubernatorial contest to be the “least positive” in the country.

Listen to the radio version of this story.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.
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