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Politics
0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8d310000Race: GovernorParty: RepublicanPolitical Experience: NonePersonal: Married; lives in AltonEducation: Bachelor’s, U.S. Naval Academy; Master’s, Naval Postgraduate SchoolCampaign WebsiteIssuesA former CEO for two large defense contractors, Havenstein has proposed a three-phase economic plan – called “8.15.17/25,000” – with the goal of creating 25,000 new jobs by August 15, 2017.Phase one would reduce the business profits tax from 8.5 percent to 7.4 percent and require a 2.5 percent “efficiency reduction” across the state government. It would also require a Jobs Impact Assessment (JIA) on any new regulation, tax proposal or other legislation that will impact businesses to include an estimate of jobs created or lost.Phase two would include a “dialogue” between businesses, colleges and local schools to better align education goals with workforce needs and a “systematic and comprehensive” review of all regulations.Phase three calls for reaching out to neighboring states to relocate to New Hampshire. “New Hampshire’s enhanced low tax reputation will allow us to compete and win, if we have a person in the Governor’s office who will champion New Hampshire as an economic destination, and who can make the case that it’s the best place to start and grow a business.”Havenstein says he’s opposed to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, but now that both are law in New Hampshire, he says he’s focused on a “long-term solution.”“[T]he fact of the matter is we have a law, we have a law with regard to Medicaid expansion, and we have a law that would sunset in two and a half years, and that's problematic. And we need to face into that problem now, not wait two and half years and not do anything about it.We've had a lack of leadership into facing into problems like that. I'm going to face into it, work with the legislature that voted in and approved this current bill to find a solution, a long-term solution that we can afford.”Havenstein opposes the Northern Pass project as currently proposed, saying it does not address the “balanced approach” to New Hampshire’s energy needs that he favors.“I think the real question is, "what do we do to make Northern Pass or projects like Northern Pass work?" Cause clearly we have to bring lower cost energy, base electricity in this case, into our region, into the grid. That's good for New Hampshire, that's good for our citizens, anything that can reduce our rates, but do it in a balanced way and right now I don't think we have a balanced approach to that project, so I'm not in favor of it.”

Hassan Wins Second Term As Governor

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,”

Havenstein_Concedes_Logan_Shanon.jpg
Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR
Walt Havenstein concedes the race.

  Despite those long odds, the fact the race was decided by a closer margin, may have helped Republicans down ticket. They added to their majority in the Senate, and will likely end up in control of the House.

That could make Hassan’s stated agenda harder to achieve, and also put her ability to forge bipartisan solutions on major issues to the test.

“We will not always agree on the first pass,” she declared in her victory speech, “We will debate, sometimes vigorously. But if all of us maintain a willingness to solve problems, and a willingness to reach common sense solutions and compromise, then we will keep moving New Hampshire forward.”

Havenstein meanwhile says he may not be done with politics, and there’s little reason for Republicans to dislike a first time candidate who ran competitively against a popular governor.

Especially one willing to put his money where his mouth is.

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