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.
For months, Havenstein has stressed he’s considered New Hampshire his home since he moved here in 1999.
During the hearing, his lawyer noted Havenstein always voted here had never planned on ending up anywhere else.
Afterwards Havenstein told reporters he’s was glad most commissioners saw things his way.
“The area that I think is most compelling is the fact that I came home. I came home routinely as often as I could. And so the context of domicile was never at issue, certainly not in my mind.”
A lawyer for the Democratic party noted that Havenstein signed several documents, including a mortgage and a Maryland tax return, where that indicated a Bethesda condominium as his primary residence. Havenstein called those mistakes.