A Week of Statehouse Shuffling: Hassan Steps Aside, Sununu Prepares to Step In

Jan 2, 2017

By the end of this week, New Hampshire will — technically — have had three different governors in the span of just a few days.

Governor-Elect Chris Sununu will be sworn into his new role Thursday afternoon, becoming the country’s youngest sitting governor and the first Republican to lead New Hampshire in 12 years. (Former Gov. Craig Benson, whose term ended in 2005, was the last Republican in the corner office.)

But Monday marked the final day in office for the state’s soon-to-be former governor, Maggie Hassan – she’s set to begin work as New Hampshire’s newest United State’s senator on Tuesday, so she stepped away from her seat a few days early to avoid any overlap.

In the meantime, State Senate President Chuck Morse will step in as acting governor to fill in the gap between Hassan’s departure and Sununu’s inauguration. This follows a precedent employed the last time a sitting New Hampshire governor was elected to the U.S. Senate, when Judd Gregg moved between the two roles in 1993.

This year also marks the first time in more than a decade that Republicans will control the governorship, the executive council and the Legislature. 

New Hampshire’s House and Senate will gavel in for the first session of the year on Wednesday morning, and the executive council will hold its first meeting (with Sununu presiding) following the inauguration on Thursday afternoon.