Wednesday November 7, 2012

HINSDALE, N.H. -- The state will remain under Democratic leadership as Maggie Hassan defeated Republican Ovide Lamontagne in New Hampshire's 2012 gubernatorial election.

The former state senator bested the self-described Tea Party favorite on Election Day and is now set to replace retiring Gov. John Lynch in January. According to the Union Leader, Hassan walked away with an easy win.

Hassan addressed her supporters at 11 p.m. in Manchester.

"I want to thank Ovide Lamontagne for his commitment to public service and for his campaign. A few moments ago, he offered his assistance in the coming months, and I look forward to working with him for a common purpose," she told the crowd. "New Hampshire faces great challenges in the coming years to ensure we are building a strong and vibrant economic future. From early results, it appears that the New Hampshire Legislature will be nearly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

"We should see this not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity to move beyond the partisan divide," she continued.

Hassan's Twitter feed thanked all the people who elected her the 81st governor of New Hampshire.

Hinsdale resident Elizabeth Hutchins said she voted for Hassan because the Democrat seemed to care more about women's issues, such as equal pay for equal work. She also said she doesn't like that Lamontagne is a member of the Tea Party movement.

"I'm not a Tea Party person," she said outside the Millstream Community Center on Tuesday.

Allison Barrett, also of Hinsdale, said she voted Democratic down the line, including Hassan.

Jack Franks, of Walpole, said he is a staunch fiscal conservative and voted for Lamontagne. He said Lamontagne was the alternative to Hassan, who he described as "a tax-and-spend liberal."

His sentiment spilled over into his consideration for the presidential race, as he enthusiastically voted for Romney.

"On one hand you've got a community organizer (President Barack Obama) who never worked in the private sector a day in his life. Absolutely zero experience. From an executive standpoint, he was a state senator for two years, a senator for year," Franks said outside Walpole Town Hall. "On the other hand you've got a man with executive experience who governed and ran a state. He's a businessman and has a proven track record and I think I can even go a step further and say, now that Obama has a record, you can see where we are -- $6 trillion more in the hole, jobless rate around 8 percent, that's where we were four years ago, gas is up $2.10 a gallon."

Ken Rooney, a Navy veteran, said he voted for Obama in 2008 but has been disgusted by what he has seen since then.

"I voted for the four Americans kills in Libya [at the U.S. embassy]. I voted for (Border Patrol) Agent (Brian) Terry who died at the border with the ATF. And I voted for the people down in New York who have been sold out," he said. "It all comes down to the same thing -- (Obama is) incompetent. He doesn't care about Americans."

Barrett said she is pleased with the work Obama has done since elected.

"I think he's done well with what he was given and what he was left with from past years," she said. "I'd like to give him another four years to see what he can do."

Rachel Hudon also sided with Obama, saying she appreciates his commitment to gender equality and women's rights. She said she also likes that he personally supports same-sex marriage.

Results from the Cheshire County's District 1 race were not available at presstime. Tara Sad, Bill Butynski, Lucy McVitty Weber and Paul Berch were the Democratic nominees while Edwin "Smokey" O. Smith, Robert W. Moore Jr., Whitney Aldrich and Elaine H. Levlocke were on the GOP ticket.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.