, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

September 20, 2012

Hassan for Governor

I am voting for Maggie Hassan as the Democratic candidate for governor in the upcoming Primary Election. Let me explain why.

Today, New Hampshire is a "purple" state, half Democratic blue and half Republican red. Ideally, we ask that our elected officials be representative of all our citizens. Democratic governor John Lynch understood this point well. He was a moderate who listened to opinions from across the political spectrum, and whenever possible, attempted to negotiate reasonable compromises. As a result, Lynch was a highly successful governor (he was elected a record-breaking four times), who accomplished much during his time in office and enjoyed wide public support.

Also, Lynch was a good friend to Democrats in times of need. When Republicans swept the state in 2010, moderate Lynch survived. As a result, his gubernatorial vetoes prevented overwhelming Republican majorities in the state from turning bad legislative sessions into disastrous ones.

To my mind, Maggie Hassan continues the John Lynch tradition of moderate, open-minded, rational leadership. When I listen to Maggie speak, I hear someone who listens to everyone and considers all sides of complex issues before she reaches a thoughtful decision. She is highly experienced in state government, having served several terms in the State Senate and having acted as both president pro tem and the majority leader.

Democrats in New Hampshire are poised for a resurgence in the November election. Republican extremism and the dictatorial leadership of GOP House Speaker Bill O'Brien have affronted the electorate. What can stop us from making a strong comeback - narrow, partisan Democratic candidates who do not represent the diversity of our "purple," centrist state.

Both of Maggie's opponents in the Primary are honest, honorable people, but they promote constricted, partisan political viewpoints. As such, they will have a hard time appealing to a wide spectrum of voters in the General Election. This year, any Democratic candidate for governor who suffers a crushing defeat will drag the rest of the ticket down, causing Democrats to lose an historic opportunity for a comeback in New Hampshire. We will be stuck in the same weak minority position we now occupy.

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