The governor is elected at the biennial state general election in November of even-numbered years. New Hampshire is one of only two states, along with bordering Vermont, to hold gubernatorial elections every two years as opposed to every four. Currently, the governor is DemocratMaggie Hassan from Exeter, who has served since 2013 and is the state's eighty-first governor. In New Hampshire, the governor has no term limit of any kind. No governor has served more than three terms since the 18th century (when the term was for only one year) with the exception of John Lynch, who won an unprecedented fourth two-year term on November 2, 2010. John Taylor Gilman had been the last governor before Lynch to serve longer than six years, serving 14 one-year terms as governor between 1794 and 1816.
Unlike in many other states in which Executive Councils are merely advisory, the Executive Council of New Hampshire has a strong check on the governor's power. The five-member Executive Council has a veto over many actions of the governor. Together, the Governor and Executive Council approve contracts with a value of $5,000 or more, approve pardons, and appoint the directors and commissioners, judges, the Attorney General and officers in the National Guard.
The governor has the sole power to veto bills and to command the National Guard while it is not in federal service.
Starting in 1679, the colonial governors had been known as "President of New Hampshire". From 1786 to 1791, "President of the State of New Hampshire" was the official style of the position. The New Hampshire Constitution was amended in 1791 to replace "President" with "Governor".