Maggie Hassan

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Maggie Hassan
Maggie Hassan inaugural address.jpg
81st Governor of New Hampshire
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by John Lynch
Majority Leader of the New Hampshire Senate
In office
December 1, 2008 – December 1, 2010
Preceded by Joseph Foster
Succeeded by Jeb Bradley
Member of the New Hampshire Senate
from the 23rd district
In office
January 3, 2005 – December 1, 2010
Preceded by Russell Prescott
Succeeded by Russell Prescott
Personal details
Born Margaret Wood
(1958-02-27) February 27, 1958 (age 58)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Thomas Hassan
Children 2
Alma mater Brown University
Northeastern University
Religion United Church of Christ

Margaret "Maggie" Hassan (née Wood; born February 27, 1958) is an American Democratic Party politician, who is the current and 81st Governor of New Hampshire. Hassan was elected Governor in 2012, and was sworn into office on January 3, 2013. Hassan won re-election on November 4, 2014.[1]

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Hassan is a graduate of Brown University and earned her J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law. After graduating from law school in 1985 and passing the bar, Hassan began her career in private practice. Hassan later became an Associate Counsel at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and reentered private practice in New Hampshire.

In 2002, after losing an initial run for the New Hampshire State Senate, Hassan was elected to the New Hampshire Senate in 2004. Hassan was elected to a total of three two-year terms, representing the New Hampshire's 23rd district, from January 2005 to December 2010. Hassan became the Majority Leader in the State Senate in 2008, before losing re-election in 2010.

After incumbent Governor John Lynch announced that he would not run for re-election, Hassan declared her candidacy for Governor in October 2011. Hassan defeated former State Senator Jacalyn Cilley in the Democratic primary, and faced Attorney and Republican nominee Ovide M. Lamontagne in the general election. Hassan won with 55% of the vote, becoming the second woman to be elected to the office after fellow Democrat, Jeanne Shaheen.

Since becoming the Governor of New Hampshire, Hassan was elected Vice Chair of the Democratic Governors Association in December 2013.

Early life, education, and legal career[edit]

Hassan was born Margaret Wood in the city of Boston,[2] the daughter of Margaret (Byers) and Robert Coldwell Wood, a political scientist who briefly served as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Lyndon Johnson administration.[3]

Hassan attended Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Massachusetts, and graduated with the Class of 1976. In 1980, Hassan earned her B.A. from Brown University, Rhode Island, and in 1980, she received her J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law, Massachusetts.[4][5] From 1985 to 1999, Hassan worked as an attorney.[4] From 1985 to 1992, Hassan worked at the law firm, PalmerDodge Advisors. From 1993 to 1996, Hassan was Associate General Counsel for Brigham and Women's Hospital/Partners Healthcare of Boston.

In 1996, Hassan began working as an attorney for Sullivan, Weinstein and McQuay, a commercial and business litigation firm.[6] In 1999, Hassan was appointed by then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen as a citizen advisor to the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission.[4]

New Hampshire Senate[edit]


Hassan campaigning for Hillary Clinton, April 2007

Hassan first ran for the New Hampshire Senate in 2002 but lost to incumbent Senator Russell Prescott 54% to 46%.[7] In 2004, she ran against Prescott again and won 52% to 48%.[8] In 2006, she won re-election against Natalie Healy 60% to 40%.[9] In 2008, she defeated Lee Quandt 57% to 43%.[10] She served as the assistant Democratic whip, president pro tempore, and majority leader of the State Senate during her six years in office. She represented New Hampshire's 23rd district, which includes the towns of East Kingston, Exeter, Kensington, Kingston, Newfields, Newmarket, Newton, Seabrook, South Hampton and Stratham.

In November 2010, Hassan was defeated by Prescott in a second rematch, 53% to 47%,[11] as Republicans regained control of both the state House and state Senate.[12]


Hassan's activities during her tenure in the State Senate included co-sponsorship of a bill that made New Hampshire a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative[13] and co-sponsorship of a bill that required companies to notify their workers in the event of planned wide-scale layoffs or plant closings.[14] In 2008, Hassan voted against a bill that would have prevented sanctuary cities in New Hampshire.[15]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Capital Budget Committee
  • Commerce, Labor and Consumer Protection
  • Finance
  • Public and Municipal Affairs (Chair)
  • Energy, Environment, and Economic Development (Vice Chair)
  • Internal Affairs Committee
  • Executive Department and Administration Committee

Governor of New Hampshire[edit]



A Maggie Hassan election sign.

In October 2011, Hassan announced her candidacy for governor of New Hampshire.[16] She won the Democratic primary with 53%, defeating former state senator Jacalyn Cilley, who received 39%.[17]

On August 8, 2012, the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association endorsed Hassan.[18] Hassan was also endorsed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.[19] Hassan was the first New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate in the 2012 elections to launch advertisements on broadcast and cable television.[20] Hassan took "The Pledge" not to support a state income or sales tax as governor.[21] Campaign themes included implementing the Affordable Care Act and restoring all of the cuts made to the state’s university system.[22]

In the general election, Hassan defeated Republican nominee Ovide M. Lamontagne by 55% to 43%, carrying every county in the state.[23] Her campaign was managed by Matt Burgess and senior consultants included media consultant Joe Slade White.[24]

Hassan's victory made her the only female Democratic governor in the nation. Hassan became the second woman to serve as Governor of New Hampshire, the first being then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Women Vote!, the independent expenditure arm of EMILY's List, spent approximately $550,000 on Hassan's race.[25]

Independent expenditure groups, which are prohibited from coordinating their activities with candidates, spent more than $11 million on Hassan's behalf. Major financial support for Hassan's election came from the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic Governor's Association, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the National Education Association.[26]


In June 2014, Hassan filed to run for re-election.[27] She defeated Ian Freeman in the Democratic primary election on September 9, 2014, going on to defeat Republican Walt Havenstein in the general election by a margin of 52% to 48%. Hassan carried 7 of 10 counties.[28]


Hassan was sworn in as Governor for a two-year term on January 3, 2013. In December 2013, she was elected as vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association.[29]

During a conflict between two sides of the Demoulas family, which owns the Market Basket grocery chain, Hassan urged the family to resolve the dispute, which threatened 9,000 jobs in New Hampshire.[30]

Hassan has suggested creating a new state executive position charged with making government more efficient. Hassan subsequently denied three public records requests related to the potential creation of the position.[31] After Hassan denied the public records requests, the New Hampshire Union Leader published an editorial which said Hassan was "going to extraordinary lengths to deny the public–and lawmakers–access to public records."[32]

In February 2015, Hassan put forward a two-year, $11.5 billion budget proposal which included gambling legalization, an increase in cigarette taxes, and an increase in car registration fees.[33] In June 2015, Hassan vetoed the $11.3 billion budget passed by the New Hampshire Legislature.[34]

In July 2015, Hassan vetoed a bill that would have removed the licensing requirement for carrying concealed firearms in New Hampshire.[35]

In response to New Hampshire's opioid crisis, Hassan appointed Jack Wozmak as the state's "drug czar" in early 2015. He resigned one year later in response to complaints about his job performance.[36][34]

2016 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

Maggie Hassan speaking about her reasons for supporting Hillary Clinton and introducing Jeanne Shaheen, the next speaker in line, at a Hillary Clinton campaign event 8 February 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire

On October 5, 2015, Hassan announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2016. She is challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte.[37] The race is considered one of the most competitive U.S. Senate races of the year.[38]

Hassan has been endorsed by the pro-choice Democratic political action committee EMILY's List, which also backed her two gubernatorial runs.[39] Hassan has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Hassan's husband, Thomas, was Principal of Phillips Exeter Academy from 2008-2015, and is currently president-elect of School Year Abroad.[41] When Hassan's husband was Principal of Phillips Exeter Academy, the Hassans did not live in the Governor's Mansion, instead living in a colonial mansion on the Phillips Exeter campus provided to them as part of her husband's employment.[42] After Thomas Hassan left his position at Phillips Exeter Academy, the Hassans returned to their home in Exeter.[42][43] Hassan has two adult children, the older of whom, Ben, has cerebral palsy.[2]

Electoral history[edit]

New Hampshire State Senate 23rd District Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Russell Prescott (inc.) 10,659 54.04
Democratic Maggie Hassan 9,067 45.96
New Hampshire State Senate 23rd District Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maggie Hassan 15,201 51.96
Republican Russell Prescott (inc.) 14,054 48.04
New Hampshire State Senate 23rd District Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maggie Hassan (inc.) 10,566 60.12
Republican Natalie Healy 7,008 39.88
New Hampshire State Senate 23rd District Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maggie Hassan (inc.) 17,212 57.20
Republican Lee Quandt 12,877 42.80
New Hampshire State Senate 23rd District Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Russell Prescott 11,001 53.38
Democratic Maggie Hassan (inc.) 9,606 46.62
New Hampshire Governor Democratic Primary Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maggie Hassan 45,120 53.64
Democratic Jackie Cilley 33,066 39.31
Democratic Bill Pearce Kennedy 5,936 7.06
New Hampshire Governor Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maggie Hassan 378,934 54.66
Republican Ovide Lamontagne 295,026 42.56
Libertarian John Babiarz 19,251 2.78
New Hampshire Governor Democratic Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maggie Hassan (inc.) 39,185 94.18
Democratic Ian Freeman 1,719 4.13
Democratic Clecia Terrio 704 1.69
New Hampshire Governor Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maggie Hassan (inc.) 254,666 52.48
Republican Walt Havenstein 230,610 47.52


  1. ^ "Hassan Tops Havenstein To Win 2nd Term As NH Governor". CBS News. November 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Bernstein, David (July 2016). "A Rumble in the Granite State". Boston Magazine. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Professor, HUD chief Robert Wood dies. Sarah H. Wright, News Office. April 6, 2005. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Gingrich, Drew (November 7, 2012). "Profile: New Hampshire Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan". USA Today. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan". National Governors Association. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  6. ^ Landrigan, Kevin (October 26, 2011). "Former state Sen. Maggie Hassan making bid for governor: First Democrat to declare candidacy". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Our Campaigns - NH State Senate 23 Race - November 5, 2002
  8. ^ NH State Senate 23 Race - November 2, 2004
  9. ^ NH State Senate 23 Race - November 7, 2006
  10. ^ NH State Senate 23 Race, November 4, 2008
  11. ^ NH State Senate 23 Race, November 2, 2010
  12. ^ "Maggie Hassan concedes to Prescott in District 23",
  13. ^ "HB 1434 - Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative - Key Vote". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  14. ^ "N.H. enacts law to protect workers during plant closings". Reliable Plant. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  15. ^ Morris, Allie (November 25, 2015). "Did Maggie Hassan vote against legislation to "prevent sanctuary cities" in New Hampshire?". PolitiFact (Concord Monitor). Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  16. ^ Hassan announces run for N.H. governor
  17. ^ Landrigan, Kevin (September 13, 2012). "Hassan, Lamontagne paint each other as extremists day after primary victories". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  18. ^ "Teachers union endorses Hassan". WMUR. August 8, 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  19. ^ Landrigan, Kevin (July 26, 2012). "Clinton back in NH to support Hassan". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "Hassan Launches Statewide TV Advertising on Education and Women’s Health Care Tomorrow". New Hampshire Labor News. August 6, 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  21. ^ Timmins, AnnMarie (August 17, 2012). "The power of 'The Pledge'". Concord Monitor. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  22. ^ Pindell, James (February 2014). "Grading Gov. Hassan's First Year". New Hampshire Magazine. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  23. ^ "2012 New Hampshire Governor Results". Politico. November 19, 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  24. ^ "Exeter's Hassan Announces Campaign Staff". Exeter Patch. January 18, 2012. 
  25. ^ Terkel, Amanda (November 6, 2012). "NH Election Results 2012: Maggie Hassan Becomes Only Female Democratic Governor In U.S.". Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  26. ^ Wallstin, Brian (November 16, 2012). "Hassan's Win Powered By $11 Million In Outside Spending". New Hampshire Public Radio. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  27. ^ Stevens, Rik (June 13, 2014). "Maggie Hassan Files In Governor’s Race". Valley News. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  28. ^ "Governor - 2014 General Election". New Hampshire Secretary of State. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  29. ^ Burns, Alexander. "DGA appoints leaders for 2014". Politico. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  30. ^ Ross, Casey. "Patrick offers to help end Market Basket feud". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  31. ^ Van Fleet, Jonathan (March 1, 2015). "Hassan says efficiency ideas still none of the public’s business". Concord Monitor. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  32. ^ "Hassan's hide & seek: Playing games with public records". New Hampshire Union Leader. March 4, 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  33. ^ Ronayne, Kathleen (February 18, 2015). "N.H. still weighing support for casino". Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  34. ^ a b Everett, Burgess (January 27, 2016). "New Hampshire's other smackdown". Politico. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  35. ^ Ronayne, Kathleen (July 7, 2015). "N.H. governor vetoes concealed carry bill". Portland Press Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  36. ^ Rayno, Garry (January 15, 2016). "Embattled drug czar resigns". New Hampshire Union Leader. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  37. ^ Cahn, Emily (October 5, 2015). "Maggie Hassan Will Run for Senate in New Hampshire". Roll Call. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  38. ^ Rubin, Jennifer (October 6, 2015). "2016’s toughest Senate matchup: Maggie Hassan vs. Kelly Ayotte". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  39. ^ DiStaso, John (October 8, 2015). "EMILY’s List is Hassan’s first national endorsement in US Senate race". WMUR. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  40. ^ Page, Susan (February 4, 2016). "Gov. Hassan: Clinton just might beat Sanders in N.H.". USA Today. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  41. ^ Sanborn, Aaron (July 4, 2014). "Phillips Exeter's Principal Hassan to step down". Seacoast Online. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  42. ^ a b Ball, Molly (April 11, 2014). "How She Does It". The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  43. ^ Ronayne, Kathleen (January 3, 2016). "Hassan juggles Senate race with need to work with GOP". Associated Press. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
John Lynch
Democratic nominee for Governor of New Hampshire
2012, 2014
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
John Lynch
Governor of New Hampshire