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 57)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Thomas Hassan
Children 2
Alma mater Brown University
Northeastern University
Religion Congregationalism

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. She won re-election on November 4, 2014.[1]

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Hassan is a graduate of Brown University and also 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. She later became an associate counsel at Brigham and Women's Hospital and reentered private practice in New Hampshire. After losing an initial run for the New Hampshire State Senate in 2002, Hassan was elected to the New Hampshire Senate in 2004. She 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 reelection 2010.

After incumbent Governor John Lynch announced he would not be running for reelection, 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, where she won with 55% of the vote, becoming the second woman to be elected to the office, after fellow Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. Since becoming governor, Hassan was elected vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association in December 2013.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Hassan was born Margaret Wood in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Margaret (Byers) and Robert Coldwell Wood, a political scientist who briefly served as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.[2] She attended Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School and graduated with the class of 1976. She then earned her B.A. from Brown University and received her J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law.[3] She worked as an attorney for the law firm PalmerDodge Advisors from 1985–92. From 1993–96, she was Associate General Counsel for Brigham and Women's Hospital/Partners Healthcare of Boston.

She worked as an attorney for Sullivan, Weinstein and McQuay, a commercial and business litigation firm, since 1996.[4][5] Her career in public service began in 1999 when she was appointed by then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen as a citizen advisor to the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission.[3]

New Hampshire Senate[edit]


Hassan first ran for the New Hampshire Senate in 2002 but lost to incumbent Senator Russell Prescott 54% to 46%.[6] In 2004, she ran against Prescott again and won 52% to 48%.[7] In 2006, she won re-election against Natalie Healy 60% to 40%.[8] In 2008, she defeated Lee Quandt 57% to 43%.[9] 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.[3][10][11]

In November 2010, Hassan was defeated by Prescott in a second rematch, 53% to 47%,[12] as Republicans regained control of both the state House and state Senate.[13]


Hassan campaigning for Hillary Clinton, April 2007

Economic Development Advisory Council – SB 394 (2008) Hassan sponsored this bill, which established an economic development advisory council to aid in the division of economic development and to assist in establishing goals, measurements, and planning efforts related to economic development.[14]

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – HB 1434 (2008) RGGI is a regional market-based program designed to reduce air pollution at the lowest cost to consumers and businesses. It was instituted by ten northeastern states to help limit carbon emissions, encourage innovation in alternative energy, and improve energy efficiency.[15]

Southeast Watershed Alliance – SB 168 (2009) Hassan chaired the Great Bay Estuary Commission, which led her to sponsor this bill, which repealed the estuary alliance for sewage treatment by replacing it with the Southeast Watershed Alliance. This allows communities to create regional solutions to waste water infrastructure challenges.[16][17]

Education Accountability – SB 180 (2009) SB 180 is the final piece of a three-year legislative effort to define, determine the cost and ensure accountability for delivering a quality education. Under this legislation, schools are required to demonstrate they are providing an opportunity for a quality education either by meeting the school approval standards that relate to adequacy or by demonstrating that their students are meeting academic goals based on various performance measures. The accountability system relies on data that school districts and the state Department of Education already collect.[18]

Blocking Massachusetts Sales Tax Collection – SB 5 (2009) This legislation was a direct response to a Massachusetts proposal to collect taxes on purchases made in New Hampshire by Massachusetts residents. It restricts New Hampshire retailers from disclosing private customer information to other states seeking to collect a sales or use tax.[19]

New Hampshire WARN Act – SB 40 (2009) Requires companies to notify their workers in the event of massive layoffs or plant closings.[20]

Anti-Bullying Bill – HB 1523 (2010) HB 1523 expands existing state law that requires schools to have policies against bullying and adds a new definition for cyber-bullying that addresses bullying through the use of electronic devices including but not limited to "telephones, cellular phones, computers, pagers, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging and web sites".[21] The enhanced anti-bullying legislation also requires school districts to educate staff and volunteers so they can recognize and address instances of bullying. Under this legislation, the Department of Education assists local schools and prepares an annual report of each of the substantiated instances of bullying or cyber-bullying for the legislature.

NH Works – SB 501 (2010) Allows existing businesses to scale back their operations without laying off workers. Under this legislation, companies and their workers can agree to reduced hours in place of layoffs and the state must make up part of the lost wages through unemployment benefits. The legislation also called for the Department of Employment Security to develop a system to assess the skills of unemployed workers and help them get skills or certifications that would make it easier for them to find work. A third component allows newly hired workers to continue on unemployment for up to six weeks of on-the-job training. At that time, the employer is able to decide if the worker had the skills needed to continue as a full-fledged employee.[22]

Health Care Access through Purchasing Alliances – SB 408 (2010) SB 408 allows professional and non-profit associations like chambers of commerce that have been in existence for at least 10 years to form alliances for the purpose of purchasing small group health insurance coverage for their employees. The purchasing alliance must include at least 3,000 lives, including policy-holders and family members covered under the policy.[23]

Commission on Health Care Cost Containment – SB 505 (2010) Hassan introduced SB 505, which established a state commission on health care cost containment. The bill was signed into law in July 2010. In 2012, the commission will report its findings on the impact of federal health care reform, options for creating a common payment system and ways to encourage the use of incentives to improve quality and efficiency.[24]

Conner's Law – HB 569 (2010) HB 569 was passed while Hassan was chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Consumer Protection. The law requires insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies like ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy. The bill was supported by Autism Speaks, the New Hampshire Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Autism Society of New Hampshire.[25]

Medical Marijuana – HB 573 (2013) HB 573 was signed into law by Maggie Hassan making New Hampshire the 19th state to allow residents with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Donna Schlachman(D-Exeter), will allow residents with certain debilitating illnesses, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.[25]

Recreational Marijuana Veto Threat - HB 492 (2014) According to the Washington Post, "New Hampshire’s House of Representatives on Wednesday approved legalizing marijuana for recreational use, making it the first state legislative chamber ever to do so, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group." The article continues, "The GOP-led Senate has already rejected a bill that would only have decriminalized pot and Gov. Maggie Hassan has promised to veto legalization."[26]

Workplace Anti-bullying Act - HB 591 (2014) HB 591 was aimed to prohibit employers from subjecting employees to an “abusive work environment.” The bill states that “'[a]busive conduct' means a pattern of incidents involving written, verbal, or electronic communications, or physical acts or gestures, or any combination thereof, directed at another employee or group of employees which intimidates, degrades, or humiliates the target. Such incidents may be overt or covert behavior, or both."[27] All claims filed under the provisions were to be investigated by the commissioner of labor, or the director of personnel of the department of administrative services. Hassan vetoed the bill, saying that it could lead to "lead to a dramatic increase in litigation." The House supported the veto in September 2014.[28]

On July 6, 2015, Hassan vetoed legislation that would have made New Hampshire the 8th state to allow concealed carry without a permit, or commonly-known as Constitutional Carry[29]

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[3]

Governor of New Hampshire[edit]



One of the many typical signs to be found during election time.

In October 2011, Hassan announced her candidacy for governor of New Hampshire.[30] She stated that education and jobs would be her focus if elected governor, and that one could not be debated separately from the other. She won the Democratic primary with 53%, defeating former state senator Jacalyn Cilley, who received 39%.

On August 8, 2012, the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association endorsed Hassan.[31] Hassan was also endorsed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton at a rally in Nashua on July 25.[32] During the campaign, Hassan set fundraising records,[33] which, according to the campaign, demonstrated strong grassroots support. Hassan was also the first gubernatorial candidate in the 2012 elections to launch television advertisements.[34] Hassan took "The Pledge" not to support a state income or sales tax as governor.

In the general election, Hassan defeated Republican nominee Ovide M. Lamontagne by 55% to 43%, carrying every county in the state. Her campaign was managed by Matt Burgess and senior consultants included media consultant Joe Slade White, pollster Al Quinlan, and Senior Advisors Nick Clemmons and Theo Yedinsky.[35]


On May 30, 2014, Hassan announced her intention to seek a second term.[36] She filed papers for reelection on June 12, 2014. She faced Ian Freeman in the primary election on September 9, 2014. She defeated Republican Walt Havenstein to win a second term in the vote on Nov. 4, 2014, by 52% to 48%, carrying 7 of 10 counties.[37]


Hassan declared she will run for the Senate in New Hampshire on 5 October 2015.[38]


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.[39]

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 and could have drained the state's Unemployment Trust Fund.[40]

Hassan is the second female Governor of New Hampshire, the first being then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Hassan is also one of six current female governors, the other five being Kate Brown (Oregon), Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island), Nikki Haley (South Carolina), Mary Fallin (Oklahoma), and Susana Martinez (New Mexico).[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Margaret Hassan's husband, Thomas, is Principal of Phillips Exeter Academy.[3][41] The Hassans and their two children reside in Exeter on the PEA campus.[42] Hassan and her family have chosen to remain at their Exeter home rather than move to the Governor's Mansion in Concord.


  1. ^ "Hassan Tops Havenstein To Win 2nd Term As NH Governor". CBS News. November 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ Professor, HUD chief Robert Wood dies. Sarah H. Wright, News Office. April 6, 2005. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e Margaret “Maggie” Wood Hassan profile
  4. ^ Margaret Wood Hassan, New Hampshire State Senator, 23rd District
  5. ^ Sullivan, Weinstein and McQuay website
  6. ^ Our Campaigns - NH State Senate 23 Race - November 5, 2002
  7. ^ NH State Senate 23 Race - November 2, 2004
  8. ^ NH State Senate 23 Race - November 7, 2006
  9. ^ NH State Senate 23 Race, November 4, 2008
  10. ^ "Seacoast's former senator weighing bid for governor".
  11. ^ [1] Brown Alumni Magazine - The Marriage of Career, Politics, and Family
  12. ^ NH State Senate 23 Race, November 2, 2010
  13. ^ "Maggie Hassan concedes to Prescott in District 23",
  14. ^ SB394 (2008), New Hampshire Liberty Alliance website
  15. ^ New Hampshire Gov. Lynch Commends House Passage of Bill Allowing NH to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
  16. ^ SB168 (2009) – 2009-06-30 revision, New Hampshire Liberty Alliance website
  17. ^ Epilogue for an election
  18. ^ "SB180 tag". Blue Hampshire. 
  19. ^ "Mass., N.H. tax battle rages on",]
  20. ^ "N.H. enacts law to protect workers during plant closings"
  21. ^ "Governor Lynch Signs Anti-Bullying Bill Into Law", Press Releases: Governor John Lynch]
  22. ^ SB501 (2010), New Hampshire Liberty Alliance website
  23. ^ SB408 (2010), New Hampshire Liberty Alliance website
  24. ^ SB 0505
  25. ^ a b "Autism Speaks Joins the New Hampshire Autism Community in Applauding State Senate Members For Passing Autism Insurance Legislation"
  26. ^ "The N.H. House just became the first state body to OK pot sales, group says"
  27. ^ "HB 591". NH Gov. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  28. ^ Morris, Allie. "New Hampshire House votes to uphold Gov. Maggie Hassan’s veto of anti-bullying bill". Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  29. ^ Eger, Chris. "New Hampshire’s governor vetoes constitutional carry legislation". Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  30. ^ Hassan announces run for N.H. governor
  31. ^ "New Hampshire political news, election coverage, analysis". wmur. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "New Hampshire political news, election coverage, analysis". wmur. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "Exeter's Hassan Announces Campaign Staff". Exeter Patch. January 18, 2012. 
  36. ^ Mackin, Jean (May 30, 2014). "Gov. Hassan announces she is running for reelection". WMUR. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  37. ^ Election results New Hampshire Secretary of State[2]
  38. ^
  39. ^ Burns, Alexander. "DGA appoints leaders for 2014". Politico. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  40. ^ Ross, Casey. "Patrick offers to help end Market Basket feud". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  41. ^ Philips Exeter profile of Thomas Hassan
  42. ^ "Victorious Hassan looks ahead to working with new N.H. Legislature". Concord Monitor. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

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