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Hassan vs.Lamontagne Debate, Sept. 19, 2012Democrat Maggie Hassan suggested in the first gubernatorial debate of the 2012 general election campaign Wednesday that Republican legislative cuts in health and human services funding may have slowed the state’s response to the Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital. Republican Ovide Lamontagne called it a “reckless” accusation, and a “classic politicization of a significant issue.

Democrat for governor Maggie Hassan and Republican challenger Ovide Lamontagne shake hands while debating at St. Anselm College in Manchester on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Democrat for governor Maggie Hassan and Republican challenger Ovide Lamontagne smile as they are introduced at Wednesday's debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester.  (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Democrat for governor Maggie Hassan and Republican challenger Ovide Lamontagne debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012.  (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Democrat for governor Maggie Hassan and Republican challenger Ovide Lamontagne debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Democrat for governor Maggie Hassan and Republican challenger Ovide Lamontagne debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012.  (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)