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October 25. 2011 11:06AM

Former Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan makes gubernatorial bid official

MANCHESTER - Former Democratic state Sen. Maggie Hassan announced today she is running for governor in 2012.

The three-term senator from Exeter stressed the need to create jobs by "investing" in education and job training programs and by fostering a business climate that attracts innovative small businesses and new technologies.

“New Hampshire will rise to meet the challenges that we face. And we will succeed because Granite Staters don't give up. We don't walk away from any challenge and we don't turn our backs on our families, our friends and our neighbors,” Hassan said when announcing her candidacy at Manchester Community College.

Hassan also pledged to be a fiscally responsible governor who would veto any sales or income tax and commit herself to a balanced state budget.

Hassan, 53, a lawyer, took a shot at the current Republican legislative leadership and Ovide Lamontagne, a Republican and only other candidate to officially announce he is running for governor.

Describing her vision of state government as being able to offer people a “simple hand up to help them solve their own problems” particularly in troubled times, Hassan called House Speaker William O'Brien, R-Mont Vernon, and Lamontagne “a group of extremists” who have turned their backs on the state's citizens.

“Right now in Concord, Speaker O'Brien's Legislature has turned its back on the people of New Hampshire. It has embraced an ideologically-driven agenda that fails to create any opportunity for New Hampshire families,” Hassan said.

Hassan announced her candidacy with her husband, Tom, and two children, Meg and Ben, who is disabled, at her side. Her mother Peggy Wood and about three dozen supporters also were present.

Hassan served three terms in the state Senate from 2004 to 2010 when she lost her seat during last year's elections.

State Republican Party Chairman Wayne MacDonald assailed Hassan for supporting and proposing more than 80 tax and fee increases while in office.

“She is simply wrong for New Hampshire,” MacDonald said in a statement.

New Hampshire rejected Hassan in 2010 because of her record of taking steps “that was destroying the New Hampshire economy,” he said.

“Today she claims she will be fiscally disciplined, balance the state budget and keep taxes low. The problem is, her record is clear and doesn’t match these words,” MacDonald said.


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