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November 05. 2012 8:46PM

Hassan would keep direction as governor, Lynch says at Nashua rally

NASHUA - Gubernatorial hopeful Maggie Hassan was joined Monday in the Gate City by Gov. John Lynch, whom she said she will emulate if she wins in today's election.

Lynch highlighted New Hampshire's successes in economy, education and safety, saying a Gov. Hassan would keep the state going in the same direction.

"We have a successful strategy in place, and we need a governor who is going to protect the strategy, but at the same time move New Hampshire forward," Lynch said. "And that governor is Maggie Hassan."

Lynch emphasized his fellow Democrat's approach to education, which he said is key to the state's economic development. "In order to . encourage business to expand in New Hampshire and create more jobs, we need to make sure that the educated workforce is available, the workers with the skills and talents and qualifications necessary to fill those jobs are here."

Hassan understands this, he said, adding that this is why the state needs her as governor.

The governor also said that having worked with Hassan, he knows she will govern in a bipartisan way. "She has the ability to reach across party lines, to bring people together in a very pragmatic way to solve problems and create opportunities."

Hassan spent Monday in the south of the state, having campaigned last week from Berlin to Laconia and then traveled around the state over the weekend.

The noontime event at Martha's Exchange was packed with Hassan supporters and volunteers.

"Gov. Lynch has been an extraordinary governor for a number of reasons," Hassan said. "First and foremost because he always puts the citizens of New Hampshire first."

She said Lynch demonstrates the accessibility that all elected leaders in the state need to have, and that he hears from all stakeholders before taking steps on issues.

"That's certainly the kind of leadership I will emulate," Hassan said.

The former Senate majority leader repeated her campaign theme of the election being about two visions: her vision looking forward, or Ovide Lamontagne's aim to move backwards with a "extreme and divisive agenda."

Hassan outlined her innovation plan, which includes tax credits, technical assistance for businesses, and building a strong workforce.

She also called for the restoration of funding to the university system, and vowed to balance the budget without an income or sales tax, which she said she would veto.

"This really is a campaign about moving the state forward," she said.

Asked for her final message, Hassan again invoked New Hampshire's 80th governor. "We have a real opportunity here to continue in the direction of Gov. Lynch, moving the state forward, bringing people together to build the economy - and that's what I want to do as governor."

Nashua's Harvey Keye, a former Democratic state representative and veteran of the Civil Rights movement, was upbeat about Hassan's chances. "She's going to be a fantastic governor because she cares about people, she has the confidence of both sides of the aisle," he said.

Rep. David Campbell was also at the event. A five-term house member from Nashua's Ward 6 and aspirant to the Speaker of the House seat, he said the biggest difference between Hassan and Lamontagne is on women.

"Ovide wants to eliminate Planned Parenthood. Ovide wants to restrict a woman's right to choose as much as possible. And he's not sensitive to women's health issues," Campbell said. "I think that's why Ovide's campaign never really took off."

srios@newstote.com


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