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March 19. 2013 9:13PM

NH attorneys general often go on to great heights

Outgoing Attorney General Michael Delaney will soon enter a career path that has proved successful for his predecessors.

Former attorneys general include a U.S. Supreme Court justice (David Souter), a federal appeals court judge (Jeff Howard), a governor (Stephen Merrill), U.S. senators (Warren Rudman and Kelly Ayotte), and a law firm founder/political kingpin (Tom Rath).

"To a certain extent, it's what you choose it to be. It's a pretty good stepping stone," said Lawrence A. Vogelman, president of the New Hampshire Bar Association. He said Delaney is well-respected in the legal profession, smart and is well-liked by lawyers in his office.

"We're kind of a small firm and not looking for anyone," he said about the six-person Manchester firm that he shares with David Nixon, "but we might make room for him."

Meanwhile, Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said Delaney would stack up well against any Republican, and he imagined a 2016 Senate race involving two former attorneys general - Ayotte and Delaney.

"I had for years thought he'd make an excellent mayor of Manchester, or (an office) above that," Buckley said. "He's always said he's not interested, but we'll see."

Delaney said Tuesday he has "no current interest" to run for higher office. And he said he would not discuss other career options until he left the Attorney General's Office.

Delaney moved to New Hampshire in 1994 and worked in a Manchester law firm before joining the Attorney General's Office as a homicide prosecutor. He rose through the ranks to head the homicide unit and served as deputy attorney general under then-Attorney General Kelly Ayotte.

He left the office to become legal counsel to then-Gov. John Lynch. Lynch appointed him attorney general in 2009.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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