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Gubernatorial candidate Havenstein wins approval from Ballot Law Commission

CONCORD – Alton businessman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein never gave up his New Hampshire domicile a majority of the Ballot Law Commission determined this morning.

On a split 3-2 decision, the commission upheld Secretary of State's decision to accept his filing to run for governor.

When he filed, Havenstein asked the Ballot Law Commission for a declaratory ruling on his residency to put the matter to rest.

Democrats had argued Maryland was Havenstein's primary residence until 2012 as he accepted property tax credits reserved for residents of that state.

During Monday's hearing, Havenstein's attorney, David Vicinanzo, argued Havenstein always intended to retain his New Hampshire residency although he lived a majority of each year in Maryland from 2007 to 2012 when he was the chief executive for two national defense contractors.

“The suggestion that to move temporarily to a fairly Spartan apartment would divest him of his domicile in New Hampshire is untenable and I argue unfair,” Vicinanzo told the commission.

But the Democrat's attorney argued the framers of the state constitution intended for governors to live here and not somewhere else.

Greg Ahlgren said Havenstein's “honest intention (to retain his New Hampshire domicile) is well and good, but he wasn't here and that is what the people who fought and died in the American Revolution wanted, they wanted their governors here.”

The Ballot Law Commission will issue a written opinion in four to five days.

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