Who am I?
Im Maggie Hassan and Im honored to be running to be the next Democratic Governor of New Hampshire.
My Dad was a World War II veteran and my Mom was a high school history teacher. They taught me that there was nothing more honorable than serving your community. Their lessons are a big reason why Ive spent my life bringing people together to find common ground and to solve problems as an attorney, as a mom, and during my time in public service.
When my husband Tom and I started our family, the importance of community really hit home.
Our first child, Ben, is 23 and a smart high school graduate who happens to have severe physical disabilities. We were able to raise him at home and include him fully in our community and in local schools because our family, friends, and neighbors helped us and because our community and schools had the resources and expertise necessary to do so.
Our communitys ability to fully integrate Ben also allowed Tom and me to chart our own course as a family. We both worked to provide for our children Tom is now a high school principal and I worked as an attorney. And we decided to have Bens younger sister, Meg who is now 19.
My public service began more than a decade ago, when then-Governor Shaheen appointed me to advise an education funding commission, because of my experience as both an attorney and the mother of a child with severe physical disabilities. I made sure people understood the challenges facing families like mine and so many families across New Hampshire.
This experience led to service in the State Senate. I was first elected in 2004, winning one of the most competitive districts in the state. During my six years in office, I was selected by my colleagues to serve as President Pro Tempore and then Majority Leader.
I approached legislative work as an opportunity to solve problems in a collaborative way. My main focus was on job creation, balancing the budget, improving access to high quality and affordable health care, ensuring a quality education for every child, developing regional approaches to meet infrastructure needs, environmental protection and the development of a clean economy.
I often partnered with Governor John Lynch to work to strengthen the economy and middle-class families. I helped lead the way to finally pass universal kindergarten so that every child in New Hampshire has the same opportunity for a good start in school. And recognizing the importance of a trained and educated workforce to both businesses and workers, I helped lead the effort to raise the high school drop-out age in NH to age 18. The state has seen its drop-out rate drop by half as a result.
I have also tackled consumer protections in health care by enabling children to remain on their parents health insurance until the age of 26, by ensuring that divorced spouses have access to family insurance plans, by requiring that New Hampshires private insurers cover cutting edge treatment for autism (Connors Law), and hearing aids.
My environmental record reflects that environmental protection and economic development go hand-in-hand. I helped champion NHs adoption of renewable portfolio standards and helped lead the effort to pass the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to create jobs, reduce energy costs for businesses and families and curb climate change.
I was also extremely proud to play a leading role in passing marriage equality in New Hampshire. The Concord Monitor reported that I helped gay marriage pass the Senate by crafting an amendment that won over hesitant senators. Former state representative Jim Splaine, who sponsored the legislation, said I was able to find a consensus among Democratic senators that the existing civil union law was not sufficient.
I earned my B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from the Northeastern School of Law. I live in Exeter with my husband Tom Hassan, the principal of Phillips Exeter Academy and our children Ben (age 23) and Meg (age 19) and our dog Honey Mae.
Why am I running?
I am running for governor to make sure all our children and families have the opportunity to succeed. As Governor, my first priority is to make sure that New Hampshire has the best-trained workforce in the nation so that we can attract innovative companies and the good paying jobs it creates. .
As Senate Majority Leader I stood up for what was right and for middle class families. My record reflects my ability to turn vision into practical solutions that move us forward.
The contrast between my forward-looking vision and the Republican candidates for governor backwards agenda couldnt be stronger.
Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith side with the Tea Party Speaker of the House Bill OBrien and his extreme agenda, focusing on divisive policies that hurt middle-class families. They want to roll back all the progress weve made as a state by decades if not centuries.
These are just some of the plans that Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith have in store for New Hampshire:
Repealing marriage equality
Banning abortion, even in the case of rape and incest
Eliminating insurance coverage for birth control; thereby raising health care costs for women and their families
Taking over Medicare and raise premiums on seniors
Repealing our energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental protection laws
Taking away the right of employees to collectively bargain
Eliminating the states responsibility for education
Thats what is at stake in this election, and that is why I am running.
Ovide Lamontagne has even said he wants to be Scott Walker on steroids. That is not the kind of Governor New Hampshire needs.
As Governor, I will work to re-invest in our priorities as state, particularly education and health care and we will do it without an income or a sales tax. Most of our middle-class families have gone several years without a raise, even as their costs have increased. They dont want, and they and our economy cant afford, a new income or sales tax.
As Governor, I will focus on realistic solutions that can make progress for our families, just as I did in the state Senate. I worked across party lines and with Governor Lynch to balance state budgets, while protecting investments in our citizens and our economy. Even in tough economic times, we increased funding for local schools, passed universal kindergarten and ended the waiting list for people with developmental disabilities.
We worked to help improve the economic security of middle-class families: raising the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years, banning predatory lending, partnering with businesses to train 10,000 workers. We looked toward the future with policies aimed at helping reduce energy use and increasing renewable energy. And we protected the civil rights of all our citizens by passing marriage equality and standing up for a womans right to choose.
We can build a strong, innovation-based economy for the future if we come together as a state Democrats, Independents and Republicans. Thats how I worked in the state Senate, and that is how I will work as Governor.
Our state faces a clear choice in November. We can continue in the direction of Gov. John Lynch, bringing people together to move New Hampshire forward, or we can go in the direction of Speaker Bill OBrien and the current legislature.
I hope to earn the support of Democracy for America so we can win and continue to move our state forward.
First, I will work to create the best workforce in America. The plain truth is that in the modern, global economy, businesses thrive where the work force is the strongest. We need to invest in education at all levels, including K- 12, vocational and technical programs, community colleges, apprenticeships, job training, job retraining, and college. When we make effective investments, businesses will come here and create good paying jobs which are the foundation of a strong economy and a civil society.
Second, I want New Hampshire to lead the nation in innovation in both the private and public sector. Small business and new technologies are the engine of economic growth. We will continue the work that we started when we passed initiatives like the Research and Development tax credit to make sure New Hampshire is a state where startups, hightech and biotech companies want to be and can thrive. And we need to work with our public sector employees to make sure that government continues to modernize its operations and develops new strategies for addressing its work.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
I am proudly running a people powered grassroots campaign. Volunteers are core members of my team, and Im proud to be running a strong grassroots campaign in the New Hampshire tradition.
I have focused more on grassroots organizing than any candidate running for Governor. Our campaign has announced three grassroots co-chairs (State Representative Jennifer Daler, progressive activist Chaz Proulx, and Manchester Democratic activist Pat Morris) to organize block by block, town by town, and county by county. Im proud that our campaign has launched grassroots steering committees in nearly every county of the state, and I have earned the endorsements of grassroots activists throughout New Hampshire.
Im also proud that our campaign has been active in the New Hampshire netroots community, and have received the endorsements of many bloggers, including Mike Hoefer, the managing editor of BlueHampshire.com.
Im proud to be running a campaign to meet voters directly. Our campaign has organized more than 60 house parties to date, and they have been very well attended. We have signed up hundreds of volunteers at these house parties and events, volunteers who will help us wage a strong grassroots campaign in the primary and general election.
At the close of our first fundraising report on June 18, 2012, approximately 70% of our donations were $100 or less. Im also proud that, we have 1,823 contributors representing 176 New Hampshire cities and towns. Thats over 300 more donors than Ovide Lamontagne reported having in the same period.