Oct 28, 2014 5:24 PM

Kevin Landrigan: Hassan vs. Havenstein, NH governor race closer than many expect


Walt Havenstein set out in his Republican race for governor to parrot what a Democrat did 12 years ago.

Havenstein's clear assets taking on popular Gov. Maggie Hassan are his years as CEO of BAE System, that he was a social moderate and he had no voting record to pick apart.
John Lynch used that combination to unseat Governor Craig Benson and become the first to unseat a one-term New Hampshire governor in 90 years.

Can Havenstein turn the trick on Tuesday? Our NH1 poll showed the race tied; while some observers scoff at the result from New England College, a UMass Lowell/7News survey last week had it 49-45 Hassan.

"In this current climate which is more negative than in recent memory, it is better not to have votes that can be twisted or turned into mail pieces,'' said Charles Arlinghaus, director of the conservative Josiah Bartlett Center.

Democratic Party Kathy Sullivan was the prime architect of the two-year strategy to render Benson beatable as someone whose administration faced ethical challenges and who fought with Republicans who ran the Legislature.

Sullivan said Havenstein is no John Lynch.
``While he ran SAIC (Scientific Applications International Technology), the company lost jobs, the stock tanked and his management was charged with fraud so no that's not a business record the likes that John Lynch had,'' Sullivan said.

History tells us Hassan should win but Havenstein has already won big. He'll do well enough likely to deliver big Republican victories down ballot in the Legislature.


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