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Walt Havenstein

Apr 28, 2015 2:57 PM

Landrigan: Havenstein confirms 'I will not run' for governor in 2016


Republican Walt Havenstein confirms today he will not be a candidate for governor in 2016 whether Gov. Maggie Hassan seeks re-election or not.

The decision is not a surprising one, given that the retired Alton businessman had only been drafted to run in 2014 after senior Republicans passed on taking on Hassan.

"I ran a competitive race in 2014 and I am fully confident someone will do the same in 2016; it just won’t be me,’’ Havenstein told NH1 News during a telephone interview.

Havenstein, 66, did surpass expectations against the popular Hassan, getting 47 percent of the vote and helping ensure that the GOP took back control of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

"I’m not going to claim any credit for that but it was a welcome development and it’s great to see the Legislature seriously consider business tax cuts, which was something I said was essential to improving our state’s economy,’’ Havenstein said.

The move comes a day after Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, R-Newfields, announced he was reducing his role as the day-to-day manager of Waterville Valley ski resort. Sununu will remain Chief Executive Officer but relinquishes the title of General Manager. The NH1 News Political Report was the first to report last month that Sununu was seriously considering his own run for governor next year.

"We knew there was a narrow window for me to be effective and last year’s campaign was it,’’ said Havenstein.

He vows to remain active in presidential primary politics in New Hampshire as state director and a national board member of Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security, a charitable, non-profit group created to sound out candidates on national security matters.

The group will host its first forum with a potential candidate, California businesswoman Carly Fiorina on Thursday morning at the University of New Hampshire in Manchester.

"We’re very glad this is starting this week and fully expect that we will have a candidate every two or three weeks in rotation,’’ Havenstein said. "We want to get beyond the sound bites when it comes to national security and the candidates are really embracing this concept.

Havenstein has confirmed his lakefront home in Alton is "on the market’’ and hasn’t ruled out moving from New Hampshire to be closer to his children.

“My son and his family live in Texas and my father-in-law is in North Carolina,” Havenstein said. “Even though I have very, very important ties in New Hampshire, we’re spending more time away.’’

Before becoming a candidate, Havenstein was CEO of BAE Systems Inc. in New Hampshire and Science Applications International Corp.


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