Apr 22, 2015 1:12 PM
Steinhauser: Hassan staying neutral for now in 2016 Democratic presidential nomination race
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
CONCORD – Gov. Maggie Hassan says she’s not making any endorsements yet in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
The two-term Democratic governor told reporters Wednesday at the state capitol building that “I’m not making any decisions about 2016” until after the state’s biennial budget is hammered out and the current legislative session is over.
And Hassan added that “I look forward to a very vibrant New Hampshire primary season.”
Hassan didn’t meet with Hillary Clinton during the former secretary of state’s two-day swing through the Granite State. While in the first-in-the-nation primary state, Clinton pow-wowed with many of the biggest names in the state’s Democratic Party hierarchy at an event Monday evening at the Concord home of former state Sen. Sylvia Larsen. Like Larsen, a longtime backer of both Hillary and Bill Clinton, many in the state Democratic leadership are supportive of Clinton.
Clinton, who launched her second White House bid a week and a half ago, also met with more than 100 Democratic state senators and representatives Tuesday afternoon at the state party headquarters in Concord.
While Hassan didn’t see Clinton in person, she did speak with her by phone on Tuesday.
“I think it’s very exciting that she’s running, I think she is highly qualified to be president of the United States. I enjoyed a brief conversation with her yesterday, just welcoming her back to the state, touching base,” Hassan told reporters.
Then state Sen. Hassan was a big backer of Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary. Clinton returned the favor last year, headlining a rally for Hassan and Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen two days before Hassan and Shaheen faced voters in November's midterm elections.
Clinton’s considered the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont are all mulling runs for the nomination. But all are considered long shots against Clinton.