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Sep 18, 2015 10:12 PM

Steinhauser: Hassan tells NH1 News 'people are waiting for me to make' 2016 decision

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

NEWINGTON – When it comes to deciding on her political future, Gov. Maggie Hassan realizes the clock’s ticking.

“I do know that people are waiting for me to make a decision about 2016 and I do know that I need to make it sooner rather than later. So when the appropriate time comes I’ll let people know what that is,” the two-term Democratic governor said in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News.

Hassan spoke with NH1 News minutes before attending a Friday morning groundbreaking ceremony at the Pease Air National Guard Base for the KC-46! Expansion project.

The interview was conducted one day after Stefany Shaheen confirmed that she’ll consider a gubernatorial bid next year if decides to pass on running for a third term in the Corner Office and instead launches a Democratic challenge against GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Earlier this week the 41-year old Shaheen, who’s the oldest daughter of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and DNC committeeman Billy Shaheen, surprised some political observers by announcing that she wouldn’t seek a second term on the Portsmouth City Council.

Asked about Shaheen’s comments, Hassan said “I think it speaks to the fact that people are waiting for me to make a decision and I need to do that sooner rather than later.”

Hassan has said that she wouldn’t decide on what office to run for in 2016 until after the biennial budget deal was accomplished. That happened earlier this week. Asked about the controversial agreement, which ends a summer long budget standoff, Hassan said “this is a budget compromise, so both parties have to give something.”

Hassan spoke with NH1 News minutes before heading to the University of New Hampshire’s Durham campus, to officially endorse Hillary Clinton for president. The governor said that “Hillary Clinton and I have been friends for a long time. I think she has all the experience and qualifications to be a terrific president. While other people are talking in generalities, Hillary Clinton has specific plans to address things like substance abuse and college affordability and she’s got the experience and leadership and background to implement really realistic plans.

Hassan’s endorsement, which was long expected, followed other long expected endorsements this month from Shaheen and Rep. Annie Kuster. The rollouts of the endorsements come as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has topped Clinton in six straight Democratic primary polls in New Hampshire.

Asked about the timing of her backing, Hassan told NH1 News that “we are in contact a fair amount and one of the things you always do is look at schedules and figure out when you’re both going to be in the same place at the same time.”


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