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Bar News - November 16, 2012

Election Roundup: Hassan Elected; Amendment Fails

Maggie Hassan, an Exeter lawyer, who takes office as NH’s next governor in January, is promising to take a collaborative, problem-solving approach to the corner office.
Voters in the general election easily thwarted a bid by Republican lawmakers to increase the Legislature’s power over court rules and elected Exeter attorney Maggie Hassan to the top job in the State House.

The election also saw three new NH county attorneys elected.

Hassan, a former NH Senate Majority Leader who lost her seat two years ago, returns to Concord as governor in January, succeeding four-term Gov. John Lynch. She defeated Manchester lawyer Ovide Lamontagne.

Hassan, a Democrat, will benefit from a NH House and Executive Council that have flipped from Republican to Democratic majorities. The makeup of the State Senate remained unresolved as of press time; Democrat Lee Nyquist, a Manchester attorney, filed for a recount in District 9, where 210 votes were all that separated him from a victory by Republican Andy Sanborn. Were the count left unchanged, the Senate would be split 13-11. If Nyquist were to prevail in a recount, the split would be 12-12.

Amendments Fail

All three ballot questions, including Question 2, fell short of obtaining the required two-thirds majority vote at the polls Nov. 6. Question 2, which would have amended the Constitution to give the Legislature final say on court rules, failed 49 to 51 percent.

The Bar Association participated in efforts to defeat Question 2. Bar leaders and members made speeches and wrote articles, and the Bar distributed lawn signs that were financed by an independent political committee, Keep Politics Out of the Courts.

To make donations to the committee, which purchased lawn signs and some paid advertising to oppose Question 2, send a check to:

Keep Politics Out of the Courts Committee
John D. MacIntosh, Treasurer
24 Montgomery St.
Concord, NH 03301

To comport with the requirements of RSA 664:6, please include the following information:
• Full Name (including middle name or initial)
• Home Address

And for Generous Contributions of $100 or more, also include:
• Occupation, including job title
• Name of employer
• City or Town of Principal Place of Business

In upcoming issues, Bar News will report on the participation of NH lawyers in the legislature and other elective offices. Please contact to let us know about your election.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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