Maggie Hassan was born in Boston, raised in Lincoln, Mass., and now lives in Exeter, N.H. She earned a bachelor's from Brown University in 1980 and a law degree from Northeastern University's School of Law in 1985.
In 1999, Hassan served on the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission. She ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2002, but won the seat two years later and served three terms. She was chosen by the Democratic caucus to serve as both president pro tempore and majority leader. She lost her re-election bid in 2010.
Hassan and her husband, Tom, have an adult son who has cerebral palsy and an adult daughter.
Maggie Hassan is a business attorney who served three two-year terms in the New Hampshire Senate.
She lost her first bid for the state Senate in 2002, but won the seat in the following election. Her Democratic colleagues named her president pro tempore and majority leader. She was defeated in her re-election bid amid a Republican sweep in 2010.
A moderate Democrat, Hassan defeated a former state senator and inn owner to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2012. Hassan took New Hampshire's traditional pledge to veto personal income and sales taxes — a promise her primary opponents did not make. New Hampshire has neither tax.
Only one candidate — a Democrat — has won the governor's seat since the pledge began in the 1950s.
In the November 2012 general election, Hassan faces conservative Republican business attorney Ovide Lamontagne who enjoys the support of New Hampshire's loosely organized tea party.
Hassan is seeking to win votes from moderate Republicans and independents by highlighting her support for rights of workers to unionize, women to have access to abortions and birth control and gays to marry. Hassan was instrumental in the state Senate passing the state's law legalizing same-sex unions in 2009. The law took effect in 2010. An effort to repeal it fell short in 2012.
Lamontagne, a Catholic, strongly opposes abortion and gay marriage though he has not emphasized his support for imposing limits on abortion or repealing New Hampshire's same-sex marriage law in his campaign. He would support replacing gay marriage with civil unions for heterosexual and homosexual couples. He does not support invalidating existing same-sex marriages. He also supports exempting religious organizations from contraceptive mandates in insurance coverage.
Lamontagne is using a campaign strategy Republicans have traditionally used against Democrats in arguing Hassan will support an income or sales tax when she needs money to pay for the government spending she supports.
Hassan proposes restoring the $84 million in state aid Republicans cut to the University System of New Hampshire in exchange for a tuition freeze and increased number of slots for resident students.
She argues education is the key to providing business the trained workers it needs to grow the economy. She would help pay for the aid by raising the cigarette tax and hiring auditors to ensure businesses pay their taxes. The Republican Legislature cut the cigarette tax and reduced the number of auditors.
She also would double the state's business research and development tax credit.
As a state senator, Hassan supported making kindergarten mandatory and increasing the dropout age to 18.
Hassan also supports allowing one or two highly regulated casinos.
Democratic Gov. John Lynch's retirement leaves the seat open for the first time in a decade. New Hampshire is considered a swing state, though it veered conservative in the 2010 election, and both major parties feel they have a good shot at the office.
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Maggie Hassan won her September 2014 primary, she will face Walt Havenstein in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on September 10, 2014.)