Community House crowd hears Hassan discuss first term plans


December 19, 2012
LITTLETON — Governor-elect Maggie Hassan spent Friday on the road in the North Country. In the afternoon she received a very warm greeting from a packed Heald Room. She spent an hour talking about her plans on assuming the governor's office in January.

State Senator Jeff Woodburn traveled with Hassan on Friday. Several other elected officials attended the event, including Representatives Linda Massimilla, Rebecca Brown, Sue Ford, and Brad Bailey. Register of Deeds Kelley Monahan was in the group, as well.

Chuck Henderson was on hand to represent U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

Before Hassan spoke, Woodburn recognized former Representative Evalyn Merrick, who lost a close Coös County race in November. Woodburn then presented a copy of the book Beyond the Notches to Hassan and her staffperson.

In her remarks, Hassan said, "I got into politics for a variety of reasons." First, she was inspired by her parents, who taught her to "study hard and stand up for what you believe in." Hassan's political interest grew, she said, while advocating for her son Ben, who has cerebral palsy.

Hassan spent three terms in the New Hampshire Senate. She defeated Republican Ovide Lamontagne to win the 2012 governor's race.

"We have a great opportunity in New Hampshire," Hassan said. "We're a great place to raise a family, but we need to focus on jobs and the economy," she continued.

Hassan said she will concentrate on economic growth and balancing the budget. She repeated her pledge to reject a new state income or sales tax.

Economic innovation is central to the state's future, Hassan said. She suggested that targeted tax credits and further development of a skilled workforce were important to helping businesses create jobs.

Hassan suggested that great progress is possible through unity of New Hampshire's people. She said businesses, educators, non-profits, and citizens can work in concert for the betterment of the state. "We need to just keep coming together," Hassan said.

On national issues, Hassan expressed confidence that the "fiscal cliff" negotiations in Washington will be successful. She promised to "remind folks in Washington" that "the states are where a lot of great things can happen."

While speaking in the Community House, Hassan noted that the historic building is on the Seven to Save list of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. She said saving such treasures was important. "I will try to do my best as governor," Hassan pledged, "to support this wonderful place."

Hassan suggested that protecting a great resource like the Community House is a way to toot the state's horn. As governor, she promised to "make sure people know how special New Hampshire is."

Before chatting with several people, Hassan thanked the dozens in attendance for coming out on a Friday afternoon before the holidays.

In comments to the Courier, Hassan mentioned her recently established North Country transition team. She said those individuals will be listening to citizens and getting new ideas. Hassan said she won't forget about our region, and hoped to visit as often as possible.

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