Lamontagne and Hassan win primaries in New Hampshire governor’s race

September 11, 2012

Updated at 10:10 p.m.

Former Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne (R) will face former state senator Maggie Hassen (D) in the open New Hampshire governor's race after both sailed to primary wins Tuesday.

Lamontagne, an attorney who lost a 2010 Senate primary to now-Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and was also the state GOP's gubernatorial nominee in 1996, easily dispatched former state representative Kevin Smith, taking 69 percent of the vote with 53 percent of precincts reporting.

Hassan, meanwhile, won her primary, taking 55 percent against former state senator Jackie Cilley, who was at 37 percent.

Both primaries have been called by AP.

The general election between Lamontagne and Hassan is expected to be tight, with polling in the swing state showing the race within the margin of error. The Fix recently ranked New Hampshire as the second most likely state to flip control this year (out of 13 states holding contests).

The winner will succeed Gov. John Lynch (D), a highly popular incumbent who is retiring after four two-year terms.

For more on the race in this state, check out Fixer Sean Sullivan's preview from earlier today.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · September 11, 2012