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washingtonpost.com > Politics > Elections 2004


Craig Benson (R)
Date Of Birth & Birthplace: 10/8/1954 (New York City, NY)
Race: White
Religion: Catholic
Residence: Rye, NH
Education: BA in Finance from Babson College, Babson Park, MA; MBA in Business from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Office Type: New Hampshire Governor 

       
Quarterly Campaign Finance Information

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Biography:

Born in New York City, Craig Benson grew up in Chatham, N.J. He earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Babson College in 1977 and a master's in business administration from Syracuse University in 1979. He moved to Massachusetts, where he worked for two high-tech companies from 1979-1983.

In 1983, he and a partner founded Cabletron Systems Inc. in a garage. They moved the company to Rochester, N.H., two years later and helped it flourish in the fast-growing field of computer networking _ helping computers talk to each other.

Cabletron went public in 1989 and was the top-performing stock on the New York Stock Exchange in 1991, when Inc. Magazine named Benson and his partner its national entrepreneurs of the year.

By 1994, Cabletron had more than 7,000 employees in 130 countries and $1.6 billion a year in sales. A wrong bet on the direction of networking technology led to a series of setbacks, and Cabletron was spun off into several new companies. Benson remains a director of one, Enterasys Networks Inc., which is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and whose stock is down sharply in the past year.

Benson, whose net worth was estimated at $600 million last year, makes no apologies. "I'm very pleased at what has become of the company (Cabletron) and the spinoffs it has created," he says. "At the end of the day, it's a tough, tough business and nobody is doing well."

Benson and his wife of 19 years, Denise, live in Rye. They have two daughters.


Past Campaigns:

Craig Benson had never run for or held public office until his campaign in 2002, when he was elected governor.

He smashed a state record by spending $9.6 million, most of it his own money, to win the Sept. 10, 2002, primary. He won with 37 percent to 34 percent for Bruce Keough, a former state senator and university system trustee, and 28 percent for Gordon Humphrey, a former state and U.S. senator.

Benson rebutted charges that he was trying to buy the election by pointing out how actively he campaigned. In the general election, he was criticized for not accepting more invitations for joint appearances with Democrat Mark Fernald.


Web site: http://www.state.nh.us
Email address: benson@nh.gov



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