|United States Senator
from New Hampshire
January 3, 2017
Serving with Jeanne Shaheen
|Preceded by||Kelly Ayotte|
|81st Governor of New Hampshire|
January 3, 2013 – January 2, 2017
|Preceded by||John Lynch|
|Succeeded by||Chris Sununu|
|Majority Leader of the New Hampshire Senate|
January 3, 2005 – December 1, 2010
|Preceded by||Joseph Foster|
|Succeeded by||Jeb Bradley|
|Member of the New Hampshire Senate
from the 23rd district
December 1, 2004 – December 1, 2010
|Preceded by||Russell Prescott|
|Succeeded by||Russell Prescott|
February 27, 1958
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Relatives||Robert Coldwell Wood (Father)
Frank Wood (Brother)
|Education||Brown University (BA)
Northeastern University (JD)
Margaret Hassan (//; née Wood; born February 27, 1958) is an American attorney and politician who is the junior United States Senator from New Hampshire. A Democrat, Hassan was elected to the Senate in the 2016 election and served as the 81st Governor of New Hampshire from 2013 to 2017.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Hassan is a graduate of Brown University and earned a J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law. After graduating from law school in 1985, Hassan was an attorney and healthcare executive in Boston.
Hassan first ran for the New Hampshire Senate in 2002 after Democratic Party leaders recruited her to run, as they have also done for United States Senate. She lost to incumbent Senator Russell Prescott, but ran against Prescott again in 2004 and won. Hassan was elected to a total of three two-year terms, representing New Hampshire's 23rd district, from January 2005 to December 2010. Hassan became the Democrat Majority Leader in the State Senate in 2008 before losing re-election in 2010.
Hassan declared her candidacy for governor in October 2011. Hassan defeated former State Senator Jacalyn Cilley in the Democratic primary, and faced attorney and Republican nominee Ovide M. Lamontagne in the general election. Hassan won with 55% of the vote, becoming the second woman to be elected to the office, after fellow Democrat, and fellow U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Hassan won re-election as governor on November 4, 2014. Since becoming Governor of New Hampshire, Hassan was elected Vice Chair of the Democratic Governors Association and served as a superdelegate at the Democratic National Convention.
In 2016, she ran for the U.S. Senate and narrowly defeated Kelly Ayotte, the Republican incumbent in New Hampshire, by approximately one thousand votes (about 0.1% of the vote). She is serving with Jeanne Shaheen; both politicians have served as New Hampshire governor.
Hassan was born Margaret Wood in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Margaret (Byers) and Robert Coldwell Wood, a political scientist who served as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Lyndon Johnson administration. She has two siblings, including Tony award-winning actor Frank Wood.
Wood grew up in Lincoln, Massachusetts. As a child she sang in school choirs and at church. Her parents were politically active, and young Maggie collated mailers for the League of Women Voters. Wood attended Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury, Massachusetts, and graduated with the Class of 1976. Wood earned her B.A. degree from Brown University in 1980. While at Brown, Wood met her future husband, Thomas Hassan, who was also a student at the university. She received a J.D. degree from the Northeastern University School of Law in 1985.
From 1985 to 1999, Hassan worked as an attorney. From 1985 to 1992, Hassan worked at the Boston, law firm, Palmer and Dodge. From 1993 to 1996, Hassan was Associate General Counsel for Brigham and Women's Hospital/Partners Healthcare of Boston.
In 1996, Hassan began working as an attorney for Sullivan, Weinstein and McQuay, a Boston corporate defense and business law firm. In 1999, Hassan was appointed by then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen as a citizen advisor to the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission.
Hassan first ran for the New Hampshire Senate in 2002 after Democratic Party leaders suggested she run. She lost to incumbent Senator Russell Prescott 54% to 46%. In 2004, she ran against Prescott again and won 52% to 48%. In 2006, she won re-election against Natalie Healy 60% to 40%. In 2008, she defeated Lee Quandt 57% to 43%. She served as the assistant Democratic whip, president pro tempore, and majority leader of the State Senate during her six years in office. She represented New Hampshire's 23rd district, which includes the towns of East Kingston, Exeter, Kensington, Kingston, Newfields, Newmarket, Newton, Seabrook, South Hampton and Stratham.
In 2008, Senate President Sylvia Larsen chose Hassan to serve as Senate Majority Leader, the number two position in the New Hampshire Senate. Larsen chose Hassan for the position because she wanted someone who would fight to get the democratic caucus to support the same agenda, at times creating friction between Hassan and her Republican colleagues.
During her tenure as majority leader, Hassan had a major role in legalizing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire. Hassan presented three versions of a same-sex marriage bill, one of which narrowly gained enough support to pass both chambers.
Hassan helped pass the FY2010-FY2011 budget. This budget increased spending by over a billion dollars and contained thirty-three tax and fee increases, including taxing campsites like hotel rooms, a so-called "income tax" on New Hampshire business, and raising vehicle registration fees.
In the general election, Hassan defeated Republican nominee Ovide M. Lamontagne by 55% to 43%, carrying every county in the state. Her campaign was managed by Matt Burgess and senior consultants included media consultant Joe Slade White.
Independent expenditure groups spent more than $11 million on Hassan's behalf. Major financial support for Hassan's election came from the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic Governor's Association, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the National Education Association.
In June 2014, Hassan filed to run for re-election. She defeated Ian Freeman in the Democratic primary election on September 9, 2014, going on to defeat Republican Walt Havenstein in the general election by a margin of 52% to 48%. Hassan carried 7 of 10 counties.
In August 2014, New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster, a Hassan appointee, ordered her to return $24,000 in campaign contributions that violated New Hampshire campaign finance laws. In October 2014, Hassan was ordered to return another $25,000 in funds a union donated to her gubernatorial campaign because the union had not properly registered with the state a political committee.
During a conflict between two sides of the Demoulas family, which owns the Market Basket grocery chain, Hassan urged the family to resolve the dispute, which threatened 9,000 jobs in New Hampshire.
In July 2015, Hassan vetoed a bill that would have removed the licensing requirement for carrying concealed firearms in New Hampshire.
In response to New Hampshire's opioid crisis, Hassan appointed Jack Wozmak as the state's "drug czar" in early 2015. He resigned one year later in response to complaints about his job performance.
Hassan also worked to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the state.
She resigned as governor at the end of January 2, 2017 to prepare for her swearing into the U.S. Senate. Senate president Chuck Morse assumed the gubernatorial powers and duties as acting governor.
On October 5, 2015, Hassan announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2016. She challenged incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte. The race was considered one of the most competitive U.S. Senate races of the year.
Hassan was endorsed by the pro-choice Democratic political action committee EMILY's List, which also backed her two gubernatorial runs. Hassan endorsed Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. Hassan has said climate change and reproductive rights would be her top priorities if she were elected to the Senate.
On November 9, 2016, the afternoon following election day, Hassan was declared the winner by only about 1,000 votes. Ayotte conceded later that evening, choosing not to pursue a recount. Hassan is the first Democrat to hold this seat since John A. Durkin resigned in 1980 after losing re-election.
Hassan has a "D" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) due to her rare support for pro-gun legislation. She was supported by Gabrielle Giffords and Michael R. Bloomberg in the 2016 election.
Hassan's husband, Thomas, was Principal of Phillips Exeter Academy from 2008 to 2015, and as of 2016 is the president of School Year Abroad. When Hassan's husband was Principal of Phillips Exeter Academy, the Hassans did not live in the Governor's Mansion, instead living in a colonial mansion on the Phillips Exeter campus provided to them as part of her husband's employment. After Thomas Hassan left his position at Phillips Exeter Academy, the Hassans bought and moved into a home in Newfields, New Hampshire.[a] Hassan has two adult children, the older of whom, Ben, has cerebral palsy. She is a member of the United Church of Christ.
Hassan has received honorary doctorates from the University of New Hampshire (2013), Northeastern University (2013), Southern New Hampshire University (2014), New Hampshire Institute of Art (2015), New England College (2016), and UNH School of Law (2017).
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|Republican||Russell Prescott (inc.)||10,659||54.04|
|Republican||Russell Prescott (inc.)||14,054||48.04|
|Democratic||Maggie Hassan (inc.)||9,606||46.62|
|Democratic||Bill Pearce Kennedy||5,936||7.06|
|Democratic||Maggie Hassan (inc.)||39,185||94.18|
|Democratic||Maggie Hassan (inc.)||254,666||52.48|
|Republican||Kelly Ayotte (inc.)||353,525||47.87|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|Party political offices|
|Democratic nominee for Governor of New Hampshire
Colin Van Ostern
|Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
|Governor of New Hampshire
|United States Senator (Class 3) from New Hampshire
Served alongside: Jeanne Shaheen
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Senators by seniority
|115th||Senate: J. Shaheen | M. Hassan||House: C. Shea-Porter | A. Kuster|
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