CONCORD — Former state Sen. Maggie Hassan of Exeter said she is running for governor so all New Hampshire families have an opportunity to succeed, when she filed Friday.
There was a flurry of other candidates throwing their hats in the ring on the last day of the filing period.
With about 50 supporters, family and friends lining the hallway leading to the Secretary of State’s Office Friday, Hassan, who filed for the Democratic nomination, said she wants to bring people together “to make New Hampshire an innovative, business friendly-state with the best economy and best workforce in the nation.”
She promised if elected to keep moving the state forward. “Together we can make smart investments in education, in expanding the research-and-development tax credit and in providing the technological assistance to our businesses that spurs growth and job creation,” she said.
Hassan, who was Senate Majority Leader from 2009 to 2010, said her top priority would be education and warned against pursuing a constitutional amendment to provide lawmakers with more control over education and its funding.
“As governor, I will make sure state government spends taxpayer money on the right priorities, and I will balance the budget without an income or a sales tax,” she said.
Hassan, whose husband Tom is principal of Philips Exeter Academy, served in the Senate from 2004 to 2010. They have two children, Ben and Meg.
1st Congressional District
Filing as a Democratic candidate for the 1st District Congressional seat Friday was Diane Soracco of Manchester. She said she is fed up with what is going on down in Washington.
“Instead of career politicians, we need someone who knows what it’s like to be down in the trenches,” Soracco said.
She is a self-employed researcher.
Former District 5 Executive Councilor Debora Pignatelli, a Nashua Democrat, filed to try to win her seat back.
She served on the council from 2005 to 2011, as well as in the state Senate and House.
Pignatelli said the current council’s action prompted her to run again. “Everything turned sharply to the right-wing viewpoint and I don’t believe that is a good development,” Pignatelli said.
“Politicians on the Executive Council have made moves that will change the face of New Hampshire and not in a good way.”
She criticized incumbent councilor David Wheeler, R-Milford, for his votes against the commuter rail study for southern New Hampshire, a Planned Parenthood contract and domestic violence prevention programs.
Chuch Rolecek, 55, of Bedford filed to run for the Republican nomination to the District 4 Council seat being vacated by Raymond Wieczorek.
Rolecek owns the Hanover Street Chophouse in Manchester and was the long-time proprietor of the former C.R. Sparks in Bedford.
“I think this is the right step for me with my 35 years in the business, corporate and entrepreneurial worlds. It’s a great way to become a public servant,” he said earlier this week.
Filing for the Democratic nomination for the District 3 Executive Council seat is long-time education advocate Bill Duncan of New Castle.
Duncan said the Executive Council has been infected with the same ideological disease as “the Tea Party legislature” to end New Hampshire’s traditional commitment to its citizens.
“I would work with other councilors to put aside the social agenda and allow state government to work on important projects that create jobs, enhance our public education system and protect New Hampshire’s precious environment,” Duncan said.
Also Gerard L. Thibodeau of Rumney filed for the Republican nomination to the District 1 Executive Council seat.
No Republican candidate filed for the District 2 Executive Council seat being vacated by Councilor Daniel St. Hilaire, R-Concord.
Former state Senator and Rochester Mayor Dick Green filed for the Republican nomination to the reconfigured District 6 seat.
Green was Rochester’s mayor for 10 years and served as Pease Development Authority Executive Director and as Division of Economic Development Director for the state.
Green last served in the Senate from 2002 to 2005.
Filing for the Republican nomination to the state Senate District 15 seat was Lydia Harman of Concord.
“Now is the time for New Hampshire’s economy to strengthen and continue growing,” she said. “It is time for new leadership and fresh ideas, which we have not witnessed in District 15 for nearly two decades.”
The seat is currently held by Sen. Sylvia Larsen, D-Concord.
Harman is a business owner affiliated with the Free State Project and a former Army Reserve Medic who lives in Concord with her husband and five children.
Also filing Friday was fourth generation state resident and small business owner Howard Pearl of Loudon seeking the Republican nomination for state Senate District 17 seat.
He said he will promote a healthy business climate, fiscal responsibility with a strong focus on civil liberties and self-responsibility.
Pearl, 46, owns and operates Pearl and Sons Farm on Loudon Ridge.
Katherine Messner of Hudson filed for the Democratic nomination to the District 14 state Senate seat.
And Michael F. Kenney of Bedford filed for the District 9 state Senate seat.
Although the filing period closed Friday afternoon, the political parties have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to file candidates for empty seats.