Woman of the Week: Maggie Hassan

Natalie Pate

Women make up 51% of the population, 17% of Congress, and 0% of past presidents.


Name: Margaret “Maggie” Wood Hassan

Born: February 27, 1958 (age 54) in Boston, Massachusetts

Current Office: Governor-Elect of New Hampshire

Political Party: Democratic Party

Residence: Exeter, New Hampshire

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Brown University; Juris Doctor, Northeastern University School of Law

Why she is the Woman of the Week: New Hampshire women run the world—or at least their state. Maggie Hassan became the complement to her state’s all-female Congressional delegation Tuesday night when she decisively defeated Republican Ovide Lamontagne with almost 55 percent of the vote. She is the second woman elected governor in the state of New Hampshire and will be the only Democratic female governor in the United States when she takes office in January 2013. Joining her in her state’s leadership will be the newly elected U.S. Representatives Carol Shea-Porter and Ann Kuster of New Hampshire’s two congressional districts as well as New Hampshire’s two sitting female senators, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Kelly Ayotte. Hassan was the only woman in either of the major parties to run for governor this year.

Background: After getting her law degree, Hassan worked as an attorney until her career in public service began in 1999 when she was appointed a citizen advisor to the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission by then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen. After her service on this board she went on to serve as a State Senator for six years after an initial loss in 2002 and then being ousted in the Republican sweep of 2010. During her time in the State Senate she was voted president pro tempore and majority leader by her Democratic colleagues. She helped pass bills instating universal kindergarten and raising the legal high school dropout age to 18.

Key Issues: Hassan has said that as governor she will focus on education and the economy. Her philosophy is that investing in education will give business the workforce it needs in order to truly prosper. She, along with her opponent, took “the Pledge” to veto any state sales or income tax. As the mother of an adult son with cerebral palsy, she has a personal interest in promoting accessible and affordable health care and fought for requiring insurance companies to cover treatment for autism while in the State Senate. She is strongly pro-choice and supports gay marriage, two stances she emphasized during her 2012 campaign, as well as her support of the right of workers to unionize.

Her Latest Headline: “Obama, Democrats win big in New Hampshire” – San Francisco Chronicle

“Good ideas and good people reside on both sides of the aisle.” – Maggie Hassan


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