NH returns Shaheen to state house, Board

by Alice Gomstyn | 11/9/00 6:00am

New Hampshire secured Jeanne Shaheen her place as an ex-oficio Trustee when voters elected her to her third term as governor Tuesday.

According to the latest returns, Shaheen, a Democrat, received 51 percent of the vote, defeating her Republican opponent, former Senator Gordon Humphrey, by nine percentage points.

Pamela Walsh, press secretary for Shaheen, maintains that it was no easy win.

"It was a hard-fought campaign [during] which she fought on the issues," she said.

According to Walsh, much of Shaheen's campaign strategy involved highlighting the Governor's past accomplishments, such as creating a unique college savings program and mandating HMO accountability.

The most important issue of the election is funding for education, Walsh said. Although Shaheen and the New Hampshire state legislature have butted heads on this issue in the past, the governor, during her campaign, asked voters to trust that she would resolve the matter.

According to Walsh, while Shaheen will continue to work to resolve the problem of education funding, she is also focusing on a number of new goals, including ensuring the affordability of prescription drugs and creating more expansive healthcare coverage for children.

Critics say Shaheen has been too vague in her policies on education and taxes -- two issues on which the Humphrey campaign focused heavily during the race.

A source from the Humphrey campaign felt that Shaheen placed too much emphasis on the past, bringing irrelevant issues, such as Humphrey's past Senate votes on Social Security and school lunches, to the forefront of the campaign.

Some attribute Humphrey's defeat to what has been called a "smear campaign," executed by Shaheen's supporters.

Walsh contends, however, that Shaheen made no personal attacks and rather simply informed voters of the differences between the two candidates' records.

The governor now eagerly looks forward to her third term in office and has put the campaign behind her, according to Walsh.

"She's proud that the people of New Hampshire have given her another two years to serve them, and that's what she intends to do," she said.