Lamontagne, Hassan Win Primaries in New Hampshire
This post was updated at 10:13 p.m.
2010 GOP Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne and former state Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan won their respective primaries in the New Hampshire gubernatorial race and will face off in November.
With 30 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the GOP race with Lamontagne leading opponent Kevin Smith 69 percent to 30 percent. With 52 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the Democratic race with Hassan leading opponent Jackie Cilley 55 percent to 37 percent, and Bill Kennedy in third with 8 percent.
The Democratic race had been expected to be closer than the GOP contest. Cilley had refused to take "The Pledge" against income and sales taxes -- which all the other candidates took -- and it became a focus of the Democratic primary contest. If she had won the primary, it would have likely been a big issue in the general election as well.
Lamontagne will start out the general election with the bigger warchest than Hassan. The Granite State's race is one of just a few gubernatorial contests expected to be close this year, and the DGA and RGA will both be involved this fall.
Lamontagne is also the better known candidate, having run statewide twice previously: In 1996 he was also the GOP's gubernatorial nominee, and in 2010 he narrowly lost the Senate primary to now-Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Hassan served in the state Senate until losing reelection in 2010.