Governor of New Hampshire

The Governor of New Hampshire is the head of the executive branch of New Hampshire's state government.

The governor is elected at the biennial state general election in November of even-numbered years. New Hampshire is one of only two states, along with bordering Vermont, to hold gubernatorial elections every two years as opposed to every four. Currently, the state's 82nd governor is Republican Chris Sununu, who has served since January 5, 2017.

In New Hampshire, the governor has no term limit of any kind. No governor has served more than three terms since the 18th century (when the term was for only one year) with the exception of John Lynch, who won an unprecedented fourth two-year term on November 2, 2010. John Taylor Gilman had been the last governor before Lynch to serve longer than six years, serving 14 one-year terms as governor between 1794 and 1816.

Unlike in many other states in which Executive Councils are merely advisory, the Executive Council of New Hampshire has a strong check on the governor's power. The five-member council has a veto over many actions of the governor. Together, the Governor and Executive Council approve contracts with a value of $5,000 or more, approve pardons, and appoint the directors and commissioners, judges, the Attorney General and officers in the National Guard.

The governor has the sole power to veto bills and to command the National Guard while it is not in federal service.

To be qualified to be governor, one must be 30 years of age, a registered voter, and domiciled in New Hampshire for at least seven years.[3]

Governor of New Hampshire
Seal of New Hampshire
Christopher T Sununu
Chris Sununu

since January 5, 2017
ResidenceBridges House
SeatConcord, New Hampshire
Term lengthTwo years, no term limit
Constituting instrumentNew Hampshire Constitution of 1776
PrecursorGovernor of New Hampshire (Great Britain)
Inaugural holderMeshech Weare
FormationJune 15, 1776
SuccessionEvery two years, unless reelected
Salary$113,834 (2013)[2]


Traditionally, the governors of the Province of New Hampshire had been titled as "President of New Hampshire", beginning with the appointment of the province's first president, John Cutt, in 1679. From 1786 to 1791, "President of the State of New Hampshire" was the official style of the position. The New Hampshire Constitution was amended in 1791 to replace "President" with "Governor".


  1. ^ "State Constitution > Executive Power – Governor". State of New Hampshire. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  2. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  3. ^ "Qualifications for NH state offices".

External links

General information
2006 New Hampshire gubernatorial election

The 2006 New Hampshire gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 2006. Incumbent Democrat John Lynch defeated Republican James B. Coburn and won a second term as Governor of New Hampshire.

Benning Wentworth

Benning Wentworth (24 July 1696 – 14 October 1770) was the colonial governor of New Hampshire from 1741 to 1766.

Charles A. Busiel

Charles Albert Busiel (November 24, 1842 – August 29, 1901) was an American manufacturer, politician, and the forty-fifth Governor of New Hampshire.

Chris Sununu

Christopher T. Sununu (; born November 5, 1974) is an American Republican politician, businessman, and engineer serving as the 82nd Governor of New Hampshire since January 2017. Sununu was previously a member of the New Hampshire Executive Council, an office he held from 2011 to 2017.

Sununu was born in Salem, New Hampshire. He also served as chief executive officer of the Waterville Valley Ski Resort in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. He earned a bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sununu is a son of former New Hampshire Governor and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu and younger brother of former U.S. Representative and Senator John E. Sununu.

Henry W. Keyes

Henry Wilder Keyes (pronounced to rhyme with "lies") (May 23, 1863 – June 19, 1938) was a Republican politician from Haverhill, New Hampshire. He served as Governor of New Hampshire and as a United States Senator.

Isaac Hill

Isaac Hill (April 6, 1789 – March 22, 1851) was an American politician and newspaper editor who served as a United States Senator and as Governor of New Hampshire. He was a member of the Democratic Party and supported the policies of President Andrew Jackson.

James A. Weston

James Adams Weston (August 27, 1827 – May 8, 1895) was a civil engineer, banker, and an American politician from Manchester, New Hampshire who served as mayor of Manchester for several terms and was twice Governor of New Hampshire.

John Gilbert Winant

John Gilbert Winant OM (February 23, 1889 – November 3, 1947) was an American politician with the Republican party after a brief career as a teacher in Concord, New Hampshire. John Winant held positions in New Hampshire, national, and international politics. He was the first man to serve more than a single two-year term as Governor of New Hampshire, winning election three times. Winant also served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom during most of World War II. Depressed by career disappointments, a failed marriage and heavy debts, he died by suicide in 1947.

John H. Sununu

John Henry Sununu (born July 2, 1939) is an American politician who served as the 75th Governor of New Hampshire (1983–89) and later White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush. He is the father of John E. Sununu, the former United States Senator from New Hampshire, and Christopher Sununu, the current governor of New Hampshire. Sununu was the chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party from 2009 to 2011.

John Lynch (New Hampshire)

John H. Lynch (born November 25, 1952) is an American businessman and politician who served as the 80th Governor of New Hampshire from 2005 to 2013. Lynch was first elected governor in 2004, defeating first-term Republican incumbent Craig Benson – the first time a first-term incumbent New Hampshire governor was defeated for re-election in 78 years. Lynch won re-election in landslide victories in 2006 and 2008, and comfortably won a fourth term in 2010.Lynch is the most popular governor in New Hampshire history and, while in office, consistently ranked among the nation's most popular governors.Since 2013, Lynch has served as a Senior Lecturer in the MBA program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

John W. King

John William King (October 10, 1916 – August 9, 1996) was an American lawyer, jurist, and Democratic politician from Manchester, New Hampshire. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1943. He practiced law in Manchester and served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. In 1962 he was elected Governor of New Hampshire, becoming only the third Democratic Governor of the Granite State in 88 years, and the first since Fred Herbert Brown lost the 1924 election. After his three terms as Governor of New Hampshire, he served on the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1979, and as its Chief Justice from 1981 until 1986.

As Governor, King instituted the first state lottery in the nation since 1894. He was a major hawk and a fierce supporter of President Lyndon B. Johnson during the Vietnam War.

During his attacks on Senator Eugene McCarthy, Johnson's challenger in the New Hampshire primary, King questioned McCarthy's national loyalty and also warned that a strong vote for "the appeaser," would be "greeted with cheers in Hanoi."King was a Roman Catholic and after his death in 1996 he was buried in the New St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Bedford, New Hampshire.

List of United States lieutenant governors

The lieutenant governor is the second-highest-ranking government official in 45 of the 50 U.S. States and four territories. In those states and territories, it is the first in the line of succession in case of a vacancy in the office of governor, while in the remaining states and territories another office holds that status. Currently, 25 states elect a lieutenant governor on a ticket with the governor, while 18 states elect a lieutenant governor separately. In West Virginia, the President of the Senate, as elected by the State Senators, serves as the state's lieutenant governor. In Tennessee, the State Senators elect a Speaker of the Senate, who in turn serves as lieutenant governor. Five states do not have a lieutenant governor. In the 50 states, District of Columbia, and 5 territories, there are currently 29 Republicans, 26 Democrats and one member of a third party (Vermont Progressive Party).

Maggie Hassan

Margaret C. Hassan (; née Wood; born February 27, 1958) is an American politician and junior United States Senator from New Hampshire. A Democrat, Hassan was elected to the Senate in the 2016 election. She was 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 a healthcare executive in Boston.

Hassan first ran for the New Hampshire Senate in 2002 after Democratic Party leaders recruited her. 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 Majority Leader in the State Senate in 2008 before losing re-election in a 2010 rematch with Prescott.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 state's second female governor. Hassan won re-election in 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, Hassan ran for the U.S. Senate and narrowly defeated Kelly Ayotte, the Republican incumbent, by approximately a thousand votes (about 0.1% of the vote). She is serving with Jeanne Shaheen, another former governor; New Hampshire's Senate delegation shares this distinction with that of Virginia (composed of former governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine).

Nahum J. Bachelder

Nahum Josiah Bachelder (September 3, 1854 – April 22, 1934) was the 49th governor of New Hampshire. He was a farmer and Republican politician from East Andover, New Hampshire, United States. Bachelder lived at and operated his family farm throughout his life, was a leader in the Grange, and served a single term as Governor of New Hampshire.

He became politically active when he joined the Grange, a farmers' advocacy group, in 1877. Bachelder became Master of the local Grange for Merrimack County. He was appointed to New Hampshire's State Board of Agriculture, and served from 1887 until 1913, remaining in this post even through his two years as governor.

Bachelder was elected as the Master of the State Grange in 1891 and held the post until he resigned to become governor in 1903. After his term as Governor of New Hampshire, he served as the Master of the National Grange. He died on his farm in East Andover in 1934 and is buried in the Proctor Cemetery in Andover.

Nathaniel B. Baker

Nathaniel Bradley Baker (September 29, 1818 – September 11, 1876) was an American politician and military leader who served as Governor of New Hampshire and Adjutant General of the Iowa Militia.

Rolland H. Spaulding

Rolland Harty Spaulding (March 15, 1873 – March 14, 1942) was an American manufacturer and Republican politician. He was elected Governor of New Hampshire in 1914, where he served one term.

Samuel Bell

Samuel Bell (February 9, 1770 – December 23, 1850) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 14th Governor of New Hampshire from 1819 to 1823, and as the United States Senator for New Hampshire from 1823 to 1835. Born in Londonderry in the Province of New Hampshire, Bell became a lawyer in the 1790s, and entered politics by becoming a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1804. In 1806, the year he left the House, he became the head of a bank which during his tenure in that position became the only New Hampshire bank to fail between 1792 and 1840. A member of the New Hampshire Senate from 1807 to 1809, and an associate justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1816 to 1819, Bell was elected to become the Governor of New Hampshire in 1819 as Democratic-Republican. Re-elected in 1820, 1821, and 1822 against token opposition, Bell's victory in 1822 was accompanied by the largest share of votes cast for a governor candidate of New Hampshire since John Taylor Gilman's victory in 1795. Whilst Governor, New Hampshire's crime level fell, and industry within the state prospered. In 1823, declining to stand again for the governorship, he became a Senator for New Hampshire. He won re-election in 1829, was the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Claims, and left the Senate in 1835. He retired from public life thereafter, and died in Chester, New Hampshire at the age of 80. He is buried in Chester Village Cemetery, Rockingham, New Hampshire.

Samuel Dinsmoor Jr.

Samuel Dinsmoor Jr. (May 8, 1799 – February 24, 1869) was an American lawyer, banker, politician, and thirtieth Governor of New Hampshire.

Wesley Powell

Wesley Powell (October 13, 1915 – January 6, 1981) was an American lawyer and Republican politician from Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.

Powell was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He attended schools in Portsmouth before graduating from the University of New Hampshire. He received his law degree from the Southern Methodist College of Law in 1940.

He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II and practiced law in Manchester before his two terms as Governor of New Hampshire from 1959 to 1963.He lost renomination in 1962.


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