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NH politics shakeup as Brown and Havenstein become candidates

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What a difference a day makes. Yesterday the New Hampshire Republican field for the top positions in this year's primaries and general elections were pretty much void of star-power but today, it's there.

Both former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and former BAE Systems CEO Walt Havenstein officially became candidates and the races are on. April 2 might be the day "it all began". Brown is running for US Senate against incumbent Jeanne Shaheen and Havenstein is running against Governor Maggie Hassan for the Governership.

BAE Systems is a major corporation serving mostly the defense industry and Walt Havenstein is its former CEO. He resides in both Maryland and Alton, New Hampshire. He faces legal challenges from both the Democratic Party and Andrew Hemmingway, felt to be Havenstein's major Republican challenger in the primary election. Hemmingway's campaign issued a statement that Havenstein "won't make it on the ballot" and the Democratic state chair Raymond Buckley issued a statement saying "It's clear that Walt Havenstein doesn't respect the laws of either New Hampshire or Maryland, and Granite State voters can't trust that he would respect them either".

Scott Brown sold his home in Massachusetts last year and moved full time into the home he has owned for some time in Rye, New Hampshire. Brown surprised the world at large by winning the 2010 special election in Massachusetts to fill the Senate seat left vacant by Senator Ted Kennedy. He ran for US Senate against Elizabeth Warren in 2012 but lost in heavily Democratic Massachusetts. He has been on a carefully orchestrated state-wide tour for several months getting a feel for whether to run for senate or not and he today announced he will indeed be running.

New Hampshire Republicans are divided among several factions ranging from the "Libertarians" to extremely conservative and to moderate Republicans who have come to be called "RINO's" or "Republican In Name Only". Another faction, the "Free Staters" has also mostly settled into the ranks of the Republican Party. Studies have shown that the majority of Republicans are actually in the "RINO" category but the more extreme elements tend to be more active and therefore their candidates generally prevail in the primary election process. In typical primaries for either the Democrats or the Republicans the voter turnout can be expected to be less than 10 percent of eligible voters.

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