|United States Senator|
from New Hampshire
January 3, 2017
Serving with Jeanne Shaheen
|81st Governor of New Hampshire|
January 3, 2013 - January 2, 2017
|Chuck Morse (acting)|
|Majority Leader of the New Hampshire Senate|
January 3, 2008 - December 1, 2010
|Member of the New Hampshire Senate|
from the 23rd district
December 1, 2004 - December 1, 2010
Margaret Coldwell Wood
February 28, 1958
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Parents||Robert Coldwell Wood|
|Relatives||Frances P. Wood (sister)Frank Wood (brother)|
|Education||Brown University (BA)|
Northeastern University (JD)
Margaret Coldwell Hassan (; née Wood; born February 28, 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 percent 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 percent 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). Hassan and Shaheen are the only two women in American history to be elected as both a Governor and a Senator.
Hassan was born Margaret Wood in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Margaret (Byers) and Robert Coldwell Wood, a political scientist who served as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Lyndon Johnson administration. She has two siblings, including Tony award-winning actor Frank Wood.
Wood grew up in Lincoln, Massachusetts. As a child she sang in school choirs and at church. Her parents were politically active, and young Maggie collated mailers for the League of Women Voters. Wood attended Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury, Massachusetts, and graduated with the Class of 1976. Wood earned her B.A. degree from Brown University in 1980. While there, Wood met her future husband, Thomas Hassan, also a student at the university. She received a J.D. degree from the Northeastern University School of Law in 1985.
From 1985 to 1999, Hassan worked as an attorney. From 1985 to 1992, Hassan worked at the Boston law firm, Palmer and Dodge. From 1993 to 1996, Hassan was Associate General Counsel for Brigham and Women's Hospital/Partners Healthcare of Boston.
In 1996, Hassan began working as an attorney for Sullivan, Weinstein and McQuay, a Boston corporate defense and business law firm. In 1999, Hassan was appointed by then-New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen as a citizen advisor to the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission.
Hassan first ran for the New Hampshire Senate in 2002 after Democratic Party leaders suggested she run. She lost to incumbent Senator Russell Prescott 54% to 46%. In 2004, she ran against Prescott again and won 52% to 48%. In 2006, she won re-election against Natalie Healy 60% to 40%. In 2008, she defeated Lee Quandt 57% to 43%. She served as the assistant Democratic whip, president pro tempore, and majority leader of the State Senate during her six years in office. She represented New Hampshire's 23rd district, which includes the towns of East Kingston, Exeter, Kensington, Kingston, Newfields, Newmarket, Newton, Seabrook, South Hampton and Stratham.
In 2008, Senate President Sylvia Larsen chose Hassan to serve as Senate Majority Leader, the number two position in the New Hampshire Senate. Larsen chose Hassan for the position because she wanted someone who would fight to get the democratic caucus to support the same agenda, at times creating friction between Hassan and her Republican colleagues.
During her tenure as majority leader, Hassan had a major role in legalizing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire. Hassan presented three versions of a same-sex marriage bill, one of which narrowly gained enough support to pass both chambers.
Hassan helped pass the FY2010-FY2011 budget. This budget increased spending by over a billion dollars and contained thirty-three tax and fee increases, including taxing campsites like hotel rooms, a so-called "income tax" on New Hampshire business, and raising vehicle registration fees.
In the general election, Hassan defeated Republican nominee Ovide M. Lamontagne by 55% to 43%, carrying every county in the state. Her campaign was managed by Matt Burgess and senior consultants included media consultant Joe Slade White.
Independent expenditure groups spent more than $11 million on Hassan's behalf. Major financial support for Hassan's election came from the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic Governor's Association, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the National Education Association.
In June 2014, Hassan filed to run for re-election. She defeated Ian Freeman in the Democratic primary election on September 9, 2014, going on to defeat Republican Walt Havenstein in the general election by a margin of 52% to 48%. Hassan carried 7 of 10 counties.
In August 2014, New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster, a Hassan appointee, ordered her to return $24,000 in campaign contributions that violated New Hampshire campaign finance laws. In October 2014, Hassan was ordered to return another $25,000 in funds a union donated to her gubernatorial campaign because the union had not properly registered with the state as a political committee.
Hassan was sworn in as Governor for a two-year term on January 3, 2013. In December 2013, she was elected as vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association. That year, Hassan signed a bill creating a state sea level rise commission.
During a conflict between two sides of the Demoulas family, which owns the Market Basket grocery chain, Hassan urged the family to resolve the dispute, which threatened 9,000 jobs in New Hampshire.
In July 2015, Hassan vetoed a bill that would have removed the licensing requirement for carrying concealed firearms in the state. In response to New Hampshire's opioid crisis, she appointed Jack Wozmak as the state's "drug czar" in early 2015. He resigned one year later in response to complaints about his job performance. Hassan also worked to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the state.
She resigned as governor at the end of January 2, 2017 to prepare for her swearing into the U.S. Senate. Senate president Chuck Morse assumed the gubernatorial powers and duties as acting governor.
On October 5, 2015, Hassan announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2016. She challenged incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte. The race was considered one of the most competitive U.S. Senate races of the year.
Hassan was endorsed by the pro-choice Democratic political action committee EMILY's List, which also backed her two gubernatorial runs. Hassan endorsed Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. Hassan has said climate change and reproductive rights would be her top priorities if she were elected to the Senate.
On the evening of June 19, 2018, a congressional intern was caught on video yelling, "Mr. President, Fuck You", as President Trump walked through the United States Capitol for a meeting with Republican congressmen. On June 25, Hassan's office confirmed that a Hassan intern, Caitlin Marriott, was the person caught on video swearing at the President. A Hassan spokesperson confirmed that Marriott had been suspended from her position for one week and was required to return her congressional intern ID badge. Hassan refused demands that she terminate Marriott.
In 2019, former Hassan staffers Jackson Cosko and Samantha Davis pleaded guilty to federal crimes. Cosko pleaded guilty to five felonies; following his termination from Hassan's staff, he illegally accessed Senate computers, obtained personal information about five Republican senators, and disseminated that personal information online because he was angry about the senators' roles in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. In June 2019, Cosko was sentenced to four years in prison. Davis pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors in July 2019, acknowledging that she had given Cosko access to Hassan's Senate office after he was fired and that she had lied to investigators about it.
Hassan has a "D" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) due to her rare support for pro-gun legislation. She also supports a background check system to avoid gun sales to the mentally ill. She was supported by Gabrielle Giffords and Michael R. Bloomberg in the 2016 election.
In March 2018, Hassan was one of ten senators to sign a letter to Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Lamar Alexander and ranking Democrat Patty Murray requesting they schedule a hearing on the causes and remedies of mass shootings in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
In July 2019, Hassan cosponsored the Fallen Journalists Memorial Act, a bill introduced by Ben Cardin and Rob Portman that would create a new memorial that would be privately funded and constructed on federal lands within Washington, D.C. in order to honor journalists, photographers, and broadcasters that have died in the line of duty.
Hassan's husband, Thomas, was principal of Phillips Exeter Academy from 2008 to 2015, and as of 2016 is the president of School Year Abroad. When he was principal of Phillips Exeter Academy, the Hassans did not live in the Governor's Mansion, instead living in a colonial mansion on the school campus provided to them as part of her husband's employment. After he left his position at Phillips Exeter Academy, the Hassans bought and moved into a home in Newfields, New Hampshire.[a]
She has received honorary doctorates from the University of New Hampshire (2013),Northeastern University (2013),Southern New Hampshire University (2014),New Hampshire Institute of Art (2015),New England College (2016), and UNH School of Law (2017).
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|Republican||Russell Prescott (Incumbent)||10,659||54.04|
|Republican||Russell Prescott (Incumbent)||14,054||48.04|
|Democratic||Maggie Hassan (inc.)||9,606||46.62|
|Libertarian||John J. Babiarz||19,251||2.77%||+0.56%|
|Democratic||Maggie Hassan (incumbent)||254,666||52.38%||-2.23%|
|Republican||Kelly Ayotte (incumbent)||353,632||47.84%||-12.32%|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for Governor of New Hampshire
Colin Van Ostern
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
| Governor of New Hampshire
| United States Senator (Class 3) from New Hampshire
Served alongside: Jeanne Shaheen
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Senators by seniority