Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan's decision to forego another two-year term to run for the U.S. Senate creates another open gubernatorial contest next year. That means that six of the 12 seats up in 2016 will be open. Both parties will make this seat a priority, and both may have to contend with primaries. The only announced candidate so far is Republican Chris Sununu, an Executive Councilor and son of former GOP Gov. John Sununu. On the Democratic side, Executive Councilors Chris Pappas and Colin Van Ostern have both been mentioned as potential candidates. Another name being floated is Portsmouth City Councilor Stefany Shaheen, daughter of Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. There is little question that New Hampshire is a competitive two-paty state, particularly in a presidential year, and both parties want the governorship. The contest moves to the Toss Up column.
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