As New Hampshire voters head to the polls on Tuesday, both gubernatorial primaries have the potential to be close contests.
On the Democratic side, former State Senators Jackie Cilley and Maggie Hassan have been running a competitive race, with Hassan amassing establishment backing and Cilley scoring several major union endorsements.
However, the Republican nominating contest will likely garner the most attention, as the GOP nominee is generally viewed as the favorite to win in November.
While familiar Granite State face Ovide Lamontagne has remained the frontrunner throughout the race to date, there are those who aren’t counting relative newcomer Kevin Smith out yet, like former NH Gov. Craig Benson, who wrote in an email on behalf of Smith on Monday, “I am afraid if Kevin Smith is not our nominee we risk losing the New Hampshire Advantage we have all fought so hard to keep. We can see from all the spending problems in Washington that once the spending spigot starts it is almost impossible to shut off. This is precisely why we need someone who can stand up and do what is right by the taxpayer every single day. Kevin is a strong leader; he is a fighter and he will do what is right for our state every single day. I can assure you Kevin will not be checking his Republican credentials at any door.”
Not to be outdone by Smith’s big-name supporters, Ovide’s campaign sent out an email Monday morning signed by well-known conservative businessman Sean Mahoney, urging voters to go to the polls. Mahoney praised his candidate of choice, but also had some choice words for Smith: “Ovide has run a positive campaign focused on the issues, one of which we all should be proud. Regrettably, our opponent has chosen to go negative in the closing days of this primary, and we are expecting a close result,” wrote Mahoney.
Both candidates hit the campaign trail on Monday to shill for last-minute votes, both making stops at Manchester institution Puritan Backroom along the way.