New Hampshire Gov. Lynch Will Not Seek 5th Term
New Hampshire Democratic Gov. John Lynch announced Thursday he would not seek re-election to the office he has held for four consecutive terms, clearing the way for GOP jostling for his seat.
In making his announcement at a Manchester elementary school where he was flanked by staff and many of the commissioners he has appointed, Lynch said every institution needs to be refreshed.
"But democracy demands periodic change. To refresh and revive itself, democracy needs new leaders and new ideas," he said. "I think it’s time for the next generation of leadership for New Hampshire."
Many believe he is the most formidable Democratic candidate the party could offer. He survived a GOP sweep of the state’s top offices in 2010.
Republicans have been attempting to portray him as anti-job and out of step with New Hampshire voters.
They point to his veto of legislation that barred unions from collecting a share of administrative and negotiating costs from non-union members. The GOP-controlled Legislature also overrode his veto of abortion limits on minors.
And even before Lynch has finished talking, the Republican Governor’s Association issued a statement saying his departure would make it easier for the GOP to win the seat in November 2012.
"New Hampshire Republicans were already fired up at the prospect of turning the state red in 2012," RGA Executive Director Phil Cox said in a statement. "John Lynch’s decision to forego a re-election bid increases the GOP’s chances of picking up the governorship and puts the Democrats further on their heels nationally in 2012."