Please see the editorial I wrote recently for the Manchester Union Leader and Foster’s Daily Democrat as to why I support Ovide for Governor.
Thanks for your consideration and Thanks for voting Tuesday.
Have a great weekend.
For the first time in eight years, New Hampshire voters will elect a new Governor. It’s noteworthy our Governors have far less authority than in other states due to staggered terms of department heads and the requirement that most contracts and appointments be approved by the Executive Council.
Historically, in order to be successful, a New Hampshire Governor must not only represent the values of a majority of voters; he or she must also be able to translate those values into a clear and consistent agenda that the Legislature willingly embraces and is supported by voters.
Successful Governors are neither dictatorial nor autocratic. Rather they must establish principles, articulate their importance, listen to and work with others who may or may not agree with them, explain and persuade, and compromise when necessary. Because so much depends on articulation and persuasion, a Governor’s character is critical. Required are integrity, patience, hard work, commitment, and ability to inspire. Just as critical sometimes is the backbone to say no and use a veto pen, or promise its use to shape legislation.
Political leadership is different from other walks of life. In New Hampshire, even more so given that our Governors have less authority. Governors can’t order Legislators to do anything, and as we have seen, Governor’s don’t even exercise total control over department heads. It has been said that dealing with the New Hampshire Legislature and the various bureaucracies is like herding cats. That is an apt description. Thus a successful Governor must be a sturdy leader in ability, action, example and deed.
So when voters choose the next Governor, as they have in the past, they are likely again to choose based upon values, character and leadership. I am fortunate to have worked closely with four of the five candidates: Jacalyn Cilley, Maggie Hassan, Ovide Lamontagne, and Kevin Smith. I consider them all friends. But I am enthusiastically supporting Ovide. Why?
It begins with values. Ovide understands that New Hampshire’s jobs’ advantage and a lower unemployment rate than other states is a result careful fiscal management, spending that we can afford rather than what we might wish, eliminating bureaucratic regulations, low taxes, and lack of an income tax or a sales tax. Ovide also knows that New Hampshire must lower energy and health care costs not through government intervention but through free market competition. Ovide will not implement any new regulations that have not had a rigorous cost benefit analysis and will apply that same discipline to existing costly regulations that hamper job growth.
Ovide will spend cautiously, conservatively, and only within existing revenue projections. Despite the need for continued spending restraint, Ovide also understands that state government has a responsibility to help those who are truly needy while also assisting educational institutions, health care providers, and cities and towns. But Ovide will balance that responsibility with protecting taxpayers from government growth and creep in programs. He will support on-going efforts to reform the largest cost centers in state government: Medicaid, education funding and pensions. At his core, Ovide understands that smaller more cost effective government = lower spending = lower taxes = job growth. Ovide will focus on that equation with laser like intensity.
Most New Hampshire residents believe focusing on creating jobs is our top priority and most people claim to support fiscal conservatism. So people ask me “how do we know that jobs and fiscal discipline will also be Ovide’s top priority?”
The answer is simple: character. Ovide is plain spoken---saying what he means and meaning what he says. I know this from working with Ovide for nearly 20 years. He has served as chair of the State Board of Education, been a candidate for several offices, a business and legal leader, and civic leader. Ovide was recognized by American’s for Prosperity as ‘Conservative of the Year.’ More importantly in my view he was honored as ‘Citizen of the Year’ by the Daniel Webster Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Why the honors?
Ovide is humble, self-effacing, and lives in the same neighborhood he grew up in. He works hard, listens carefully, is always a gentleman, can be trusted implicitly and completely on his word … and he knows how to get things done as his many accomplishments prove.
What of the elusive but so necessary leadership capability? None of the candidates has yet to be tested as Governor; however Ovide’s record and character convince me confidently he will be the leader New Hampshire requires in ability, action, example and deed.