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John Lynch

Governor Lynch speaking in 2008 at a Barack Obama campaign rally

Assumed office 
January 6, 2005
Preceded by Craig Benson

Born November 25, 1952 (1952-11-25) (age 57)
Waltham, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Dr. Susan Lynch
Children Jacqueline Lynch
Julia Lynch
Hayden Lynch
Residence Hopkinton, New Hampshire
Alma mater Georgetown University, Harvard Business School, University of New Hampshire
Profession Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

John H. Lynch (born November 25, 1952) is the 90th Governor of New Hampshire, currently serving his third two-year term.[1]


Personal life and career

Lynch was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, the fifth of William and Margaret Lynch's six children. He attended local schools prior to earning his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1974, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Prior to his election, Lynch's career included work as Director of Admissions at Harvard Business School, CEO of Knoll Inc., a national furniture manufacturer, and president of The Lynch Group, a business consulting firm in Manchester, New Hampshire. Lynch was serving as Chairman of the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees when he announced he would run for governor.

While CEO of Knoll Inc., he transformed the $50 million a year losses into a profit of nearly $240 million. Under his leadership, Knoll created new jobs, gave factory workers annual bonuses, established a scholarship program for the children of employees, created retirement plans for employees who didn’t have any, and gave workers stock in the company.[1]

He and his wife, Dr. Susan Lynch, a pediatrician at Concord Hospital and a Childhood Obesity Activist (FATI), live in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. They have three children, Jacqueline, Julia and Hayden. Jacqueline, the eldest, currently attends Bucknell University. Julia currently attends Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Hayden currently attends Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts.



A businessman and Democratic Party politician, Lynch was elected the 90th Governor of New Hampshire on November 2, 2004, defeating Republican incumbent Craig Benson by a narrow margin. Lynch was the first challenger to defeat a one-term incumbent in New Hampshire in 78 years. He was sworn in on January 6, 2005.

Lynch was elected to a second two-year term in a 74-26 landslide over Republican Jim Coburn. Lynch's 74 percent of the vote was the largest margin of victory ever in a New Hampshire gubernatorial race.[2]

Lynch was elected to a third two-year term in 2008 in a 70-28 landslide over Republican state senator Joe Kenney.[3]

Job approval ratings

In a Survey USA Governor's Ratings poll released on December 20, 2005, Lynch was ranked as the most popular of all Democratic incumbents, with 69 percent approval versus 21 percent disapproval. As of February 2008, he had an approval rating of 73 percent, one of the highest such ratings in the country.[4] As of June 20, 2008 his approval rating was 57 percent good or excellent and 11 percent poor.[5]

After his successful re-election in 2006, his approval rating rose to 79 percent in November and his disapproval rating dropped to 17 percent. This made him the second most popular governor in the nation behind John Hoeven.[6]

The latest poll released April 23, 2009 by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found 70 percent of New Hampshire adults approve of how Lynch is handling his job as governor. The Governors approval rating has not fallen below 70 percent since the fall of 2005, and he continues to garner support from across the political spectrum.[7]

Work as Governor

As governor, Lynch has refused to enact a Sales or Income Tax for New Hamphire, and has increased the state's Rainy Day reserve fund to record levels.[citation needed] When the national economic downturn hit New Hampshire, Lynch cut spending while preserving essential services.[citation needed] Lynch has also been credited with expanding access to health care, job creation, economic development, and education, as well as keeping crime low.[citation needed] These efforts were rewarded in 2008 when New Hampshire won the "Most Livable State Award" for the fifth consecutive year.[8]

- In his second term, Lynch worked with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to help small businesses better afford health insurance for their workers; to join a regional effort to fight global warming; to help more young people graduate from high school; and to build New Hampshire's economy. Under Lynch, New Hampshire created a research-and-development tax credit to encourage businesses to innovate; a new tax credit focused on bringing jobs to the struggling North Country; and a job training fund to help workers and businesses compete globally. Lynch is currently working to bring New Hampshire in line with the Renewable Energy Act.

Lynch has worked with the Attorney General, police chiefs from across New Hampshire and lawmakers to pass sex offender laws; increased the state police; and increased the number of state prosecutors. New Hampshire was rated the "Safest State" in the Nation in 2008 and 2009. New Hampshire again boasts the nation’s lowest murder rate and the second-lowest rates for aggravated assault, according to CQ Press. Lynch issued the following statement after the announcement of the award in 2009:

I am proud that working together we continue to keep New Hampshire the ‘Safest State’ in the nation. Our low crime rate has long been a part of what makes this such a great place to live and work, and it is important that we work to maintain our high quality of life. With this recognition, we should take time to thank the hard-working men and women of New Hampshire law enforcement who work every day to help keep us all safe.[9]

In April 2006, Lynch was awarded the National Chairman of Volunteers Award for Volunteer Excellence by the American Red Cross, mainly due to his leadership during the 2005 floods.[10]

On June 3, 2009, Lynch signed a same-sex marriage bill into law, despite being personally opposed to gay marriages, making New Hampshire the fifth state in the U.S. to allow such unions.[11]


Lynch has repeatedly vetoed bills to legalize medical marijuana in New Hampshire. On March 10th 2010 The New Hampshire House voted 214-137 to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Nonetheless Lynch has remained determined to keep marijuana illegal in New Hampshire stating that "New Hampshire parents are struggling to keep their kids away from marijuana and other drugs," Lynch said. "We should not make the jobs of parents - or law enforcement - harder by sending a false message that some marijuana use is acceptable." He went on to further state that he will uphold Federal Law as opposed to State law. A statement which has angered many living in the "Live Free or Die" state. Lynch's position as a prohibitionist has already divided the Democratic Party (many of who supported the bill) and is shaping up to be a major issue in the upcoming 2010 election. Currently the penalties in New Hampshire are very harsh concerning marijuana possession resulting in a 2000 dollar fine and up to one year in prison even for very small amounts.


As Governor, Lynch is a member of both the National Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association.  

2008 presidential election

Lynch, one of eight superdelegates from New Hampshire,[12] remained neutral during the 2008 primary to "focus on being a good host to the primary", according to a statement by spokesman Colin Manning. At an event on June 27, 2008 in Unity, New Hampshire, Lynch formally endorsed Barack Obama for President.[13] His wife, Susan, endorsed Hillary Clinton during the New Hampshire Primary and served as national Co-Chairwoman of "Hillary for President". "As a mother and as a pediatrician, I share Hillary Clinton’s commitment to fighting for children and families. We face big challenges, and I believe Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to deliver the changes we need," Dr. Lynch said in a statement shortly before an appearance with Clinton. During the 2004 presidential election, the First Lady of New Hampshire supported Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean for President and was a member of "Doctors for Dean".[14]

Electoral history

New Hampshire Gubernatorial Election 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Lynch 340,299 51.07 +12.87
Republican Craig Benson (Incumbent) 325,981 48.93 -9.67
New Hampshire Gubernatorial Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Lynch (Incumbent) 289,677 73.5 +22.5
Republican Jim Coburn 104,223 26.5 -22.7
New Hampshire Gubernatorial Election 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Lynch (Incumbent) 477,254 69.8 -3.7
Republican Joseph Kenney 190,590 27.9 +1.4


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Craig Benson
Governor of New Hampshire
January 6, 2005–present
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mark Fernald
Democratic Party nominee for Governor of New Hampshire
2004, 2006, 2008
Succeeded by
Current nominee
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Joe Biden
Vice President of the United States
Jill Biden
Second Lady of the United States (if present)
United States order of precedence
In New Hampshire
Succeeded by
Mayors of New Hampshire cities if present
next fixed Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mark Sanford
Governor of South Carolina
United States order of precedence
Outside New Hampshire
Succeeded by
Bob McDonnell
Governor of Virginia

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