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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ballot Law Commission to hold hearing on GOP governor candidate Walt Havenstein’s NH residency

CONCORD – A hearing by the state’s Ballot Law Commission will go forward next Monday to determine whether Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein was a New Hampshire resident for seven years and can appear on the September primary ballot.

Democrats asked the Ballot Law Commission to delay next Monday’s hearing to allow for further discovery and review of documents Havenstein has not produced. ...

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CONCORD – A hearing by the state’s Ballot Law Commission will go forward next Monday to determine whether Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein was a New Hampshire resident for seven years and can appear on the September primary ballot.

Democrats asked the Ballot Law Commission to delay next Monday’s hearing to allow for further discovery and review of documents Havenstein has not produced.

BLC Chairman Brad Cook denied that request and said the hearing will go forward.

State election officials need this matter settled in the next few weeks in order to print ballots for the Sept. 9 primary and send them out well in advance to the military and other overseas residents of New Hampshire.

“For months the Democrats have made sensationalized allegations about Walt’s longtime New Hampshire domicile,” said Henry Goodwin, a campaign spokesman for Havenstein.

“Now, they claim they need a delay and so-called discovery in order to fish for the proof they acknowledge they don’t have. This is political gamesmanship.”

“Walt has gone beyond reasonable expectations by submitting more documentation than is necessary to prove his domicile.”

Knowing state Democrats were going to challenge his candidacy, Havenstein opted to bring this petition to the BLC himself when he officially signed up to run two weeks ago.

“I could wait for my opponents to file their frivolous claims, but I’m so certain of the result that I want the ruling as quickly as possible,” Havenstein said. “This has been an attempt by Democrats to distract from the issues that matter to Granite Staters: jobs, the economy and (Gov.) Maggie Hassan’s record of financial mismanagement.”

Democrats continue to question Havenstein’s residency.

“Walt Havenstein’s self-serving self-challenge omitted a host of key facts about actions he took – including under oath – to establish himself as a Maryland resident,” said Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley.

“Far from putting questions about his eligibility to rest, Havenstein’s self-challenge actually raises a number of new questions, such as whether he paid New Hampshire Interest and Dividend taxes in 2010-2011, and if so, where are the returns?”

The Telegraph first reported in March that from 2008-11 Havenstein claimed a $1 million condo in Bethesda, MD as his principal residence in order to receive two state tax breaks worth at least $5,400.

“Walt Havenstein’s self-challenge of his residency fails to answer Granite State voters’ key question: ‘If Havenstein thought he was a New Hampshire resident, why did he take a tax break only available to Maryland residents?’ ” Buckley asked rhetorically.

Democrats noted Havenstein’s petition does not contain documents such as his Maryland mortgage application, the homestead property tax credit he received and his Maryland driver’s license.

The petition maintains that Havenstein having a driver’s license in Maryland would have meant he could not get other privileges of residency here such as an in-state fishing license, in-state discounts at state ski areas or certain property tax exemptions.

Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Landrigan on Twitter (@Klandrigan).