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Lynch won’t seek 5th term in 2012

MANCHESTER — Democratic Gov. John Lynch says he will not seek a fifth consecutive two-year term as New Hampshire’s chief executive.

Mr. Lynch made the announcement Thursday, months ahead of the state’s June filing period, putting at rest speculation about his intentions and opening up the field.

The popular 58-year-old governor survived a GOP sweep of the state’s top offices in 2010. Many believe he’s the most formidable Democratic candidate the party could offer.

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 nonunion members. The GOP-controlled Legislature also overrode his veto of abortion limits on minors.

From wire dispatches and staff reports