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Concord, N.H.

In New Hampshire, John Lynch quietly ends his eight years as governor

John Lynch, New Hampshire’s two-term governor, ended his last Executive Council meeting Wednesday.

Jim Cole/Associated Press

John Lynch, New Hampshire’s two-term governor, ended his last Executive Council meeting Wednesday.

CONCORD, N.H. — The pictures came off the walls and desk in Governor John Lynch’s office Friday at the State House as he cleared the way for Governor-elect Maggie Hassan to move in.

The popular Democrat retired after serving four consecutive two-year terms. Hassan, ­also a Democrat, is a former state senator who will be inaugurated as governor Thursday.

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Lynch says he wants to slip into the background to give Hassan the spotlight.

He and his staff cleared the office Friday of paintings, clothing, memorabilia and other items. Painters had already begun preparing the walls for a fresh coat of paint.

Hassan’s inauguration will be at noon Thursday and will feature poetry, prayer, and ­music, including performances by the Cecilia Ensemble, a choir of high school girls from Peterborough, and Briana Nadeau, a singer-songwriter from ­Durham who will sing the ­national anthem.

Hassan was one of the architects of New Hampshire’s gay marriage law and has asked New Hampshire Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan to lead attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Morgan, who has terminal breast cancer, is fighting to ­repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act that bars her wife from receiving federal benefits that would help care for their 5-year-old daughter.

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