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Democrat jumping into N.H. governor’s race

Colin Van Ostern, of Concord, is set to open his campaign for governor Thursday at a refurbished mill building in Manchester.
Colin Van Ostern, of Concord, is set to open his campaign for governor Thursday at a refurbished mill building in Manchester. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Two days after New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan said she will run for the US Senate next year, the race to succeed her will get its first Democratic entrant.

Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, of Concord, is set to open his campaign for governor Thursday morning at a refurbished mill building in Manchester.

The 36-year-old Van Ostern is serving his second term on the council. His district represents a fifth of the state’s population and, strategically for a Democratic primary, includes some of the state’s most Democratic communities.

“I’m running for governor to build an even stronger economy and a brighter future for the people of New Hampshire — one where everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” he wrote in prepared remarks. “We must keep our state moving forward in 2016 so New Hampshire will continue to be a great place to raise a family and grow a business in the coming decade — one where our kids can attend great schools, graduate from college without being crushed by debt, and find jobs with good wages.”

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Van Ostern could face opposition in the primary, which is scheduled for September 2016.

Portsmouth City Councilor Stefany Shaheen, daughter of US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, said she will decide within weeks whether to enter. Former state securities bureau chief Mark Connolly and state Senator Andrew Hosmer have also expressed interest in the race.


James Pindell can be reached at james.pindell@globe.com.