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Corbett to NH for gov. candidate

Published by Karen Langley on .

WMUR-TV

Gov. Tom Corbett is heading to New Hampshire this weekend to attend a fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne.

Lamontagne, who nearly took the 2010 U.S. Senate nomination from now-freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte, won his party's primary last week and will face Democratic former state senator Maggie Hassan in November.

WMUR, the statewide New Hampshire TV station, reported news of the event at an upscale Manchester steakhouse and raised the eternal question for politicians spotted in the Granite State.

"The visit could raise a lot of money for Lamontagne and raise the prospect that Corbett is testing the waters on a 2016 presidential run," wrote reporter James Pindell. "Corbett was just elected in 2010, but as a governor of a major state he (is) a major player in national politics."

Brian Nutt, a political adviser to the governor, sounded amused by the testing-waters hypothesis. He said Corbett had been asked to attend the event and is both focused on governing Pennsylvania and committed to helping Mitt Romney win the presidency.

"New Hampshire or Iowa, if you happen to go there all of a sudden you're running for president," Nutt said. "He's going there to get a Republican elected governor and to help out."

He said he expects Corbett will talk about how a Republican governor addresses pocketbook issues. The governor would travel by charter or commercial air unless the trip includes official business, he said.

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