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Hassan to nominate ex-House minority leader Jim Craig as N.H. labor commissioner

Jim Craig, a former House Democratic leader and congressional candidate, is Gov. Maggie Hassan’s choice to run the state Department of Labor.

Hassan will nominate Craig, a Manchester attorney, to become commissioner of labor at today’s Executive Council meeting, her office said yesterday.

“Jim Craig has a long record of standing up for workers, and an ability to listen to and work with the business community to make progress,” Hassan said in a statement. “He has a deep understanding of the legal and policy issues that affect both our workforce and business community, which will make him an excellent commissioner of labor and I thank him for agreeing to once again serve the people of New Hampshire.”

If confirmed by the five-member council, Craig would serve out the remainder of George Copadis’s three-year term, which ends Aug. 30, Hassan’s spokesman Marc Goldberg said.

Copadis took over the Department of Employment Security last year following the resignation of Tara Reardon, and David Wihby has been acting labor commissioner.

“Protecting workers and ensuring that all New Hampshire businesses are playing by the same rules are critical for growing the economy and strengthening communities, and I thank Gov. Hassan for nominating me to undertake this important responsibility and opportunity,” Craig said in a statement.

Craig, 62, served five terms in the state House, including two years as minority leader before Democrats won a majority in the 2006 election. He ran for Congress that year in the 1st District with the support of national Democrats, but lost in a four-way Democratic primary to Carol Shea-Porter.

He’s a partner at the Manchester law firm of Craig, Deachman & Amann and a former president of the Manchester Bar Association.

Craig’s son, Will, is
Hassan’s policy director and was a senior aide during her gubernatorial campaign last year.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

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