CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Republican Gov. Craig Benson should resign over his handling of Attorney General Peter Heed’s resignation, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul McEachern said Monday.

“The governor’s conduct breached his own ethical standard by a county mile,” said McEachern.

McEachern said he also believes Attorney General Kelly Ayotte should convene a grand jury to investigate the events surrounding Heed’s resignation.

In a report made public Thursday, Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway called for a review of whether Benson and Safety Commissioner Dick Flynn improperly meddled in his investigation of whether Heed inappropriately touched a woman at a state conference in May.

Hathaway cleared Heed of any wrongdoing, but said “serious irregularities” had threatened to compromise the investigation.

McEachern said Benson was out of line when he encouraged Heed to resign.

Alicia Preston, Benson’s campaign spokeswoman, said the governor has no intention of resigning “because Paul McEachern asks for it.”

“He obviously thinks he can’t beat Craig Benson unless Craig Benson is not running,” said Preston.

AP-ES-08-23-04 1613EDT

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