Jim Coburn, the founder of Valco Data Systems, plans to run for governor of New Hampshire against the incumbant Gov. John Lynch. Coburn, who is also a state senator, is a Republican; Lynch is a Democrat.

According to the Boston Globe, Coburn faces an uphill political battle. "Undeterred by a recent poll putting the governor's approval rating at 72 percent, Coburn, 62, of Windham, said he has experience with taking risks and reaping the rewards," the Globe reported. "...'When I started my company, I didn't let the odds stand in my way,' he said."

If elected, Coburn would be the second Inc. 500 CEO to serve as New Hampshire's governor. Craig Benson, the multimillionaire founder of Cabletron Systems, served one term before losing his bid for a second term to Lynch in 2005.