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  N.H. GOP divided on Ayotte
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Last EditedMonsieur  Jul 22, 2009 06:31am
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AuthorJosh Kraushaar
News DateWednesday, July 22, 2009 12:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe national Republican Party’s prized Senate recruit in New Hampshire, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, is meeting with resistance from local Republicans who aren’t willing to hand over the nomination without a fight.

It’s easy to see why the National Republican Senatorial Committee is so enamored of Ayotte. She’s a youthful, female face in a party that has been criticized for not fielding a diverse crop of candidates. With deep New Hampshire roots and a law enforcement record that has drawn bipartisan praise during her five-year tenure, the 41-year-old Ayotte could prove to be a compelling alternative to the likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.).

Indeed, to demonstrate its commitment behind her candidacy, the NRSC is even prepared to offer Ayotte its endorsement if she requests it.

Yet two credible GOP candidates — a former nominee for governor and a well-heeled businessman — have signaled that they’ll also pursue the nomination, and the state GOP chairman, John H. Sununu, is indicating that he’s not going to choose sides.

The state’s 1996 gubernatorial nominee, Ovide Lamontagne, said he would have stepped aside for former Sen. John E. Sununu (R-N.H.) or former GOP Gov. Steve Merrill, but he won’t be doing the same for Ayotte.
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