Magazine article Politics Magazine

New Hampshire

Magazine article Politics Magazine

New Hampshire

Article excerpt

REPUBLICANS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE have a message for the party elites in Washington: We'll decide who our U.S. Senate candidate is. Some Granite State Republicans are raising doubts about former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, who resigned her office in July to explore a bid for retiring Sen. Judd Gregg's seat. While Ayotte doesn't have the formal backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee just yet, insiders say she's favored by the GOP leadership in Washington. And that has irked plenty of New Hampshire Republicans. "The NRSC may be able to clear a field somewhere else, but not in New Hampshire," says a prominent GOP operative in the state who asked not to be identified. "The whole NRSC, K-Street thing has really taken hold with conservative activists," he says.

With some in the Republican base questioning Ayotte's conservative credentials, others are pushing for a primary challenge from the right. If a challenge did emerge it would likely come from Ovide Lamontagne, a former GOP nominee for governor with better conservative chops than Ayotte. Lamontagne has yet to jump into the race, but among those advising him as he moves closer to a run is Republican operative Jim Merrill who worked on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in-state last cycle. …

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