Just two weeks ago, New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte announced she was leaving office to explore running for a seat in the United States Senate, replacing Republican Senator Judd Gregg who is not planning to seek re-election. Upon announcing her resignation, she said, "Recently, many New Hampshire citizens have urged me to run for United States Senate. I appreciate their confidence in me." Ayotte, the state's first female Attorney General, has served and been supported by both Republican and Democratic governors.
As of today, just three days after leaving the Attorney General's office, it looks as though Ayotte is taking her desire to run a step further. In a press release, she announced that she has filed a United States Senate campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission, which will allow her to begin raising money to explore and pursue running for office, "Today I filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in order to form a candidate committee for the United States Senate. This is the next step in the legal process as I explore my potential candidacy for the race in 2010."
While a number of prominent citizens of New Hampshire have expressed their interested in running for Senator Gregg's seat, Ayotte is thought to be a front-runner in the race, which could be why the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already released an ad attempting to compare Ayotte to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The ad insists both women are simply abandoning their constituents for their own personal gain. New Hampshire State Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley told the Associated Press, "We now know that she is deserting the people of New Hampshire in favor of personal ambition. Not unlike Sarah Palin, Kelly Ayotte has broken her promise to the people she represents and put politics before public service."
"I would let my record of public service speak for itself," Ayotte responded to the criticism. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has also responded, reminding Democrats that President Obama once promised serve a full six-year term in the Senate.
Kelly Ayotte graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1990 with a B.A. in Political Science and from Villanova Law School in 1993. A member of both the New Hampshire and Maine state bars, Ayotte spent a year as a law clerk for the New Hampshire Supreme Court followed by four years working as a litigation associate with the firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson, and Middleton. She joined the Office of the Attorney General in 1998 as a prosecutor, handling white collar, public integrity, and homicide cases. In 2003, she was appointed Deputy Attorney General and in 2004, Attorney General. Throughout her legal career, she has been the recipient of many rewards and honors. Kelly Ayotte currently lives in Nashua, New Hampshire with her husband, Joseph Daley, and daughter, Katherine.