Former Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte entered New Hampshire’s race for governor on Monday, following Gov. Chris Sununu’s announcement last week that he would not seek re-election in 2024.
“I’m running for governor because New Hampshire is one election away from becoming Massachusetts — from becoming something we’re not,” Ms. Ayotte wrote in her campaign announcement. Democrat Maura Healey flipped the Massachusetts governor’s office last year after Charlie Baker declined to run for re-election. Mr. Baker and Mr. Both Sununu are moderate Republicans who are popular in their states.
Ms. Ayotte, a former attorney general in New Hampshire, was ousted from her Senate seat in 2016 by Democrat Maggie Hassan, who previously served as the state’s popular governor.
Ms. Ayotte’s bid for governor comes at a time when the state is receiving renewed attention from Republican presidential hopefuls, many of whom have visited the state several times to court voters who are among the first to vote in the GOP primary.
Ms. Ayotte is expected to garner widespread support among Republicans in the state, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. Converted to a tossup, from the solid-republic, Mr. After Sununu said, he will not contest again. Chuck Morse, the former president of New Hampshire’s state Senate, lost last year’s GOP Senate primary against Ms. Hassan. Sununu entered the race immediately after his announcement.
The state’s two Democrats — New Hampshire Executive Committee member Cynde Warmington and Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig — have joined Mr. announced their candidacies ahead of Sununu’s announcement.
Even as Republicans gained power nationally, Ms. Ayotte faced a tough re-election campaign in 2016. He served only one term in the Senate.
Although Republicans have held several recent statewide officeholders in New Hampshire, the state has leaned blue during presidential elections, favoring Democrats in the past five.
With her announcement, Ms. Ayotte is a A long list of approvals From dozens of Republicans across the state, they rallied around his candidacy.
But national Democrats were quick to criticize the former senator and hinted that they plan to center abortion protections in the race.
“Kelly Ayotte has worked tirelessly against New Hampshire’s working families, attacking their basic liberties — even leading the charge on a national abortion ban — which is why New Hampshire voters retired her after just one term in the Senate seven years ago,” wrote Democratic Correspondents Association Deputy Governor Issy Levy.
In her statement on Monday, Ms Ayotte said she would seek to tackle crime by “standing up for our law enforcement officers” and aim to “protect and strengthen New Hampshire’s economic well-being”.
He wrote that he leans on the cultural issues that motivate the Republican base and “will stand with the parents, not the bureaucracy, when it comes to deciding what is best for our children.”