Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte launches bid for New Hampshire governor

Sununu, a moderate Republican and frequent critic of former President Donald Trump, won re-election by large margins in 2020 and 2022, while Democrats have consistently won the state in presidential elections since 2004. Despite past struggles to defeat Sununu, next year’s contest could be a promising opportunity to recapture the Democratic Party. Executive councilor Cynde Warmington and outgoing Manchester mayor Joyce Craig are vying for the party nomination, which has already split its establishment.

Ayotte has a long history in New Hampshire Republican politics, serving as the state’s attorney general from 2004 to 2009 and first winning his Senate seat in 2010. He faced a tough re-election in 2016, defending his conservative voting record in a state known for its liberal streak.

The 2016 race became even more challenging when Democratic then-Gov. Maggie Hassan launches her Senate bid. Ayotte struggled to navigate her position on Trump’s candidacy, trying to support him without fully endorsing him, eventually reversing course after the “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced.

His announcement on Monday came with strong support from Republican leaders. Among his endorsers are former Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire House Majority Leader Jason Osborne and Morse’s former colleague in the state Senate. Bill Cannon included.

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