|U.S. Senator from New Hampshire|
From: January 5, 2011 - Present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
Kelly A. Ayotte (born June 27, 1968, in Nashua, N.H) currently serves as the junior Republican United States Senator from New Hampshire, having been elected in the 2010 election by a 60%-37% margin against U.S. Representative Paul Hodes. She previously won the Republican primary by a very narrow margin over the more conservative, Tea Party-backed opponent Ovide Lamontagne. At the age of 42, Ayotte is the youngest woman in the U.S. Senate.
Ayotte served as the Attorney General of New Hampshire from 2004 through her resignation in 2009. Previously she served as Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Homicide Unit and led the prosecution of numerous murder cases.
Ayotte is a self-described "law-and-order Republican" who is pro-life (except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency) and opposes same-sex marriage. If she had been a Senator at the time, Ayotte would have voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. She has criticized government bailouts of the banks and the auto industry as well as the economic stimulus package. "They spent nearly $1 trillion of our money and said this is something that will stimulate our economy, you look at that bill, some of that spending doesn't even occur until 2019. You tell me how that's going to stimulate the economy right now." She added "We can't spend money we don't have."
Kelly Ayotte is a graduate from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1990 and from the Villanova University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1993, where she served as Executive Editor of the Environmental Law Journal. Her husband is an Iraq war veteran who currently serves in the Air National Guard.
She won the endorsement of Sarah Palin and defeated Tea Party backed Ovide Lamontagne as the Republican Senate nominee for New Hampshire. Ayotte told the conservative magazine National Review that "I stand with [the tea party] on those issues, on protecting individual freedom. We need to stop the unprecedented expansion of government, appeasing our enemies, and creating an entitlement culture."