Kelly Ayotte is a former member of the United States Senate. She was elected from the State of New Hampshire as a moderate Republican. While in Congress, she became a close friend and ally of the iconic late Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain.

Previously, Ayotte had been one of New Hampshire's top officials on the state level. Word had been swirling for some time that she might be interested in New Hampshire's top elected office. Under the right circumstances, at least. Those circumstances have occurred, and Ayotte has made her move.

Enters 2024 gubernatorial race

Kelly Ayotte is running for governor of New Hampshire. Popular moderate Republican incumbent Governor Chris Sununu has stated he won't run for another term in office. It had previously been reported that Ayotte would only enter the race if Sununu opted not to run again.

Particularly with Sununu's absence, the race for governor in the Granite State is expected to be hotly contested. Ayotte becomes the second candidate to formally join the Republican primary, both since Sununu's announcement. She follows Chuck Morse. Morse is a former acting governor of New Hampshire and president of the State Senate. Frank Edelblut, commissioner of the State Department of Education and former state representative, is also expected to join.

Two candidates have also thrown their proverbial hats in the proverbial ring in the Democratic primary so far. One being Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and the other being State Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington.

Republican primary polling has indicated that Ayotte is a heavy favorite to land the nomination. However, her strategy since officially launching her campaign has raised some eyebrows.

She was running as less of a moderate than she had in the past. The Keene Sentinel has noted her openly and repeatedly insulting New Hampshire's southern neighbor, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

He is also a former attorney general

Kelly Ayotte was a clerk for New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice Sherman D. Horton early in her career.

After practicing as a lawyer in the private sector, she joined the office of the New Hampshire attorney general. She later briefly left to become an advisor to Governor Craig Benson.

Shortly after, Ayotte was named the deputy attorney general of New Hampshire. The following year, she was elevated to attorney general, appointed by Benson. Democratic Governor John Lynch later re-appoint her to the post twice.

In 2010, incumbent U.S. Senator Judd Gregg, another moderate Republican, was not running for re-election. Judd had chaired two Senate committees and was a U.S. representative and New Hampshire governor. Ayotte won the race to succeed him in a landslide against Democratic U.S. Representative Paul Hodes.

But in 2016, Ayotte was narrowly defeated for re-election by Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan. Ayotte has been widely thought to have lost the race due to Donald Trump's presence on the ballot. Trump also lost the state.