Kelly Ayotte

For more than a year, Melissa Crews has been the public face of HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery, a non-profit that supports people struggling with drug addiction.

She’s authored op-eds, sat for newspaper and television interviews and appeared side-by-side with elected officials to lobby for more money for substance-abuse treatment.

Last week, she took on another role: mouthpiece for a Republican political group that blames Gov. Maggie Hassan for hundreds of drug-related overdose deaths.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan on Wednesday presented her proposals for how she would keep New Hampshire and the country safe if elected to the U.S. Senate this fall.

National security has been a hotly contested issue in the race between Hassan and her opponent, incumbent Sen.  Kelly Ayotte, who has questioned Hassan’s grasp of the topic.

Republicans running for U.S. Senate and New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District took part in a candidate forum in Derry Monday night.

Notably absent, however, was the state’s most prominent Republican – U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, who is up for re-election this fall and is facing a primary challenger.

That meant of the four men taking questions from the audience at the Halligan Tavern in downtown Derry, only three were actually running for office.

As expected, the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan is on pace to become the most expensive political campaign in New Hampshire history. With more than three months to go before Election Day, the contest is already awash in cash: Total spending stands at $34 million.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The Republican National Convention may be dominating the headlines. But following Senator Kelly Ayotte Wednesday morning, you wouldn’t know it.

Instead of spending the week in Cleveland, Ayotte was here in Portsmouth, touring a company that makes devices to treat cancer tumors with electrical fields.

NHPR Staff

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte may be skipping the GOP convention this week, but there there is still plenty of politicking being done on her behalf. When Iowa Senator Joni Ernst addressed a breakfast hosted by the NH GOP, she spent roughly half her speech discussing Kelly Ayotte.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On the Political Front is our occasional check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.

Heroin
Courtesy of MPD

  US Senator Kelly Ayotte says a bill in Congress to address opioid abuse could provide a big boost to treatment and prevention efforts in New Hampshire. 

Chris Jenson

A for-profit college that has been a significant donor to Sen. Kelly Ayotte is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Bridgepoint Education, the parent company of Ashford University, an online university based in California, is the subject of investigations by several federal and state agencies. The company has been accused of improper use of federal student aid and duplicitous marketing practices – in particular, luring veterans to enroll in order to gain access to federal student aid through the GI Bill.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire is criticizing the president for not acting quickly or strongly enough to defeat the Islamic State.

National security is a key focus for Ayotte in her re-election race against Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. She is calling for more military special operations raids against the Islamic State, a more forceful response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's influence in the region and a clearer strategy for dealing with captured terrorists.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte will deliver a speech on confronting the Islamic State and terrorism.

Ayotte is delivering her remarks Monday morning at St. Anselm College as part of the "Politics & Eggs" political lecture series. Ayotte is seeking re-election against Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in one of the country's most closely watched U.S. Senate battles.

National security is a key focus for Ayotte in her first term in the Senate. Her campaign has attempted to paint Hassan as weak on national security and counterterrorism.

 

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan had a stronger fundraising quarter than her U.S. Senate rival, incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte says the FBI's recommendation that Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for her use of a private email server "suggests that she gets to play by a different set of rules than everyone else."

Ayotte commented Tuesday after agency Director James Comey said announced the decision, but called Clinton's actions as former secretary of state "extremely careless" and faulted her agency for a lackadaisical approach to handling classified material.

New Hampshire US Senator Kelly Ayotte is among the Republicans calling on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to recuse herself from a federal probe into Hillary Clinton's handling of emails as Secretary of State. 

Natasha Haverty

Senator Kelly Ayotte is in the middle of a competitive reelection bid this year.  In her six years in Washington she's quickly risen from the ranks of rookie politician to the national spotlight. But enough with that for the moment. We sent NHPR's State of Democracy reporter Natasha Haverty off the campaign trail, to see what Ayotte's daily working life is like on Capitol Hill. She sends this report.


In the wake of last week's mass shooting in Orlando, the debate over guns and how to keep them away from potential terrorists has been center stage in the U.S. Senate.  And so has New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte.

A bill she helped draft Monday aims to bar suspected terrorists from buying guns, and the issue of gun control is looking to be key to her re-election effort this year. But Ayotte’s involvement with gun policy and politics extends farther back that her six years in the U.S Senate.

As the U.S. Senate debates measures to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, New Hampshire's Senator Kelly Ayotte is throwing her support to a proposal drafted by Maine Senator Susan Collins.

The plan would bar people on the TSA's no-fly and selected lists from buying guns. It also creates an appeals process where people wrongly blocked from buying gun could recover legal fees from the federal government.

Ollie Atkins / Richard Nixon Presidential Library

When politicians talk about drug abuse, ‘tough on crime’ is a phrase that seems to be going out of style as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that the "War on Drugs" didn’t solve the problem.

If one needed proof the opioid crisis is seen as a powerful election issue, confirmation came last week, in the form a $4.6 million dollar ad buy from the GOP group, One Nation.

Maggie Hassan's pitch as she officially joined the race she's now been running for months was practiced -- and pointed. 

"I've been working for the people of New Hampshire and Kelly Ayotte has been standing with special interests time and time again, whether it's with the Supreme Court or now with Donald Trump, and his special interest backers."

Hassan cited her efforts to control the cost of higher education and defend abortion rights with votes Ayotte has taken to cut Pell grants and defund Planned Parenthood. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte is criticizing comments made by Donald Trump suggesting the federal judge presiding over the Trump University fraud case is biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.

"His comments are offensive and wrong, and he should retract them," Ayotte said in a statement provided to several news outlets Sunday.

Still, Ayotte's office tells WMUR that she still intends to vote for Trump, though continues to make the distinction that she won't endorse him.

Jason Moon for NHPR

When Kelly Ayotte officially registered her candidacy for re-election to the Senate yesterday, many were focused on how a race between her and Gov. Maggie Hassan might play out. But before she can get to that, Ayotte must first contend with a primary challenge from Jim Rubens, a former Republican state senator. He also filed his candidacy yesterday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Senator Kelly Ayotte officially filed to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate today.

After a brief rally with supporters on the State House lawn, the first-term Republican made her way inside to the Secretary of State’s office, where she paid the $100 filing fee and officially entered what will likely be one of the most watched Senate races of the year.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  The US Senate is backing an amendment to allow a sober living home for veterans in Manchester to again seek federal funds. 

Spend any time around Sen. Kelly Ayotte or Gov. Maggie Hassan nowadays, and you'll hear repeated assurances that while it may be election season, they remain wholly dedicated to serving New Hampshire.

But take a look at either’s fundraising books in their race for the U.S. Senate, and you'll find plenty of proof that both are also focusing further afield.

Getty Images

Lawmakers in Congress appear to be finding some common ground when it comes to dealing with the heroin and opioid addiction crisis.

But how much money will actually be put toward funding treatment and prevention programs remains a sticking point.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte continues to stand by her statement that she’ll support -- but not endorse -- apparent Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte says she plans to support Donald Trump, but stopped short of endorsing her party's apparent presidential nominee.

With Trump's two remaining Republican opponents out of the race following his win in Indiana Tuesday, he is now assured of the nomination.

Ayotte has consistently said she would support the Republican nominee, and while she confirmed that position yesterday, her spokesman added that as a candidate, she doesn't plan to endorse anyone.

New Hampshire's U.S. senators have introduced a bill for the creation of a coin in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster and honoring Christa McAuliffe, who was picked to be the first teacher in space.

Proceeds from the sale of the coins would support FIRST programs that inspire young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program is founded by inventor Dean Kamen.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

2016 is a big year politically for New Hampshire, and excepting the Presidential contest, no election will get as much scrutiny as the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte and Democratic challenger Maggie Hassan.

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