, NEW HAMPSHIRE, United States, Nov 1 – She’s the Republican Senator for New Hampshire, but Kelly Ayotte will not vote for Donald Trump.
Ayotte will instead write-in the name of vice presidential nominee Mike Pence on Election Day; not that this has any voting effect, but is rather a form of protest.
- Ayotte will face off for the New Hampshire Senate election with Maggie Hassan in the November 8 election.
- Hassan is interestingly the current governor of New Hampshire who is serving her second term, having been sworn in as the 81st Governor of New Hampshire on January 3, 2013.
- Governor Hassan began her career in public service in 1999.
When she took the position against Trump, Ayotte said she had wanted to be able to support her party’s nominee, chosen by the people, because feels strongly that there is need for change in the country.
“However, I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women. I will not be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and instead will be writing in Governor Pence for president on Election Day,” she made clear.
Ayotte had previously said she supported Trump but would not endorse him, before taking a firmer stance when a video emerged where Trump was caught on an open microphone in 2005 making explicit comments about trying to have sex with women. In the video, Trump used offensive language, sparking widespread outrage – Trump later issued a statement, saying, “This was locker room banter.”
Ayotte, 48 was first elected to the US Senate in 2010. During her term, she has stood out as an impartial and shrewd leader who stands up to her own party.
On Monday in an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR), Ayotte reaffirmed she would continue standing up for what she believes is right.
“Go look at my record and look at the environmental issues for example. Go back to 2011 and you’ll see at that point I’m crossing the aisle to protect New Hampshire against mid-West power plants or mercury emissions; you’ll see bi-partisanship. By the way, you’ll also see my own party criticise me for things I’ve done!”
Ayotte, who previously served as New Hampshire’s Attorney General has gone against the grain on several key issues, one being the refusal by her party to hold a conformation hearing for President Barack Obama’s pick of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in the Supreme Court.
The court remains ideologically split 4-4 between its conservative and liberal wings.
“We have a vacant Supreme Court position right now that the people are going to weigh-in by whom they elect as president in November and we have to go forward with that nomination process and I will obviously carefully vet whoever is proposed and make sure they are not only qualified, but I’ll want to understand their constitutional philosophy but will not support permanently blocking filling that court,” she told NHPR.
Ayotte weighed in on the controversy surrounding the re-opening of the probe against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server by FBI Director James Comey, saying it would have been wrong to ignore any new information.
“I don’t see a choice of looking at it at this point because you would otherwise be ignoring something that could be important… you can’t do that as a law enforcement official. I haven’t fully agreed with the way he has handled this (probe previously) because I thought it was unusual in the first instance to make the investigative and prosecutorial decision. I haven’t been in a case like this as an attorney especially where it involves a felony or a more significant crime.”
The FBI had already concluded in July that there was no evidence that Clinton committed a crime.
Ayotte will face off for the New Hampshire Senate election with Maggie Hassan in the November 8 election.
Hassan is interestingly the current governor of New Hampshire who is serving her second term, having been sworn in as the 81st Governor of New Hampshire on January 3, 2013.
Governor Hassan began her career in public service in 1999.
(Michael is participating in a 2016 US General Elections Embed program administered by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and sponsored by the US State Department’s Foreign Press Centers and US Embassy Posts)