DSCC - Union Leader: Lamontagne says he's entering Senate race

Four days after national Republicans announced they would not financially back their recruited candidates, New Hampshire Republican Ovide Lamontagne announced he will challenge Kelly Ayotte for the nomination for Senate. Lamontagne upset established-backed Congressman Bill Zeliff to become the Party's nominee for Governor in 1996.

Lamontagne says he's entering Senate race

Union Leader
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Senior Political Reporter
November 8, 2009

MANCHESTER - Ovide Lamontagne has made his long-awaited decision. Tomorrow, he'll officially become a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated next year by Sen. Judd Gregg.

The 52-year-old Manchester attorney, 1996 Republican gubernatorial nominee and long-time conservative activist has been weighing whether to run since March, talking to GOP and other grassroots groups.

He told the New Hampshire Sunday News on Friday that despite being far behind former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte in fund-raising, and despite a pledge to his wife, Elizabeth, not to spend any personal money on a campaign, he will seek the seat.

Tomorrow's Lamontagne filings with the Federal Election Commission will be a statement of candidacy and the necessary campaign finance committee paperwork. He'll also unveil a new, "Ovide2010.com" Web site and embark on what he described as an anti-establishment campaign.

"Not only is Washington broken, but Washington is in desperate need of changing fundamentally how it operates," Lamontagne said in an interview at the Devine Millimet and Branch law firm, where he has practiced since 1986.

Lamontagne will become the fourth candidate officially in the race, joining Ayotte and businessmen James Bender of Hollis and William Binnie of Rye. Sean Mahoney of Portsmouth, publisher of BusinessNH magazine and a New Hampshire GOP representative on the Republican National Committee, is still considering whether to run.

The lone Democrat so far in the Senate race is 2nd District U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes.