December 14, 2009
James Pindell over at NH Political Report has the scoop that Team Ayotte will once again be getting an assist from the NRSC when it comes to fundraising. According to Pindell the joint committee, was set up as a joint fundraising committee along with Trey Greyson, current Kentucky Secretary of State.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee officially is not endorsing Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte in her primary, but they did form a joint fund-raising committee with her and two other Senate candidates facing primaries.
The “Ayotte Grayson Victory Committee” will distribute money three ways: to Ayotte’s campaign, the NRSC, and Kentucky Senate candidate Trey Grayson, who faces a primary against Ron Paul’s son.
Of course officially, the NRSC has not endorsed Ayotte in the race and passed along the following statement reiterating that position. They also previously hosted a fundraiser for Ayotte at their DC offices.
“The NRSC is willing to set up joint fundraising agreements with any of the Republican Senate candidates who are interested in doing so. These committees do not in any way indicate an endorsement from the NRSC, and as Senator Cornyn has stated, the NRSC will not spend money in any of the 2010 primary races,” said Amber Wilkerson Marchand.
Pindell also has a statement from Team Ovide courtesy of Jim Merrill, advisor to Ovide Lamontagne’s campaign.
“The creation by the NRSC of the ‘Ayotte Grayson Victory Committee’ once again shows how clearly the NRSC has anointed Kelly Ayotte as their preferred pick for Senate in New Hampshire, just as they have anointed Charlie Crist, Carly Fiorina and even Arlen Specter before he left the Republican Party. The facts are clear that, whether through hosting multiple fundraisers for the Ayotte campaign, deploying their Associate Political Director to work fulltime for the Ayotte campaign, Chairman Cornyn’s PAC making a maximum $10,000 contribution to the Ayotte campaign, or this joint NRSC/Ayotte fundraising venture, the NRSC and its leadership have picked sides in our New Hampshire primary. The NRSC would do well to recall the advice given to them in a Union Leader editorial earlier this year: ‘The party bosses in D.C. think they know better than the locals how to pick winning candidates. They don’t. They should butt out and let the people who actually live here decide.’ Regardless, Ovide will continue to focus every day on earning the endorsement of the voters of New Hampshire, and not the Washington establishment.”
I’m guessing this will be a narrative going forward in the Senate primary and should be an interesting distinction that will most likely be brought up in the conversation going forward. Does this also signal an Ovide camp that will be a little more vocal in drawing contrasts with their opponents? Of course the other question is, would Ovide, or other Senate candidates, consider joining the NRSC program in the future?