July 13, 2009
Sununu: Ayotte’s a conservative
New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte has been in the spotlight as the state’s top law enforcement official, but hasn’t taken many public political stands in her non-partisan role.
Now that she’s preparing to run for the Senate as a Republican, she’ll have to introduce her political side to the state’s voters.
Ayotte has said she won’t be making any comments on where she stands on specific issues until she officially announces a campaign, but her state party chairman, John H. Sununu, said he believes she’s a down-the-line conservative.
“I think she’s much more conservative than the press has made her out to be. She’s pretty conservative on the social issues, and she’s extremely conservative on the fiscal issues,” Sununu said in an interview with POLITICO.
“She’s the state’s lawyer and had to operate on the state’s agenda when the state was being run by wild-spending liberal Democrats.”
Asked if she opposed abortion rights, Sununu said: “I believe so. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a formal statement on her part, but having known her over the years, that’s my perception.”
Ayotte has a tricky balance to maintain as she prepares her Senate campaign. She wants to appeal to the state’s conservative voters in anticipation of a competitive primary, but doesn’t want to position herself too far to the right in a general election.
Ayotte has never run for public office before, so in the absence of a paper trail, both sides have been trying to brand her before she even officially announces her campaign.
The state Democratic partyreleased a Web videocomparing her unfavorably to Sarah Palin, while GOP operativeshave portrayed heras being in the mold of moderate Maine senator Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.