DSCC - ANOTHER Kelly Ayotte opponent launches campaign website

This just in – ANOTHER opponent of Kelly Ayotte launches campaign website




New Hampshire Union Leader: John DiStaso's Granite Status: Bender may jump into Senate race




ENTER JIM BENDER. Still another New Hampshire businessman is looking closely at becoming a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, the Status has learned.

Jim Bender of Hollis, a private equity investor who formerly headed Nashua-based Logicraft, Inc., confirmed yesterday that he will file an exploratory committee to formally begin weighing a run for outgoing Sen. Judd Gregg's seat.

Bender, 56, becomes the fifth potential GOP candidate. Coming on the heels of the New Hampshire Sunday News exclusive report on the potential candidacy of businessman William Binnie of Rye, Bender's entrance into the mix could be another early indication of GOP uncertainty about front-runner Kelly Ayotte's budding candidacy.

Time will tell, however, who among Ovide Lamontagne, Sean Mahoney, Binnie and Bender actually become candidates and stay in.

Bender, however, is very serious.

"I'm strongly considering a candidacy because we need to get the federal deficit under control and we need congressional term limits," he said.

After a career in the private sector, "The reason I'm considering running for the Senate is that I'm very concerned about how big the government has grown. We are seeing a $1.6 trillion and $1.7 trillion deficit, which is simply not sustainable.

"What I'm seeing so far is (potential candidates) saying, 'I'm the guy who can beat the other guy,' and I don't see that as a compelling reason to go to Washington."

Bender said he grew up in Concord, Mass., and has been a Hollis resident for 23 years. He's a graduate of the Harvard School of Business Administration and the Lowell Technological Institute.

In the early 1990s, he was president and CEO of Logicraft, a network service provider, before selling the firm and then heading Aware, Inc., in Billerica, Mass.

In recent years, he said, he has been investing in start-up businesses.