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Ayotte Makes Campaign for Senate Re-election Official

Jason Moon for NHPR

Senator Kelly Ayotte officially filed to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate today.

After a brief rally with supporters on the State House lawn, the first-term Republican made her way inside to the Secretary of State’s office, where she paid the $100 filing fee and officially entered what will likely be one of the most watched Senate races of the year.

Ayotte told reporters she thinks foreign policy will be a major issue in the race. And she criticized her likely Democratic opponent, Gov. Maggie Hassan, over her grasp of that issue.

“You already have examples of where Gov. Hassan hasn’t had the same level of depth of understanding of the threats that we face and how to address them," Ayotte said. "And so I look forward to a vigorous debate with her about how do we keep this country safe.”

But outside on the State House lawn, protesters hoped to make a bigger campaign issue over Ayotte’s refusal to hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination, Merrick Garland.

Ayotte also faces a Republican challenge from former state senator Jim Rubens.

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