On March 4 a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte will be held at the Bedford home of inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen. The event is hosted by local business leader Andy Crews and New Hampshire president of People’s United Bank Dianne Mercier. Two of the U.S. Senate’s most popular members Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia) and Joni Ernst (Iowa) will be joining as special guests.
In announcing the fundraiser, Crews wrote, “Sen. Ayotte has been the voice of reason and proven to be a leader with common sense solutions in Washington. No other U.S. Senator for New Hampshire has spent more time meeting with constituents than Sen. Ayotte. She has been the voice for small business and has led efforts in Washington to deal with our current heroin epidemic way before we could even get the state of New Hampshire to recognize that there was a problem.”
A local Republican activist who received an invitation to the fundraiser said, “This shows the changing face of the Republican party: three of the most capable, popular, youthful members of our party – oh and they’re all women. This isn’t your grandfather’s Republican party anymore. Today’s Republican party understands the challenges of hard working American families like the economy, the rising cost of healthcare, and here in New Hampshire – the very real fear that every parent has about our growing heroin epidemic.”
Raising hard dollars will be especially important if Ayotte’s Democratic challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan agrees to sign “The People’s Pledge” limiting outside spending in the race. According to a release put out by Ayotte’s campaign, “To limit the influence of outside spending, the pledge requires that a candidate who benefits from a third party ad donate 50 percent of the ad’s total cost to a charity of the other candidate’s choice.” The pledge is modeled after one signed by Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown in their 2012 Senate contest.
Sen. Ayotte currently has more than $6 million in the bank. Residents of Bedford, a traditionally Republican town, have already contributed more than $70,000 to her reelection effort. As of Dec. 31, Gov. Hassan had not yet reported contributions.