Republican Kelly Ayotte became the U.S. senator for New Hampshire in 2011. In 2016, she was defeated in her reelection bid by Democrat Maggie Hassan. Ayotte previously served as attorney general for the state of New Hampshire, after obtaining a bachelor's degree in political science from Pennsylvania State University and a law degree from Villanova University's School of Law.
Born on June 27, 1968 in Nashua, New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte is the daughter of Kathleen and Marc Ayotte. After graduating from Nashua High School, Ayotte received a bachelor's degree in political science from Pennsylvania State University and a law degree from the Villanova University School of Law. While studying at Villanova, she held a position as editor of the school's Environmental Law Journal.
Legal and Political Career
Following a short stint in the early 1990s as a law clerk in the New Hampshire Supreme Court, under now-retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Sherman Horton, Ayotte was hired as an associate at the firm McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton in Manchester, New Hampshire. She held that position for four years and, in 1998, became a prosecutor for the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General. She was then promoted to deputy attorney general and, in 2004, was appointed the state's attorney general by former New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson, a Republican. She became the first woman to serve as attorney general of the state.
In 2010, Ayotte entered her first bid for public office; she was elected to the U.S. Senate, receiving 60 percent of the vote, and officially began serving as senator of New Hampshire in January of 2011. Serving on the Senate's Armed Services, Budget, Commerce and Small Business Committees, Ayotte is also the ranking member, among Senate Republicans, of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support. In 2016, she was defeated in her reelection bid by Democrat Maggie Hassan in a very tight race.
Ayotte is married to Joe Daley, who is also from Nashua, and served in the Iraq war. Daley retired from the Air National Guard as a lieutenant colonel and, with Ayotte's help, he later launch a landscaping and snow removal company. According to Ayotte's Senate website, her husband's business provides her with an "understanding of how decisions made in Washington impact small businesses."
Ayotte and Daley have two children, and reside in Nashua.
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