Kelly Ayotte life and biography

Kelly Ayotte picture, image, poster

Kelly Ayotte biography

Date of birth : 1968-06-27
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Nashua, New Hampshire
Nationality : American
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2010-09-16
Credited as : Politician and senator, U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, Attorney General

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Kelly Ayotte born June 27, 1968 is a New Hampshire politician. Ayotte is a member of the Republican Party and served as the Attorney General of New Hampshire from 2004 to 2009. Ayotte is currently a candidate in the 2010 election for the Senate seat currently being held by Judd Gregg, who is not seeking re-election.

Early life, education and career

Ayotte was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. Ayote graduated from Nashua High School and Pennsylvania State University. where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1990. During college, Ayotte was president of the school's Pan-Hellenic Council In 1993, Ayotte was awarded a Juris Doctor degree by Villanova University School of Law, where she had served as Editor of the Environmental Law Journal.

Ayotte clerked for Sherman D. Horton Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, for one year. From 1994 to 1998, Ayotte was an associate at the Manchester law firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton. In 1998, Ayotte joined the office of the New Hampshire Attorney General as a prosecutor. In 2003, Ayotte became legal counsel to Governor Craig Benson. She returned to the Attorney General's office three months later, becoming Deputy Attorney General. In 2004, Ayotte was appointed Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire by Governor Craig Benson.

New Hampshire Attorney General

In 2004, New Hampshire's state law requiring parental notification of a minor's abortion was struck down by a U.S. Federal Appeals Court. Ayotte appealed the decision, over the objections of incoming Democratic governor John Lynch, personally arguing the case before the Supreme Court. Ayotte's appeal resulted in the Supreme Court's first decision on abortion in five years, In Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of New England (2006), the Supreme Court held that the lower courts should have struck down only the offending portions of the law (namely, insufficient exceptions) rather than invalidating the entire law. The Supreme Court sided unanimously with Ayotte on this issue, but avoided issuing a substantive ruling on the challenged law or a reconsideration of prior Supreme Court abortion precedents. In 2008, a Federal Judge ordered Ayotte to pay Planned Parenthood's attorney fees for defense of the appeal.

Ayotte was named as the 2008 New Hampshire Citizen of the Year by the New Hampshire Union Leader, a conservative local newspaper. Ayotte was cited by the New Hampshire Union Leader for her oversight and prosecution of two capital murder cases in 2008, one of which brought a death sentence to convicted killer of Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs. In 2001 and 2002, when she was an assistant attorney general, she prosecuted another high-profile murder case, the "Dartmouth Murders" in Hanover, New Hampshire: the two young murderers accepted plea bargains and pleaded guilty.

Ayotte has been criticized for her former office's alleged refusal to investigate charges against mortgage investment firm, Financial Resources Mortgage (FRM) which has been accused of orchestrating a 80-100 million dollar Ponzi scheme.

David Catanese of POLITICO has reported that prior to her resignation as Attorney General, Ayotte's office had deleted Ayotte's e-mail and calendar data from their computer systems. Less than one week before Ayotte filed to run for Senate her office also issued a memo that excluded any electronic correspondence that was deleted but retained in a backup system from New Hampshire's Right to Know laws.

Ayotte previously served as a board member of the Public Advisory Board at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. After her 2009 resignation from the AG post to pursue the Senate candidacy NHIP executive director Dale Kuehne described her as "very non-partisan, very competent as an Attorney General."

2010 U.S. Senate campaign

Ayotte resigned as Attorney General on July 7, 2009 to explore a run for U.S. Senate in 2010. Incumbent Senator Judd Gregg is retiring. Ayotte defeated lawyer Ovide Lamontagne, businessmen Bill Binnie and Jim Bender in the Republican primary. Congressman Paul Hodes is seeking the seat as a Democrat. Ayotte has been endorsed by Sarah Palin.

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