Ayotte steps down, prepares for run at U.S. Senate

John O'Brien Jul. 7, 2009, 2:26pm


CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) - Only four months after being approved for another term, New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte has decided to resign.

Ayotte announced her intention Tuesday, saying she will step down July 17 to focus on a run for U.S. Senate. Ayotte, a Republican, was the state's youngest and first female attorney general.

Former Gov. Craig Benson nominated her to become attorney general in 2004, and Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, renewed it in March.

"The Attorney General's Office has a long tradition as a nonpartisan, independent office," Ayotte said.

"In the five years I have served as attorney general, I have been deeply committed to maintaining that tradition and the integrity of the office. I do not intend to discuss my future plans or politics in any detail until such time as I leave the Attorney General's Office."

Ayotte would be running for the Senate seat that will be vacated by Judd Gregg, a Republican, next year.

Lynch said he will move quickly to replace Ayotte. Reportedly, he nominated her in March with the understanding she would serve a full five-year term as attorney general.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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