MANCHESTER, N.H. (Legal Newsline) - Former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte scored a high-profile endorsement Monday from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, with Palin calling Ayotte the state's "mama grizzly."
Palin wrote in a Facebook post Monday, "It's my honor to endorse a Granite State 'mama grizzly' who has broken barriers, fought off and locked up criminals, and battled all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of New Hampshire parents -- and won!
"New Hampshire is lucky to have Kelly Ayotte as a candidate for the U.S. Senate this year," the former governor wrote.
Ayotte is facing Bill Binnie and Ovide Lamontagne in the state's Republican primary in September. She could face Democrat Paul Hodes come November.
In a statement Monday, Ayotte thanked the once-vice presidential candidate by saying, "Gov. Palin is a conservative icon who has brought enormous energy to our Party. As governor, she took on the entrenched special interests to deliver results."
Ayotte said of Palin that she "is a reformer in every sense of the word, and she has always stood firm for the conservative principles of low taxes, less spending and personal responsibility.
"I'm running for Senate to put our fiscal house in order and to get our country moving in the right direction again, and I'm honored to have her support."
Ayotte was New Hampshire's first female attorney general.
Palin, in her Facebook post, noted Ayotte earned a reputation for being tough on crime, supportive of law enforcement, and "tireless in the defense of the rights of the people of New Hampshire."
She added, "She's the proud mother of two and the wife of a combat veteran who flew missions over Iraq and currently serves in the Air National Guard.
"Kelly and her husband started a small landscaping/snow removal business; so, she understands first-hand the crushing burden Washington imposes on our small businesses.
Palin said Ayotte is the strongest commonsense conservative who can win in the fall.
"I know this Granite Grizzly will represent New Hampshire with distinction in Washington," she wrote.