Romney picks up important New Hampshire endorsement

LITTLETON, New Hampshire Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:27pm EST

A young supporter holds a handwritten sign for Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at a campaign rally on the steps of City Hall in Nashua, New Hampshire November 20, 2011.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A young supporter holds a handwritten sign for Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at a campaign rally on the steps of City Hall in Nashua, New Hampshire November 20, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

LITTLETON, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Republican Mitt Romney, looking to close the deal in the early primary state of New Hampshire, picked up an important endorsement on Sunday from U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte.

Ayotte was elected in 2010 from New Hampshire as part of big Republican gains in Congress, and is the top Republican elected official in the state. Her campaign had support from, among others, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Romney has won nearly every major Republican endorsement in New Hampshire so far, and has led in Republican polls in the state by a wide margin for almost two years.

On Friday, though, a survey by Magellan Strategies showed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich drawing within two percentage points of Romney.

New Hampshire holds its 2012 Republican primary election on January 10. The vote is regarded as one that Romney must not just win, but win convincingly.

The former Massachusetts governor has stepped up his campaigning in the state, where he owns a house. On Sunday he and Ayotte appeared at a rally in Nashua, her home town.

Ayotte was one of Palin's "Mama Grizzlies" in 2010, and is a former state attorney general.

In a statement, Ayotte cited Romney's experience as a businessman and governor, and his "excellent presidential debate performances" in her decision to endorse him.

Romney has also been endorsed by major New Hampshire figures like former Republican governor John Sununu and former U.S. Senator Judd Gregg.

(Reporting by Jason McLure, editing by Ros Krasny and David Bailey)

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Comments (6)
doggydaddy wrote:
“Her campaign had support from, among others, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.” Whoo whoo, an endorsement from a former “Mama Grizzly”. What a coup. Mitt’s on a roll now. Watch out for Newt, Mitt.

Nov 20, 2011 5:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
zenduane wrote:
Kelly Ayotte’s endorsement is important only to right-wing Republicans here in NH. Like our new Congressman, Frank Guinta, her overall popularity is highly negative. She has been part of the Congress that has seen its positives go from an dismal 26% to horrific 9%. And, she was instrumental in cutting the U.S. credit rating and gutting the Obama jobs bill. This last vote cost our small State 3400 jobs. Not good. This may work for the Republicans but may even be a net negative for the NH population at large.

Nov 20, 2011 5:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
McClarinJ wrote:
Uh, zenduane, I’ve got big news for you. Ayotte is a centrist very much like Romney, and Guinta for that matter. Don’t forget, she was promoted by TARP ramrod Judd Gregg. You don’t like her because she’s Republican and you’re a big government Democrat, but the only candidate who is SERIOUS about gutting your favorite programs is Ron Paul.

Nov 20, 2011 6:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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