Kelly Ayotte

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Kelly Ayotte
Kelly Ayotte.jpg
U.S. Senate, New Hampshire
In office
January 3, 2011-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 4
PredecessorJudd A. Gregg (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$4,414,291
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
New Hampshire Attorney General
Bachelor'sPennsylvania State University
J.D.Villanova University
Date of birthJune 27, 1968
Place of birthNashua, New Hampshire
Net worth$773,505
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Kelly A. Ayotte (b. June 27, 1968, in Nashua, New Hampshire) is a Republican member of the United States Senate from the state of New Hampshire. She was first elected to the Senate in 2010.

Prior to her election to the U.S. Senate, Ayotte was a prosecutor for the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General.[1]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Ayotte is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning she will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.


Ayotte was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. She attended Nashua High School and received a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University in political science. Her thesis was The informal organizational culture's effects on women faculty in the College of Liberal Arts at the Pennsylvania State University.[2]In 1993, Ayotte graduated from Villanova University School of Law, where she had served as editor of the Environmental Law Journal.


Below is a brief summary of Ayotte's political and professional career:[1]

Political career

On June 15th, 2004, Ayotte was appointed as State Attorney General by Republican Governor Craig Benson following the resignation of Peter Heed, who, at the time, was under investigation for sexually harassing a female state employee at a event held at the Mount Washington Hotel. [3]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Ayotte serves on the following Senate committees[4]:


Ayotte served on the following committees:[5]


Financial disclosure

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which operates the political financial information website, Open Secrets, the then United States Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte failed to file a personal financial disclosure report for calendar year 2009. While there are records showing that the former New Hampshire Attorney General had filed a disclosure form covering the period of time between January 2008 until November 2009, four months after officially launching her Senate campaign, there is nothing to suggest that she delivered the form comprising all of the year 2009. Disclosure rules set down by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics "require any individual Senate candidate who raises or spends more than $5,000 to file a personal financial disclosure report within 30 days of meeting that financial threshold" and continue filing "reports every year he or she continues to be a candidate." [6] [7] Filing late with the committee will earn a candidate a $200 fine and "willful falsification of information of failure to file or report information required" can lead to a civil penalty up to $50,000, disciplinary action by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics or criminal prosecution. [6]

Jeff Grappone, a spokesman for the Republican Senator, stated that she was unaware that she needed to file the form. Ayotte, who resigned from her statewide position as attorney general on July 17th, 2009, "received no additional income" for that year and did not believe she "needed to file an additional form," according to a statement released by the campaign. [8] About a day after this report was published, Ayotte's spokesman reported that she had since filed the belated report with the committee. [9]


Prior to the launch of her United States Senate campaign, Ayotte had simply stated that she was pro-life. In the run up to her throwing her hat into the Senate campaign ring, however, she clarified her position, arguing that "she would support abortion in limited cases, such as rape, incest or medical emergency." [10] Ayotte had also said that she was "committed to rescinding taxpayer funding of abortion in health care," in particular those concessions made by pro-abortion groups that helped assure the passage of the federal health care reform measure in March 2010. [11]

During the course of her 2010 United States Senate campaign, Ayotte received the endorsement of several pro-life originations, including the Susan B. Anthony List and the National Right to Life PAC, in addition to numerous national pro-life figures such as former Governor of Alaska and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. [12] [13] [14]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Kelly Ayotte endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [15]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Ayotte voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[16]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[17][18][19]

According to the website Breitbart, Ayotte was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[20][21]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[22]

Expanded background checks on gun sales

On April 17, 2013 the U.S. Senate took a vote on and defeated a measure that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases.[23] The vote was 54-46, with supporters falling six votes short of the required 60-vote threshold.[24] Only four Republican members of the Senate voted for the bill, and Ayotte was not one of them-- making her the sole senator from the Northeast to take part in what was called a "triumph for the National Rifle Association."[25][26] Despite New Hampshire's as well as the region's "long tradition of support for gun rights," one poll this year showed that almost 95 percent of state residents support background checks. Underlining this statistic, in the weeks following her vote against the legislation, Ayotte encountered severe backlash on both the local and national level. In addition to declining job approval ratings, tensions over Ayotte's decision to oppose the Senate's bipartisan efforts--with full backing from the Obama administrion--to stiffen background checks for prospective gun owners came to the fore through a series of tense live interactions at town hall meetings back in New Hampshire in the aftermath of the vote. The town halls were arranged by national organizations such as Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and liberal think tank the Center for American Progress, in partnership with New Hampshire voters and local gun control activists.[26] When prompted by the son of one of the from the Newtown, Connecticut shooting victims to defend her nay vote, Ayotte said she did not believe in the bill's ability to prevent tragedies such as the Newtown elementary school shooting, and instead would like to redirect the debate to target the mental health issues at the root of the violence. She also acknowledged the amount of resistance her vote provoked from colleagues and constituents, saying that “We can have strong disagreements, but ultimately everything should be debated and discussed. And I’ll continue to do that.” Ayotte indicated that she would support measures which, unlike the legislation she recently rejected, would effectively motivate the U.S. Justice Department take their job of enforcing and prosecuting existing gun laws more seriously, and to staunch the sales of firearms on the black market."[26]

As of Public Policy Polling Institute's April 19-21 poll, Ayotte's approval rating dropped 15 percentage points since October, and 50 percent of New Hampshire voters surveyed said that Ayotte’s rejection of the background check plan would make them less likely to support her in a future election, while 23 percent viewed her decision favorably. Ayotte will next come up for re-election in 2016.[27]



On November 2, 2010, Ayotte was elected to the United States Senate. She defeated Paul W. Hodes (D), Chris Booth (Independent) and Ken Blevens (Libertarian).[28]

U.S. Senate, New Hampshire General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKelly Ayotte 60.1% 273,218
     Democratic Paul W. Hodes 36.8% 167,545
     Independent Chris Booth 2% 9,194
     Libertarian Ken Blevens 1% 4,753
Total Votes 454,710

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Ayotte is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Ayotte raised a total of $4,414,291 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[29]

Kelly Ayotte's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (New Hampshire) Won $4,414,291
Grand Total Raised $4,414,291


Breakdown of the source of Ayotte's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Ayotte was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Her campaign committee raised a total of $4,414,291 and spent $3,540,079.[30]


Like-minded colleagues

The website Open Congress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[31]

Ayotte most often votes with:

Ayotte least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking


Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Ayotte is a "rank-and-file Republican".[32]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Ayotte tied with one other U.S. Senator, ranking 36th in the conservative rankings among members of the U.S. Senate.[33]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Ayotte ranked 17th in the conservative rankings among U.S. Senators.[34]

Voting with party


Kelly Ayotte voted with the Republican Party 84.4% of the time, which ranked 32nd among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[35]

Lifetime missed votes

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Ayotte missed 4 of 580 roll call votes from January 2011 to April 2013. This amounts to .7%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.[36]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives


The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Ayotte paid her congressional staff a total of $1,334,769 in 2011. She ranks second on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranks second overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, New Hampshire ranks 48th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $413,476,982 in fiscal year 2011.[37]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Ayotte's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $242,014 to $1,304,997. That averages to $773,505, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. Her average net worth decreased by 10.42% from 2010.[38]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Ayotte's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $422,014 and $1,304,998. That averages to $863,506. The average net worth of Republican Senators in 2010 was $7,054,258.[39]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Kelly + Ayotte + New Hampshire + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Ayotte currently resides in Nashua, New Hampshire with her husband, Joseph Daley. The couple has had two children together - Katherine and Jacob.

Other roles

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Biographical Directory of U.S. Congress "Ayotte," Accessed July 1, 2013
  2. The informal organizational culture's effects on women faculty in the College of Liberal Arts at the Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, OCLC 299197463
  3. NHPR News "Attorney General Resigns Over Misconduct Allegation" 16 June, 2004
  4. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  5. Kelly Ayotte, Senator for New Hampshire "Committee Assignments"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Senate Select Committee on Ethics - Public Financial Disclosure Report for United States Senate
  7. Open Secrets "Why Didn't Republican Kelly Ayotte Tell Voters About Her Personal Investments This Year?" 14 Dec. 2010
  8. Concord Monitor "Ayotte disclosure 7 months overdue" 16 Dec. 2010
  9. Open Secrets "Sen.-Elect Kelly Ayotte Files New Personal Financial Disclosure in Response to Questions" 15 Dec. 2010
  10. Concord Monitor "Ayotte stresses security" 12 Aug. 2009
  11. Life News "New Hampshire Pro-Life Senate Candidate Kelly Ayotte Still Leading in Polls" 9 Aug. 2010
  12. Life News "New Hampshire Senate Candidate Kelly Ayotte Gets Pro-Life Group’s Okay" 16 July, 2010
  13. National Right to Life PAC - 2010 Senate Endorsements
  14. CBS News "As Palin Picks Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, Palin-Endorsed Karen Handel Surges in Georgia" 19 July, 2010
  15. The Hill, "2012 GOP Lawmaker Endorsements for President," retrieved November 23, 2011
  16. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  17. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  18. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  19. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  20. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  21. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  22. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  23. NPR "Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales" Accessed April 19, 2013
  24. Fox News "Background check plan defeated in Senate, Obama rips gun bill opponents" Accessed April 19, 2013
  25. NPR "Historically Speaking, No Surprise In Senate Gun Control Vote" Accessed April 19, 2013
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 The Washington Post, "Sen. Kelly Ayotte becomes focus of gun-control groups after voting against background checks," May 1, 2013
  27. Politico, "Poll: Kelly Ayotte approval drops after gun vote," April 26, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. Open Secrets "Donor history for Kelly Ayotte" Accessed April 25, 2013
  30. Open Secrets "Kelly Ayotte 2010 Election Data," Accessed October 28, 2011
  31. OpenCongress, "Kelly Ayotte," Accessed August 8, 2013
  32. Gov Track "Kelly Ayotte," Accessed May 8, 2013
  33. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," March 5, 2013
  34. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  35. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  36. GovTrack, "Ayotte," Accessed April 11, 2013
  37. LegiStorm "Ayotte"
  38. "Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), 2011," accessed February 14, 2013
  39., "Ayotte (R-NH), 2010"
Political offices
Preceded by
Judd Gregg
United States Senate
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Peter Heed
New Hampshire Attorney General
Succeeded by
Michael Delaney