Ayotte picks Scott Brown in NH primary

New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte has endorsed Scott Brown over two other Republicans vying for the chance to take on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) this fall in a new ad that labels him Ayotte's “friend.”

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She speaks directly to the camera in the ad, warning of “$17 trillion in debt” and that “policies like ObamaCare that are hurting families." Though, in line with Senate tradition, she never mentions the Democratic incumbent by name.

“You know, I’m the mother of a 9-year old and a 6-year old, and I want a better future,” she says in the ad, which is running on WMUR, WBIN, and cable TV stations in the state.
 
“And I support Scott Brown because he's for fiscal responsibility, accountable government and finally a healthcare plan that works for all of us. He will give everything he’s got for New Hampshire.”

While Brown is positioned to be the strongest contender to take on Shaheen this fall, he's faced skepticism from conservatives in the state and still has to make it through a Sept. 9 primary election against former Sen. Bob Smith and former state Sen. Jim Rubens. Ayotte, who was elected in 2010 with conservative support, may give him some credibility with Republican primary voters in the state.

And while Brown boosts his own profile in the race, two outside groups are attacking Shaheen.

GOP group Independent Leadership for New Hampshire launched a new ad that features a proclaimed GOP voter from Gilford, N.H., who says that although she voted for Shaheen for governor, “I would not vote for her again.”

“I don't feel like Jeanne Shaheen is helping people like me. How do you vote with Barack Obama 99 percent of the time and still say you're an independent? I feel like Jeanne Shaheen has changed and the middle class has paid the price,” the voter, identified as Jennifer Nunez, says in the ad.

The group is advised by Patrick Hynes, who worked on both Mitt Romney's and John McCain’s presidential campaigns in the state, and it’s putting six figures behind the ad to air it on statewide and broadcast television.

And Ending Spending Action Fund, an anti-ObamaCare group backed by billionaire Joe Ricketts that launched an effort to draft Brown into the race last winter, launched a new ad attacking Shaheen on her wealth. It declares that Shaheen’s “wealth has surged” during her time in the Senate, and accuses her of profiting from her connections in Congress.

“The Shaheen family gets richer. New Hampshire families get the bill,” a narrator says.

Republicans believe they have a serious shot at taking down Shaheen this fall if Brown nabs the nomination, and a recent poll showed the race tightening, with the incumbent leading Brown by just 2 points.