By Aaron Blake - 07/07/09 12:03 PM EDT
According to multiple reports, Ayotte has submitted her letter of resignation, effective July 17, to Gov. John Lynch (D).
Ayotte was appointed by Republican Gov. Craig Benson and then reappointed by Lynch, despite her political affiliation.
She will be the GOP front-runner in the race, which so far has no other major GOP candidates. Former Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) opted against a run last week.
Former Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) has also weighed the race, as have former gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne and businessman Fred Tausch.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) is the front-runner.