N.H. resignation points to Senate campaign

New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteAudit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars US sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years No, the US did not spend million on a gas station in Afghanistan MORE (R) has announced she will resign her current office, a move that is seen as a precursor to a likely Senate campaign in 2010.

According to multiple reports, Ayotte has submitted her letter of resignation, effective July 17, to Gov. John Lynch (D).

She did not make an official announcement about the Senate race, saying that she is resigning to explore the race. Many expect her to get into the race eventually.

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.