By Aaron Blake - 11/10/09 12:00 AM EST
Lamontagne’s entry makes him the second challenger to former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte who has announced in the past week. Both he and businessman Bill Binnie are considered potentially formidable opponents for the front-runner Ayotte.
“I’m running as an independent conservative — not the establishment candidate,” Lamontagne said Monday in a clear reference to Ayotte. “I’ll never be the establishment candidate. I want to be the candidate and the senator who’s responsive to the people of New Hampshire.”
Ayotte has never run for political office, as New Hampshire appoints its attorney general.
Binnie, who chairs a plastics company and owns an investment firm, has the ability to spend millions of dollars of his own money.
Republican National Committeeman Sean Mahoney is also weighing a run at the GOP nomination.
Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) has been running since February on the Democratic side and likely won’t face serious primary opposition.