Lamontagne to take on Ayotte in N.H. primary

Lamontagne’s entry makes him the second challenger to former state Attorney General Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteExplaining Democratic victories: It’s gun violence, stupid Trump voter fraud panel member fights back against critics Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada MORE who has announced in the past week. Both he and businessman Bill Binnie are considered potentially formidable opponents for the front-runner Ayotte.

Lamontagne was his party’s gubernatorial nominee in 1996 and also ran for Congress in 1992. The 52-year-old will attempt to run as the fiscal conservative in the race, and Democrats are eager to see him draw out Ayotte on her issue positions.

“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.