Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

A rising Republican lost her seat in the Trump era. Now she’s trying a comeback.

By 37ci3 May4,2024

In 2016, Kelly Ayotte was a rising star in the GOP. In 2017, he was a former senator.

Now, the New Hampshire Republican is trying to return to a different political world than the one he left behind as he mounts a bid for the Republican nomination for governor of his state. One of the biggest differences between then and now: her stance on Donald Trump.

And while Ayotte has spent the past seven years out of office, she has been connected in the political and policy spheres ahead of her next opportunity — making millions on corporate boards, writing for newspapers on state and national issues, and advising one of the Supreme Court picks through the Senate confirmation process early in the Trump administration.

In 2016, Ayotte was nearing the end of his first term in the Senate, establishing himself as a key GOP voice on national security at the same time as Trump’s unexpected political rise.

Like many Republicans at the time, Ayotte initially supported Trump, but then withdrew his support Weeks before Election Day in 2016, after an Access Hollywood video surfaced in which Trump talked about touching women without their consent.

Ayotte said at the time: “I cannot and will not support a presidential candidate who brags about degrading and assaulting women.” He narrowly lost his re-election bid to now-Sen. Democrat Maggie Hassan, Trump narrowly lost the state.

Now, Ayotte is back on the national political scene, running for governor. And he supported Trump, full-throated rebuke President Joe Biden. His main opponent from the Republican Party is Chuck Morse confirmed the former president earlier in the 2024 race as both seek to impeach GOP Gov. Chris Sunu.

Asked if Ayotte plans to run for governor in the future while still in the Senate, a former aide told NBC News, “He was very committed to the citizens of the Granite State when he was a senator, and I think that’s a natural fit for him to run for governor.

The road from then to now

After his term in the Senate ended, Ayotte briefly stayed and served in Washington as a consultant to then-Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch during the Senate confirmation process before returning to New Hampshire.

But in the years between leaving the Senate and running for governor, Ayotte spent time in the private sector, earning $2.1 million in cash payments from serving on corporate boards between 2017 and 2023. NBC News overview of corporate proxies. That figure doesn’t include any stock awarded while serving on corporate boards, which can run into the millions, and only includes reporting data for the public companies Ayotte serves on the boards of, such as Blackstone, Bloom Energy, Boston Properties, News. Corp. and, like Caterpillar, not the private companies for which he reportedly serves on the board Blink Health and Citronics.

At different points in 2023, Ayotte took over Over 16,000 shares of Blackstone shares and Over 7,000 shares shares in Boston Properties, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. In January 2024, he also reported He owns more than 50,000 shares News Corp. of shares

Ayotte has also served in consulting roles at several other companies, including Chubb Insurance, Microsoft, and Revision Military.

It is not unusual for former politicians to join corporate boards after leaving office.

New Hampshire Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte
At the 2023 Nationwide Leadership Summit in Nashua, USA, Republican Front-runner Kelly Ayotte is running for governor of the Granite State.Brian Snyder/Reuters file

according to a study Nearly half of former senators and governors serve on at least one board after leaving office, according to a study by researchers at Harvard and Boston universities called Capitol Gains: The Returns to Elected Office from Corporate Board Directorships. .

The study also estimated that “winning a Senate or gubernatorial election increases the likelihood of later serving on a corporate board by about 30%.”

“There’s actually a causal relationship between winning elections and getting those council seats,” co-author Maxwell Palmer, an associate professor of political science at Boston University, told NBC News.

Ayotte told NBC News, “After leaving the Senate, I had two important priorities: first, to be more involved with my husband and two children because I couldn’t be on the Senate schedule, and second, to put my life into growing New Hampshire and American businesses, competing business experience to help him lead and succeed.

He added: “During this period, I gained experience working with companies at the highest level. This, along with my many years of public service as a prosecutor and attorney general, rounded out my skills and prepared me to move our state forward and ensure New Hampshire remains safe, prosperous and free.

In the six years between the end of his Senate term and the start of his gubernatorial campaign, Ayotte continued to contribute to policy debates while serving on the board.

As a member of the Afghanistan Study Group, he builds on an area of ​​focus for him as a senator Co-authored a report in 2021 He called on the Biden administration to delay the deadline for the required withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

He is also an author letter to the editor The Washington Post On the GOP’s plans to tackle climate change in 2019.

In the letter, Ayotte criticized a recent article that he said “failed to consider several examples of recent Republican leadership to advance clean energy solutions. As a former senator and strong public advocate with experience advancing policy in the clean energy space, I feel compelled to set the record straight and give credit where it’s due.” I feel.

At the time of writing the letter, Ayotte also served as a consultant to Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, a center-right nonprofit organization that aims to push Republican politicians to advocate for clean energy solutions.

He also focused more on local issues in the press.

Ayotte in 2021 as well wrote an op-ed In New Hampshire, Union Leader slams Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess for ‘robbing’ attempt. [police] department … exercise independent supervision and control.”

Nashua had a Police Commission at the time last in the state commissioners were still appointed by the governor rather than locally.

Ayotte’s allies are quick to point out that despite serving on corporate boards and in various political roles since leaving the Senate, she has tried to give back to the New Hampshire community in more moderate ways.

One person who used to work with Ayotte told NBC News, “It’s not unusual to see him in the chamber after he leaves the Senate. Penguin Diving,” or in the car park at their children’s school, where he serves on the board.

“They’re just, you know, they’re just normal New Hampshire parents,” the person added.

Now Ayotte is trying to climb the political ladder again and lead the state.

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By 37ci3

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