New Hampshire Senate Hopeful Takes On GOP Establishment

Apr 27, 2010 3:52pm

ABC News’ David Chalian reports:  Republican Senate hopeful Ovide Lamontagne is struggling in his battle to become his party’s nominee to keep the open US Senate seat in New Hampshire in the hands of the GOP.  He barely registers in the most recent polls and he is woefully strapped for cash compared to his primary opponents.  However, Lamontagne doesn’t appear to let that get him down because he takes comfort in being the anti-establishment candidate in an anti-incumbent year. “We just won the tea party ballot last week and that was a fantastic turn out and beat the leading competitor 2 to 1 in that race. That’s where the energy is right now. It’s at the grassroots level and that’s where I’m at my best,” Lamontagne told us on ABC News’ “Top Line.”  Then he went after his national Republican Party for its apparent support of one of his opponents, former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte. “The New Hampshire voters ought to be picking the nominees and that’s what I’m hearing across the state. People do not want to know that some you know, power broker in Washington, a US senator or anyone else is picking their nominee. They want to pick their nominee and then let’s let the party apparatus support us after we win the nomination,” he said. “The National Republican Senatorial Committee has made it very clear that they’ve chosen Kelly Ayotte.  They’re holding fundraisers as we go.  And that’s unfortunate for her, in a sense, because I think it shows she’s going to be beholden to the party bosses and the special interests in Washington, not the people.  And that’s what people are inferring from that and this is not the role of the National Republican Senatorial Committee,” he added. Mr. Lamontagne continued to draw a contrast with Ayotte on her stated position that she would have supported the Sotomayor nomination to the Supreme Court last year.  ”I absolutely would have opposed her,” he said.  He also told us that with 20/20 hindsight it is clear to him that TARP was not needed as structured and he would have voted against it.  Lamontagne is seeking to replace Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, who serves as the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee and voted in favor of the bank bailout in the fall of 2008. You can watch our entire interview with Ovide Lamontagne HERE:

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