ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte plans to march with Mitt Romney in Wednesday’s Fourth of July parade in Wolfeboro, N.H., GOP sources tell ABC News.
Ayotte will be the first vice presidential short-lister to appear publicly with the presumptive Republican nominee during his week-long vacation at his Lake Winnipesaukee retreat. Her appearance also gives Romney the chance to meet with Ayotte privately at his home.
Romney arrived at his lakefront home in the small New Hampshire town last week to begin his annual family vacation, which includes such activities as the “Romney Olympics,” but there has been heightened speculation about whether Romney would use the time away from the political spotlight to meet with potential vice presidential contenders.
Ayotte, the freshman New Hampshire senator, is said to be one of several potential running mates the Romney campaign search team may be considering. Also on that list: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who plans to visit New Hampshire later this week.
Ayotte plans to bring along her husband, Joe Daley — an Iraq war veteran and small business owner — to Wednesday’s Wolfeboro Fourth of July parade. Daley owns a landscaping company in New Hampshire. Ayotte and her husband will be joined by their children, Katherine and Jacob, who will also march in the parade.
Ayotte campaigned with Romney in New Hampshire June during his five-day, battleground state bus tour. Ayotte has appeared with Romney on several other occasions during the campaign and was an early endorser of his candidacy during the primaries.
“We know that with his experience, he will make sure that we get our fiscal house in order in Washington, that we stop crushing all of us and our children with mountains of debt, and that we get Americans back to work,” Ayotte said when she announced her support of Romney in November 2011.
Last week Romney sent Ayotte to address the pro-life, National Right to Life conference in Arlington, Virginia.
In April, Ayotte campaigned with Romney at a fishing pier in Portsmouth, N.H. — about an hour’s drive from Wolfeboro — and fired up the crowd.
“If Washington isn’t broken, I don’t know what is,” she said. “And now more than ever we need Mitt Romney’s leadership in the White House.”