Ayotte leads NH governor candidates in political fundraising

Kelly Ayotte, a former U.S. senator and former New Hampshire attorney general, introduces U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., at the Cheshire County Republican Committee holiday dinner in Keene in December 2021.
File photo by Hannah Schroeder / Sentinel Staff

Kelly Ayotte, a former U.S. senator and former New Hampshire attorney general, introduces U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., at the Cheshire County Republican Committee holiday dinner in Keene in December 2021. File photo by Hannah Schroeder / Sentinel Staff sleone—

By RICK GREEN

Keene Sentinel

Published: 06-24-2024 11:05 AM

 

Former Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte leads all New Hampshire gubernatorial candidates in campaign fundraising, taking in $4.2 million to date and spending nearly $890,000, according to a report she filed this past Wednesday.

On the Democratic side, former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig reported raising more than $2.3 million, while Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington of Concord had receipts of $1.8 million.

Ayotte, who launched her campaign a year ago, said her fundraising total is the highest ever for a candidate for governor in New Hampshire.

The former New Hampshire attorney general’s largest expenditures to date, $593,233, have been on consultants. She often uses the antipathy some Granite Staters feel toward Massachusetts as a foil against her opponents.

“Joyce Craig and Cinde Warmington think Massachusetts is a better model for New Hampshire than the past eight years under Governor Sununu,” Ayotte, of Nashua, said in a news release on Wednesday. “The voters I meet as I travel across our state tell me they couldn’t disagree more.”

Four-term Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has decided not to seek reelection.

Ayotte’s campaign has more than $3.3 million in cash on hand. Her campaign finance report shows that 62 percent of the contributions were made by individuals, and 38 percent came from businesses or organizations.

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Craig’s filing indicates that 97 percent of her contributions came from individuals and 3 percent were from businesses or organizations. Her biggest expenditure, $406,936, has been on administrative expenses such as salaries and wages.

She said on X that her campaign has raised the most ever for a Democratic candidate for governor and has $1.3 million in cash on hand.

“I’m grateful for the immense support we’ve received from across NH!,” she said in the post. “Our state needs a leader with a proven record of delivering results for hardworking families and our campaign is in the strongest position to beat Kelly Ayotte this November.”

Craig and Ayotte use New Hampshire’s optional online campaign filing system, which breaks down contributors and expenditures by categories and percentages.

Warmington files paper reports that are scanned in and don’t have these breakdowns.

Her report shows $1.3 million in expenditures, leaving a balance on hand of $514,325. She posted on X that 80 percent of her contributions were of $100 or less and that she has more than 7,400 contributions, 90 percent from New Hampshire. Her report shows that she has loaned the campaign $150,000.

“I’m grateful for the incredible grassroots support our people-powered campaign to take back the corner office is receiving from all over NH,” she said in her post. “Together we will win up & down the ballot, defeating anti-abortion extremists like Kelly Ayotte and her role model Donald Trump.”

All gubernatorial candidates’ campaigns were required to file a campaign finance report by this past Wednesday, according to the N.H. Attorney General’s Office.

As of Friday afternoon, no report was on file for the fourth major gubernatorial candidate, former Republican Senate President Chuck Morse, of Salem.

Last December, he reported raising $903,000 in campaign contributions.

The Attorney General’s Office said Friday that Morse’s campaign missed this deadline because of a “miscommunication with the Secretary of State’s Office” and that the campaign promised to file by the early part of this week.

The next campaign filing report deadline will be Aug. 21.

The state primary is Sept. 10, and the general election is Nov. 5.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.