Posts tagged ‘Kelly Ayotte’

Kelly Ayotte in a Photo Finish

The fight for Kelly Ayotte’s U.S. Senate seat appears headed for a recount.

Ayotte ’90, the Republican incumbent from New Hampshire whose race was one of the most closely watched of the 2016 election, is locked in a dead heat with Democratic governor Maggie Hassan. As of Wednesday afternoon, that race was still too close to call: With all precincts in the Granite State reporting, Hassan held a lead of roughly 700 votes among more than 700,000 cast. Citing the totals, Hassan declared victory Wednesday, but Ayotte has yet to concede, and both sides expect a recount before the results are official.

Ryan Jones, deputy editor

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November 9, 2016 at 3:16 pm 1 comment

A Rough Night for Kelly Ayotte

For Kelly Ayotte ’90, the home stretch seems to be an uphill climb.

Ayotte, the Republican U.S. Senator from New Hampshire featured in our Sept./Oct. issue, remains in a virtual dead heat with Gov. Maggie Hassan as she attempts to hold on to her seat. The candidates faced off Monday night in a televised debate, and Ayotte appeared to fumble her response to a question about whether she thought Donald Trump should be seen as a role model to children. On a relatively quiet day in the national campaign, it quickly became an unwanted headline:

The reaction was swift and overwhelmingly harsh for Ayotte, who has attempted to balance her party loyalty with concerns over her party’s nominee, and continues to maintain a stance of supporting but not endorsing Trump. With Hillary Clinton polling ahead of Trump in New Hampshire, and Election Day just five weeks away, it remains to be seen if Ayotte’s debate gaffe is one she can overcome, or one that might cost her the election.

Ryan Jones, deputy editor

October 4, 2016 at 2:23 pm 1 comment

On Kelly Ayotte, Penn Stater in the U.S. Senate

Our September/October issue includes a profile of Kelly Ayotte ’90, the U.S. senator from New Hampshire who is in the midst of a tough reelection battle. Outside of the presidential campaign, Ayotte’s race is one of this election year’s most intriguing: A working mother and her state’s first female attorney general, she is among the most prominent female Republicans in the nation, widely seen as one of the party’s bright hopes. She’s got strong conservative credentials, but also boasts one of the more bi-partisan records in the Senate.

For all that, she’s in a virtual dead heat with her challenger, Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. (New Hampshire holds its Senate primary next Tuesday, Sept. 13, but Ayotte is expected to easily defeat her challenger, former state senator Jim Rubens.) It’s a race that’s drawing attention well beyond the borders of the Granite State, as the outcome could decide control of the Senate. The ad below offers a look at how Ayotte is handling the challenge.

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has become one of the defining issues of Ayotte’s campaign. She’s tried to walk a fine line with regard to the GOP presidential nominee, publicly calling him out for his comments about the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, and saying more than once that she won’t endorse him; still, she has reiterated that she plans to vote for Trump in November. In a state with a strong independent streak, Ayotte’s ability to balance party loyalty with public sentiment may decide the election.

Party loyalty and public sentiment were two factors we had in mind when we scheduled this feature to run just a couple of months before the election. Not surprisingly, we’ve heard from a handful of readers who took issue with both the subject and the timing of our story, essentially accusing us of promoting a partisan agenda. For us, the subject—the highest ranking alumnus currently in public office, one whose name has more than once been connected to potential presidential tickets—makes Ayotte an obvious choice for coverage in The Penn Stater. Alumni don’t get much more prominent than sitting U.S. senators.

Regarding the timing, we discussed our own concerns about running the story in the run-up to the election, and knew at least a few readers might see it as something akin to a campaign ad. Ultimately, we felt that the timing—the fact that Ayotte’s in a neck-and-neck battle to keep her seat, and the implications for both her party and her career—is part of what makes the story compelling. We’re also confident that, when it comes to a national politician with strong feelings on issues like gun control or abortion, some readers won’t want to read it no matter when it might run.

As for accusations of bias, we know that comes with the territory. In the past year, I’ve had the chance to profile union leader Richard Trumka and conducted an interview with a group of Penn State’s Muslim students; after each story, we received letters decrying our obvious liberal bias—and, in some cases, much worse. We trust that most of our readers will appreciate our desire to tell good stories about interesting Penn Staters, no matter their political ideology or religious beliefs. And that we’ll continue to get your letters when you disagree.

Ryan Jones, deputy editor

September 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm 5 comments

Inside Our September/October 2016 Issue

Squirrel with magazine (2)

Photo by Mary Krupa

Alumni Association members should keep an eye out for our Sept./Oct. 2016 issue, which should be arriving any day. From the photo on the right, it looks like Sneezy the Penn State squirrel already has her paws on one. Sneezy is featured on the cover, along with student Mary Krupa, who is widely known as “The Squirrel Whisperer.”

Krupa, who is set to graduate this December, befriended Sneezy on the Old Main lawn as a freshman; since then, the pair have made headlines around the world for their adorable photos. But what people don’t know about their friendship is that it’s also empowered Krupa to tackle her Asperger’s at a critical time. Read about her incredible college journey starting on p. 28.

In “Kelly Ayotte Makes Her Case,” Ryan Jones profiles one of the most prominent female Republicans in the country. Learn about how Ayotte ’90 is more than ready to fight for her place in the party starting on p. 36. Also in the magazine is a feature on student group World in Conversation, the Penn State program that’s bridging ethnic, religious, and national divides—all through meaningful dialogue.

More from this issue: a documentary on legendary fly fisherman Joe Humphreys ’58, ’63g; a chat with the 2016-17 Penn State Laureate; fun photography with volleyball superstar Haleigh Washington; and a lesson on playing Pokémon Go around campuses.

Have some thoughts about the new issue? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at heypennstater@psu.edu.

Amy Downey, senior editor

August 25, 2016 at 10:31 am 6 comments

Penn State Grad Kelly Ayotte is Now United States Senator Kelly Ayotte

Among the Republicans surging into office during Tuesday’s midterm election was Kelly Ayotte ’90, a former New Hampshire attorney general who was elected to the U.S. Senate from the Granite State. Ayotte, a social and economic conservative who won an endorsement from Sarah Palin, finished with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Dan Onorato ’83 wasn’t so fortunate. The Allegheny County chief executive and Democratic gubernatorial nominee lost to Republican Tom Corbett in the race to replace Ed Rendell as Pennsylvania governor. The statewide tally showed Corbett winning 55%-45%.

It wasn’t a great year for incumbents, but a trio of Penn Staters managed to hold onto their jobs in Congress: Veteran Democratic representative Mike Doyle ’75 held his seat in Pennsylvania’s 14th District, Republican Charlie Dent ’82 retained his job representing Pennsylvania’s 15th District, and long-time Republican representative Frank Wolf ’61 was re-elected by a landslide in Virginia’s 10th District.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

November 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment


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