The nomination of Kelly Ayotte for a US Senate seat from New Hampshire is good news for the Republican Party establishment, given these 'tea party' times.
In a Granite State squeaker, the former state attorney general beat opponent Ovide Lamontagne by 1,667 votes – close enough so that the Manchester attorney had a day to decide whether to ask for a recount.
Ms. Ayotte had the backing of the state GOP and incumbent US Sen. Judd Gregg, who is retiring. Mr. Lamontagne was preferred by many in the tea party movement, including conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R) of South Carolina. He also had the endorsement of New Hampshire’s major newspaper, the Union Leader.
In other Republican primary elections Tuesday, tea party favorites prevailed in come-from-behind upsets over the GOP establishment. Christine O’Donnell bested US Rep. Michael Castle to run for the US Senate seat in Delaware once held by Vice President Joe Biden. Carl Paladino beat former congressman Rick Lazio to run for governor of New York.
The difference with Ayotte in New Hampshire was that she had the very important endorsement of Sarah Palin, whose “mama grizzly” blessing means a great deal within the tea party movement.