Nov 11, 2016 9:38 PM
NH1 News Political Director
BOSCAWEN – In her first on camera interview since narrowly losing re-election this week, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte said she’ll “find a way to serve.”
And speaking one-on-one with NH1 News, the Republican incumbent also added that if she can help President-elect Donald Trump “in any way, I will.”
Ayotte lost re-election to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan by just over 1,000 votes out of some three-quarters of a million cast. Ayotte conceded on Wednesday afternoon, even though she could have asked for a recount.
“I want to wish my very best to Gov. Hassan. This was a spirited campaign but now it's time for people to come together and work together on behalf of our country,” she said.
After Trump clinched the GOP presidential nomination in May, Ayotte kept her distance, saying she would vote for her party’s nominee but not endorse him for the White House. Last month, after the emergence of an 11 year old recording of Trump using extremely lewd language describing how his celebrity allowed him to kiss and fondle women against their will, Ayotte announced she would no longer vote for Trump..
Asked by NH1 News if her breaking with Trump may have cost her re-election, Ayotte would only say that “I wish Donald Trump the very best. We need in terms of our country to come together and we need to solve our problems.”
She did add that ‘I think this was a very close election and you could look at, one of the things was we were outspent too, almost close to $17 million on television.”
There’s speculation that Trump could name Ayotte, a former New Hampshire attorney general, as U.S. attorney general, or to a homeland or national security, or defense, cabinet position.
Asked by NH1 News if she would consider such a position working for Trump, Ayotte answered “I’m just regrouping with my family. And I will always find a way to serve our state and our country, even as a private citizen.”
Asked if she’s not ruling anything out, Ayotte quickly responded “I’m just at this point really thinking about my family and just really thinking about that we need to put the country first. And so again I wish him the best and if I can help him in any way I will, but I want to make sure that people come together. That we put behind any differences we had in the election.”
Ayotte talked with NH1 News after attending and speaking at the Veterans Day ceremony at the state veterans cemetery in Boscawen. Ayotte was seated at the ceremony with Hassan and the state’s other U.S. senator, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.
Right to left: Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Gov. Maggie Hassan, along with Maj. Gen. Bill Reddel, adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard, at the state veterans cemetery in Boscawen, on Veterans Day 2016
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