Kelly Ayotte is a New Hampshire native who has devoted her life to public service - first as a long-time prosecutor and now in the United States Senate.
In her first bid for public office, she was elected to the Senate in 2010 with 60 percent of the vote. Kelly currently serves on the Armed Services, Budget, Commerce, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committees. She currently chairs the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations.
Kelly's top priority is to get America's fiscal house in order. She has stood on principle to vote against bloated budget bills that have included money for programs we don't need and can't afford. She is a staunch advocate for common sense budget reforms, including a permanent ban on earmarks, a Balanced Budget Amendment, and strict spending caps.
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Kelly has quickly established herself as a leading voice in Congress on national security issues. She has written legislation with senior members of both parties to create workable terrorist detention policies that keep Americans safe. And as part of her strong commitment to reducing wasteful spending, Kelly has led efforts in the Senate to save over $1 billion in the Pentagon's budget - successfully passing legislation to stop the Defense Department from spending money on unnecessary programs.
In her capacity as Chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, Kelly is well-positioned to highlight the national security value of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the Pease Air National Guard Base. The panel's oversight responsibilities include military readiness, military construction, base realignment and closure, and industrial operations - including shipyards.
Coming from a small business family, Kelly understands that decisions made in Washington have serious consequences for New Hampshire's small business economy. Having helped her husband launch a family landscaping and snow removal company, she knows that high taxes and burdensome federal regulations discourage investment and job creation. In the Senate, Kelly is a strong voice for lower taxes and a simplified tax code. She also supports legislation to eliminate burdensome federal requirements that tie up small business owners with unnecessary red tape.
A prosecutor at heart, Kelly served as the chief of the state's Homicide Unit and Deputy Attorney General before being named in 2004 as New Hampshire's first female Attorney General. First appointed to that position by a Republican governor, she was twice reappointed by a Democratic governor. During her time as Attorney General, she successfully led efforts to secure the first capital murder convictions in New Hampshire in over 60 years - for which the Union Leader newspaper named Kelly "Citizen of the Year" in 2008.
Kelly attended public schools in Nashua, where she was born. She graduated with honors in 1990 from Pennsylvania State University and earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1993 from the Villanova University School of Law.
She is married to Joe Daley, a Nashua native who flew combat missions during the Iraq war. He retired from the Air National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Kelly and Joe live in Nashua with their two young children, Katherine and Jacob.