Maggie Hassan Announces Senate Run in New Hampshire

by NBC News Political Unit /  / Updated 
Image:
In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan speaks at a news conference at the Statehouse in Concord. Nearly three months after vetoing the Republican-crafted state budget over corporate tax cuts, Hassan has signed off on a compromise deal that looks much the same. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)Jim Cole / AP

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New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan announced Monday she is running for Senate, setting the stage for what is expected to be one of 2016's most competitive Senate races.

The Democratic governor is hoping to defeat Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who was first elected to the Senate in 2010. The race could prove critical for Republicans’ hopes of retaining control of the upper chamber.

“Washington has given in to powerful special interest and lobbyists who rig the system for themselves and against the middle class,” Hassan said in an online video announcing her candidacy. “I believe we can do better for New Hampshire families.”

Hassan, who has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, is thought to be the Granite State’s strongest challenger to Ayotte.

A statment from New Hampshire's Republican party accused Hassan of "trying to leave the corner office after years of failing to lead on the pressing issues facing New Hampshire."

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