Palin-backed Ayotte wins New Hampshire Senate seat

CONCORD, New Hampshire — Former US Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, a conservative Republican endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has defeated Democratic Congressman Paul Hodes to keep retiring New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg's seat Republican on Tuesday.
A fiscal and social conservative, the 42-year-old Ayotte opposes gay marriage and abortion and pledges to cut government spending. She supports repealing recent health care reforms.
Palin endorsed Ayotte in a primary she narrowly won over another conservative supported by local tea party activists.
Hodes, who left his 2nd District seat to run for Senate, campaigned as an independent thinker, but Ayotte successfully painted him as a Washington insider who voted for bigger government and wasteful spending.