Campaign Spotlight: Senate Challengers in New Hampshire and North Carolina

October 11, 2016

New Hampshire Senate

Our endorsee: Governor Maggie Hassan

spotlight-hassanA popular two-term governor of New Hampshire, Hassan is a strong candidate to take the senate seat in this purple state. Closely aligned with the values of J Street, she is running a strong campaign based in part on her support for American leadership rooted in diplomacy. While her opponent Senator Kelly Ayotte has consistently attacked the Iran nuclear agreement, Hassan has proudly backed it. She argued forcefully for the agreement’s benefits and accomplishments in a recent debate.

Key Quote

The inspectors who have been monitoring this now say that Iran has destroyed 98 percent of its enriched uranium and destroyed two-thirds of its centrifuges. Iran has a longer breakout time now for a nuclear weapon than it would have if Sen. Ayotte’s approach had carried the day. What she is advocating for is allowing Iran to continue to work toward developing a nuclear weapon under the cloak of darkness.

The opponent: Senator Kelly Ayotte

spotlight-ayotte Ayotte has built a reputation as one of the Senate’s leading hawks, aggressively opposing the Iran nuclear agreement. She has defended adding her name to Senator Tom Cotton’s open letter to Iran’s Ayatollah, which was designed to embarrass and undermine President Obama and US negotiators before the agreement was reached. Ayotte’s campaign and its backers have launched attacks on Hassan’s support for diplomacy.

Until last week, Ayotte stood staunchly behind Donald Trump for President, refusing to disavow him and claiming that he was “absolutely” a role model for children.

The polls

Cook Political Report currently lists the race as a Toss-Up.


Check out J Street’s new ad in support of Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire, part of our multi-state campaign to back pro-diplomacy candidates:

North Carolina Senate

Our endorsee: Deborah Ross

spotlight-rossRoss served for ten years in the North Carolina House of Representatives and has been the executive director of the North Carolina ACLU. She is a rising political star in one of the most fiercely contested battleground states this cycle. Ross has traveled widely in Israel and the Middle East, and has called for American leadership to help bridge the political divide between Israelis and Palestinians and build lasting peace in the region. She has touted the need for a two-state solution, and supported the Iran nuclear agreement.

The Opponent: Senator Richard Burr

The chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, Burr has positioned himself as a leading opponent of the Iran nuclear agreement, joining Senator Cotton’s letter to the Ayatollah and claiming that the nuclear agreement “will arm Iran.”

Burr has also been one of the Senate’s biggest defenders of Donald Trump. While many Republican national security experts have denounced the presidential nominee, Burr has said that he “can associate with Donald Trump quite well,” and has joined Trump’s national security advisory team. Even as some in his own party have rescinded their endorsements of Trump in the wake of the recent release of his repugnant comments about women, Burr has maintained his support: “I’ve certainly forgiven him.

The polls

Cook Political Report currently lists the race as a Toss-Up.