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New Hampshire: Tausch Clears 2010 Senate Field for Ayotte

Businessman Fred Tausch (R) announced this week that he will not run for Senate in 2010.

Tausch had been considering running for the open Senate seat and had even aired several TV ads through his organization, STEWARD of Prosperity, that were critical of Rep. Paul Hodes, the likely Democratic nominee. But on Wednesday, Tausch said he would not run for any elected office in 2010.

“It was an honor to be approached and I gave the prospect serious consideration,— he said in a statement. “But after careful deliberation, I’ve decided not to enter public service at this time.—

Tausch’s exit clears the field for former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, who officially filed her candidacy this week. Ayotte has been touted by national Republicans as one of the party’s top recruits this cycle.

But it’s still unclear whether Republicans will avoid a primary next August. Republican National Committeeman Sean Mahoney is considering running, and former gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne has hired consultants for his potential bid.