In tight N. H. Senate race, Hassan hit with donor scandal, as Ayotte, GOP look opening

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 8:53 AM

Incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte and fellow Republicans in recent weeks have seized on new revelations about a supporter and contributor to challenger Democratic Gov.

In tight N. H. Senate race, Hassan hit with donor scandal, as Ayotte, GOP look opening

The NH Senate race is projected to be a stalemate to the bitter end, with Democrats and Republicans searching for any advantage over each other’s widely favorite and respected candidates to crack open the contest.

Incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte and fellow Republicans in recent weeks have seized on new revelations about a supporter and contributor to challenger Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.

The supporter, Rick Schubart, was forced to retire in two thousand-eleventh as a instructor from a prestigious New England prep school after admitting to sexual misconduct and was barred from its campus latest year after admitting to a second allegation, which took space in the one thousand nine hundred seventy or ‘80s.

However, those admissions weren't made public until late-March, as the result of a Boston Globe inquiry.

Schubart and his wife in two thousand-twelfth gave $375 to Hassan’s gubernatorial campaign and reportedly were on a steering committee. Hassan told reporters that she “sensed something was wrong” when Schubart left Phillips Exeter but didn’t know about the specifics.

The situation is further complicated by the fact Hassan’s husband, Tom Hassan, was the school principal when Schubart admitted the misconduct but until presently never informed the public.

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Gov. Hassan has more recently said that she should've “worked more actively” to review her public-supporter and steering committee lists and delete Schubart from it.

“I apologize for that,” she told the local news media. The Hassan campaign didn't return a request Saturday for comment.

The race became a tossup essentially since the day Hassan announced in October two thousand fifteen that she'd challenge Ayotte’s tender for a second term.

The Cook Political Report, in fact, said the race is destined to stay a statistical tie through Nov “barring a monumental error by one candidate or the other.”

However, neither the Cook nor the Rothenberg Political Report -- two of the most respected, non-partisan congressional race handicappers -- have release an analysis of the Ayotte-Hassan race since the new Schubart revelations.

“Ayotte is sitting at the middle of what's shaping up to be one of the most epic battles of the cycle,” the Cook analysis in Oct said. “Democrats scored their biggest recruiting coup thus distant when … Hassan announced that she'd run. The result is a contest between the two most favorite politicians in the state.”

The winner will likely define which major political party controls the Senate, as Democrats attempt to win four or five seats in Nov to get the upper chamber from Republicans.

“The matchup is set for one of the most competitive Senate races in the country,” said the Rothenberg analysis in early March. “Both women started the race with high title identification, positive images and excellent work approval numbers. But time will tell how well they hold up.”

Ayotte appears to have so distant avoided any major controversy but faces at minimum one on Capitol Hill that Democrats continue to spotlight, her support for Senate Majority Boss Mitch McConnell saying number confirmations hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Ct nomination, Merrick Garland.

Ayotte said Thursday the Schubart controversy raises "important" concerns and that more questions should be asked, particularly since Hassan seems to have given a couple of different answers.

“We should be focusing on: What was the learner body told and why wasn’t the learner body fully informed?” Ayotte said in a statement.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been among the first to engross upon the controversy for a political advantage, saying Hassan is giving an “evolving story” and that she “owes voters an explanation.”

Hassan said she’s returning the campaign contribution by giving $1.000 to a charity and that she and her husband, who's also apologized, have jobs in which they've to hold some things confidential, “even within the marriage.”

Tom Hassan told WMUR-TV through a spokesman that his school administration should've been more “transparent” and that it failed to “balance the privacy and wishes of the victim with the utmost necessity to ensure the safety of members of the community.”

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