Via WBZTV in Boston:
New Hampshire has certified former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte as the winner of the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
Ayotte was endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and won a narrow victory over Ovide Lamontagne.
His conservative credentials and courting of the tea party pulled him close in the final days of the campaign.
Lamontagne has until 5 p.m. to decide whether he’ll seek a recount because the margin of victory fell within 1.5 percent of the total votes cast.
The secretary of state’s office says Ayotte’s official margin of victory was 1,667 votes.
Ayotte will face U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Update: Governor Palin’s “record” from the primary season ends up at an impressive 25-11. What makes it even more impressive is that she didn’t just go choose the overwhelming favorite all the time. However, I do get the sense that the Governor gets a good chuckle out of the fact that the Washington Post has a “Palin endorsement tracker” feature on its website.
Update II: It’s official. Ovide LaMontagne has announceed he will not ask for a recount and has conceded the election to Kelly Ayotte. Via the New Hampshire Union Leader:
Ovide Lamontagne has conceded the Republican U.S. Senate primary to Kelly Ayotte.
At a news conference at the Legislative Office Building, still in progress, Lamontagne began by saying he would “humbly accept the verdict” of voters.
He said he will not seek a recount.
His announcement came after the Secretary of State’s office certified that Ayotte had won the election by 1,667 votes.
We salute LaMontagne for running a good campaign and doing the right thing. This will allow the party to come together for the general election, a scant 48 days hence, when Kelly Ayotte will face liberal Democrat Paul Hodes. LaMontagne’s classy decision removes any remaining uncertainty, likely providing Mitt Romney with the opportunity he needs to swoop in and endorse Kelly Ayotte without offending anyone, apparently his overriding concern. Congratulations to Kelly Ayotte, she’ll make an excellent Senator when she’s sworn in.
Now we’ll see if Mike Castle will do the right thing and endorse Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. I’m not holding my breath on that one.
Update by Mel: Speaking of doing the right thing, we’re still waiting for Lisa Murkowski to stop trying to cling to power and endorse Joe Miller.