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(Reuters) — New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan announced on Monday that she will challenge Republican Kelly Ayotte for her seat in the United States Senate, a boost for Democratic leaders hoping to recapture the chamber in 2016.

The two-term governor is considered the Democrats’ best chance of beating Ayotte, a former state attorney general who won her seat in 2010.

“Washington has lost its way on too many of the priorities that matter to New Hampshire, and you can count on me to take my bipartisan approach, my common sense and my commitment to problem-solving and results to the Senate,” Hassan said in a video announcing her candidacy.

She listed freezing state university tuition, expanding health coverage, and balancing the state budget as among her accomplishments as governor.

Ayotte said in a statement that she expects a spirited campaign and is seeking re-election to fight for “better opportunities and a brighter future for our kids and our state.”

(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis in Boston; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Democratic New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan celebrates her re-election with her husband Tom (L) at her side at her election night rally in Manchester, New Hampshire November 4, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

The late Sen. John McCain

I don't know Kyrsten Sinema, but I did know John McCain. Not at all intimately, to be sure, but just enough to say -- despite her pretensions and the fantasies of her flacks that she is the reincarnation of the war hero in a purple wig -- that Kyrsten Sinema is no John McCain.

Lately Sinema has advertised herself as a "maverick," by which she means that she flouts the positions and policies of her party's leadership, and is supposed to pair her with McCain, who sometimes strayed from the Republican party line. Her most notorious attempt at imitation occurred last year with a gesture on the Senate floor marking her vote against a minimum wage increase. Her coy mimicry of the admired war hero was synthetic, leaving an unpleasant odor in its wake. When McCain delivered his bold "thumbs down" on gutting Obamacare, he was protecting Arizona's working families – not betraying them.

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