Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan said Wednesday that combating climate change, supporting women's reproductive rights and making college more affordable will be some of her top priorities if elected to the U.S. Senate.
Hassan is challenging first-term Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte in November. She outlined her goals at "Politics and Eggs," a popular political speaker series at Saint Anselm College. It marked one of Hassan's first public speeches focused on the 2016 campaign.
Hassan never mentioned Ayotte but took swipes at Washington "dysfunction" over failing to hold hearings on President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee and other issues. Ayotte has met with nominee Merrick Garland but, like many Republicans in the Senate, does not support a hearing or vote.
"As I travel across New Hampshire, I hear from people and businesses who tell me about their frustration that Washington isn't standing up for their priorities," Hassan said.
Ayotte's campaign, in response, suggested Hassan is neglecting her duties as governor. Hassan spent 12 days at out-of-state fundraising events in April, although she attended in-state events as well on some of those days.
"As (Hassan) becomes increasingly consumed with her campaign, she has failed to keep her promise to 'focus each and every day' on her job as governor," Ayotte campaign spokeswoman Liz Johnson said.
Hassan also promised to focus on national security. It's an area where she has less experience than Ayotte, who has become a leading Republican voice in the Senate on foreign affairs.
While Hassan broadly outlined her goals, she largely avoided specifics in the 15-minute speech. Her pitch to voters centered heavily on her work in Concord during her two terms as governor. She touted her work with Republicans on the state budget, Medicaid expansion and fighting the state's heroin and opioid abuse crisis.