Potential Ayotte challenger Tausch bows out

The GOP primary path just got a little clearer for former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteThe Hill's 12:30 Report Hassan gets personal in first Senate ad GOP women push Trump on VP pick MORE.

Businessman Fred Tausch, who has hired former staffers for ex-Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) and made a number of overtures about the Senate race, announced Wednesday that he will not run.

Ayotte could still face opposition from former gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne, but Tausch's personal wealth loomed as a potentially bigger roadblock to Ayotte.

Ayotte formed an exploratory committee for a Senate run earlier this week, just days after she resigned as attorney general.

Tausch has been making a name for himself with an advertising campaign called STEWARD, which was seen as a precursor to his possible Senate run. With the ad campaign, he took aim at President Obama's fiscal policies and Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), the likely Democratic Senate nominee.

Tausch said it was simply not the right time and that Ayotte's candidacy had no effect on him.

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