Ayotte visits Washington

Former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteRyan optimistic about GOP majorities in House and Senate Dems gain upper hand on budget GOP senators hit FBI on early probe of NY bombing suspect MORE (R) is in Washington today as she cues up a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.).

The Hill's Walter Alarkon saw Ayotte walking with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDems gain upper hand on budget Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Overnight Energy: Judges scrutinize Obama climate rule MORE (R-Ky.) and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John CornynJohn CornynCornyn ramps up support for 9/11 bill before veto override vote Obama defeat is Schumer victory Dems gain upper hand on budget MORE (R-Texas) this afternoon.

A source said she is "introducing herself to Senators, committee staff and others as part of the exploration process."