(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)