New Hampshire: Ayotte v. Hassan
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R)
Background: Member of U.S. Senate since 2011
Sen. Ayotte earns points for her votes in favor of several bills key to the tech and startup community, such as the USA Freedom Act and the America Invents Act. She also has a good record on talent issues: she is a co-sponsor of the I-Squared Act and pushed for measures in the Every Student Succeeds Act to strengthen STEM education and encourage more girls and minorities to participate in STEM. Ayotte also gets some extra credit for introducing bills to reduce regulations on small businesses and co-sponsoring the DIGIT Act, which supports the future of the Internet of Things. However, she is docked points for her staunch opposition to net neutrality, her views on encryption, and for initially co-sponsoring PIPA (though she later withdrew support).
Governor Maggie Hassan (D)
Background: New Hampshire Governor since 2013
Hassan has made the growth of the tech and startup community in New Hampshire a priority since taking office as Governor. She recently announced the Innovate NH 2.0 plan to encourage high tech economic growth, and launched the Live Free and Start Initiative to help modernize New Hampshire’s government and to foster a startup ecosystem. She also launched a STEM Task Force to modernize New Hampshire’s public school curriculum. Hassan has a stellar record on broadband: she supports expanding rural broadband access and improving 4G mobile service, and has pledged to protect the FCC’s net neutrality rules. However, she has not taken a formal stance on issues such as immigration, intellectual property, encryption, or surveillance.