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TheDailyBeast: Political Rising Stars of 2012

7 of 12

Republicans: Kelly Ayotte

While other high-profile Tea Partiers have flamed out (think Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker) or simply sunk into obscurity and the Republican back benches, the New Hampshire senator’s profile continues to rise. She’s helping to bring back New England Republicanism—albeit in a more conservative guise that the old strain—and her endorsement in the 2012 GOP race was highly anticipated. Since backing Mitt Romney, he’s even mentioned her as a potential running mate.

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
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