Sen. Kelly Ayotte toured the labs Wednesday at Creare in Hanover. The small research and development company plays a big role in the technology of the future, including a vacuum pump which was installed on the Curiosity Rover that just landed on Mars. Government contracts are a crucial part of the company's success.
"Some of the work that they are doing is also saving money, because it is finding more efficient ways to produce advanced manufacturing. For example the joint strike fighter," said Ayotte, R-New Hampshire.
Company officials say government programs like the Small Business Innovation Research Program helped make it happen. Ayotte was a bipartisan supporter.
"She was also instrumental with the re-authorization of the SBIR program last year which is a very important program for us," said Jim Barry of Creare.
Early in the day Wednesday, the freshman senator attended a Vermont GOP fundraiser in Woodstock. The former New Hampshire attorney general who has spent the last two years in Washington is considered a rising star in the Republican Party.
"I was glad to be able to go to a neighboring state and encourage some of their candidates and also just talk to them about the issues and challenges facing our country," Ayotte said.
But her visit to the Green Mountains was not embraced by everyone.
"We think this is another example of the Republican Party embracing an extremist agenda that doesn't resonate with the values of Vermonters," said Ariel Wengroff of the Vermont Democratic Party.
Democratic Party leaders in the state say Ayotte's anti-Obama rhetoric is out of touch.
"I think she is standing on the wrong side of history. Ayotte is anti-choice, she's anti-equality. She believes we should cut corporate taxes. Those aren't the things that are going to bring our country forward and Vermonters are going to resonate with that," Wengroff said.
Back in Hanover, what is resonating is Ayotte's attention to cutting-edge work at Creare.
"We think it is very important that our elected representatives understand how their money is being spent and that we are really developing some technology for the country," Barry said.
Work this senator and mother of two thinks should be highlighted.
"It's not just about us; it's about the next generation. So it is a great motivator for me and fortunately I have a great husband and a lot of family support," Ayotte said.
A town hall meeting in Sunapee, N.H., was the next scheduled stop on Wednesday's agenda.
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