Washington (CNN) – A day before New Hampshire Republicans choose their nominee for the open U.S. Senate seat, the conservative publisher of the state's largest newspaper blasted outsiders and establishment types for backing frontrunner Kelly Ayotte in the race.
Joseph McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, again endorsed Ovide Lamontagne for the GOP nomination in the crowded contest to replace retiring Republican Sen. Judd Gregg. The Union Leader officially endorsed Lamontagne in late August.
In Monday's editorial titled "Beliefs trump D.C. dictates," McQuaid argues that Lamontagne "has rallied New Hampshire grassroots conservatives while Ayotte has attracted the big-name, let's-be-moderate types who want a candidate who will move to the squishy middle in November.
"That 'play-it-safe' thinking rarely works for the Republican Party. In this year of voter outrage, it could blow up and blow Democrat Paul Hodes right into the Senate," he also said.
Ayotte is leading in the polls heading into Tuesday's primary.
In July, McQuaid criticized former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for endorsing Ayotte even though she doesn't know her. McQuaid told the other candidates in the race in the July editorial, "Don't fret over what a 'Mama Grizzly' from Alaska does. Right now, Granite Staters have more to worry about in keeping bears away from bird feeders."
New Hampshire is one of seven states and the District of Columbia, which will hold primaries on Tuesday.