Democrat Ann McLane Kuster

House
Ann McLane Kuster

Birthdate: Sept. 5, 1956
Birth Place: Concord, NH, United States
Residence: Hopkinton, NH
Gender: Female

Candidacy

Party: Democratic
State: New Hampshire
Office: House
District: District 2

Education

Undergraduate: Dartmouth College

Degree: BA

Graduate: Georgetown University

Degree: JD

Ann Kuster was born in Concord, N.H., and now lives in Hopkinton. She earned a bachelor's in environmental policy from Dartmouth College in 1978 and a law degree from Georgetown University in 1984.

Kuster has been an attorney, lobbyist and community activist. She has specialized in adoptions, as well as improving access to quality health care and affordable higher education.

She wrote a book with her mother, state Sen. Susan McLane, entitled "The Last Dance: Facing Alzheimer's with Love and Laughter." Her mother, who suffered from the disease, died in 2005.

In 2010, she ran for an open seat in the 2nd Congressional District, losing to Republican Charlie Bass, who had held the seat for six terms before being ousted by Hodes in 2006. In 2011, she opened a consulting firm focused on helping nonprofit organizations boost their fundraising capacity.

Kuster is married and has two sons.

Profile

Ann Kuster didn't spend much time licking her wounds after losing to Republican Charlie Bass by fewer than 4,000 votes in 2010 _ she relaunched her campaign less than five months later.

While both of New Hampshire's Congressional seats are in play in 2012, Bass is seen as more vulnerable because the 2nd District tends to lean more Democratic and because Kuster, a lawyer from Hopkinton, is seen as a particularly strong challenger. She consistently outraised Bass in months leading up to the September 2012 primary, and started the general election with about $1.1 million in cash on hand to Bass's $850,000.

With Bass facing only token opposition in the primary and Kuster unopposed, their rematch has been underway for nearly two years. Kuster has cast herself as a champion of the middle class and while accusing Bass of veering to the right with his vote for a House Republican budget plan to slash federal spending by about $5 trillion over 10 years while revamping health programs for the elderly and poor, including Medicare.

But Bass points to Kuster's political background in arguing that she is a hyper-partisan liberal. Kuster has served on the statewide steering committees of the presidential campaigns for both Barack Obama and Sen. John Kerry. She also served as co-chair of New Hampshire Women for Obama.

Kuster also has been criticized for her work as a lobbyist _ she prefers "public policy advocate," and has worked on behalf of various interests in New Hampshire, including pharmaceutical firms.

She has been a strong supporter of the 2010 health care reform law backed by Obama and she opposes extending tax cuts to those making more than $250,000 a year.

Though the candidates have maintained a cordial tone during debates and other joint appearances, tempers have flared. In September 2012, Kuster grabbed a video camera away from a Bass staffer she said was harassing her by repeatedly interrupting her private conversation following an outdoor rally.

Source: Associated Press

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