NASHUA, N.H. — Republican Scott Brown accepted the endorsement of Sen. Kelly Ayotte on Tuesday, saying that as New Hampshire’s other U.S. senator he could be her “battle buddy” and “wingman” in Washington.

Ayotte, the lone Republican among New Hampshire’s four-person congressional delegation, joined former Govs. Steve Merrill and Craig Benson at a Nashua diner to endorse Brown, a former U.S. senator for Massachusetts now seeking a chance to unseat Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in his new home state.

Brown said his election would help Ayotte further fight for the state’s residents and values.

“She cannot be down there struggling and fighting three-against-one every single day,” he said. “I would be honored if I have the opportunity to go down there and be her right-hand person, her wingman, to be able to go down there and battle ”“ to be her battle buddy ”“ and go down there and battle for not only our state, but the men and women who are trying so hard to create jobs, our men and women who are fighting to get decent health care, to get decent veterans care,” he said. “You deserve better.”

Brown won a special election in Massachusetts in 2010 and lost his seat two years later. He moved to New Hampshire in December.

Ayotte described working with Brown in the Senate and said she needs him as a teammate to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law and help small businesses.

“Please send me a teammate in Scott Brown that can fight against what we’re seeing in Washington … Get the federal government out of the way of our businesses, let our businesses create jobs,” said Ayotte, who earlier in the day joined Shaheen at the opening of a job-training and business center in Raymond that was built with federal and private funds.

Brown faces former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, former state Sen. Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman in the GOP primary.

Smith said Tuesday that Brown should accept his challenge for a series of debates instead of “hiding behind endorsements.” But one of his former campaign volunteers said he’s backing Brown because of Smith’s long absence from the state. Smith recently moved back to New Hampshire after a decade in Florida.

“At least Massachusetts and New Hampshire are more like cousins,” said Bob Duffy, 59, of Nashua. “They have a lot more in common than Florida and New Hampshire.”

New Hampshire Democratic Party spokeswoman Julie McClain said it was fitting that Brown was endorsed by Benson, “another Republican who voters threw out of office after just two years.”

Benson’s loss to Democrat John Lynch in 2004 was the first time since 1926 that a freshman governor was denied a second term.

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