Rob Simmons Re-Enters Connecticut Senate Primary

Two months ago, Congressman Rob Simmons essentially dropped out of the Republican primary for Senate in Connecticut after losing a convention straw poll to Linda McMahon. Yesterday, though, he announced that he’s back in the race:

Less than two weeks before the Aug. 10 Republican primary, the Senate campaign of former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) is back on.

After calling himself a candidate for Senate in a debate with businessman Peter Schiff Tuesday night, Simmons sent an e-mail to supporters Wednesday that left little doubt he still harbors hopes of defeating Republican Linda McMahon, who was endorsed by the state GOP.

“Today, our state and nation still face the daunting challenges which led me to enter the race for U.S. Senate 18 months ago,” Simmons wrote in the e-mail message to supporters.

He continued: “Republicans need to take a serious look at the candidates and the issues to decide who will stand strongest against [presumed Democratic nominee] Richard Blumenthal and the Democrats in November. While I have no intention of tearing down my fellow Republicans, or undermining our eventual Republican nominee, I believe I provide Republicans with a better choice.”

Simmons ended the e-mail with this: “This is not a time for slogans or gimmicks, but for serious leadership in serious times. I’m Rob Simmons, and I’m still on the ballot.”

A spokesman for Simmons told The Hill on Wednesday that the candidate has no plans to hire any new campaign staff, but that Simmons “will also be attending debates and other political events to which he is invited.”

The McMahon campaign dismissed Simmons’s restarted campaign.

“Simmons walked away from this campaign two months ago, and over the past few weeks his behavior has grown increasingly erratic and bizarre. It’s impossible to take his campaign seriously, and it’s difficult to believe anything he says at this point,” McMahon campaign spokesman Shawn McCoy said in a statement.

The truth seems to be that many Republican insiders are uncomfortable with McMahon and have been quietly urging Simmons to get back in the race.

I’m not sure that it matters, though, Simmons was on a downward slope in the polls long before he dropped out of the race. More importantly, though, the Democratic nominee Richard Blumnethal leads both Simmons and McMahon (as well as Peter Schiff, the other candidate in the GOP primary) comfortably. This seat is going to stay in the Democratic column no matter who the GOP nominee is.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook