Simmons restarts Senate campaign

Former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) took steps Wednesday to revive his Senate primary campaign against  former WWE CEO Linda McMahon. 

The New London (Conn.) Day reported that Simmons plans to air television ads asking voters to “look at the issues” before voting in the Aug. 10 primary election.

The ad will start airing statewide on broadcast and cable by the end of the week. The buy runs about $350,000 according to a Simmons spokesman. 

Simmons, a Vietnam War veteran, suspended his campaign in May, citing the ability of McMahon, who is partly self-funding her campaign, to outspend him. McMahon had previously won the nomination of the Connecticut Republican Party.

By suspending his campaign, Simmons left open the possibility of returning to the trail. His name would remain in the primary ballot regardless. 

After he decided to suspend his campaign, observers questioned whether or not Simmons would re-enter the race. After dropping out, he cast doubt on McMahon’s ability to win the race against Democratic nominee Richard Blumenthal. Both candidates had polled behind Blumenthal.

“Rob Simmons has said many times he’s a man of his word, and we take him at his word,” McMahon spokesman Ed Patru said. “Should he decide to officially un-curtail his campaign, we’re prepared for that, as we have been since September 2009.”

His press release, the Day said, claims that he will spend part of his remaining war chest on television ads.

“For the past two months, I have been traveling the state supporting my fellow Republican candidates,” Simmons said. “Everywhere I go people ask me if I am still running for the U.S. Senate. My response has been ‘I’m still on the ballot.’”

—Updated 4:52 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

--Shane D'Aprile contributed to this post.