Republican rivalries begin in race for Lieberman seat

Former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) says he hasn't yet decided whether to make another Senate run in 2012, but it sure sounds like he doesn't want Linda McMahon to.   

In an interview with The Ballot Box, Simmons said much of his 2012 calculation hinges on what direction his party decides to move toward next year.

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"Are we looking for a candidate who has actually won races? A person who's committed to public service?" asked Simmons. "Or are we still looking for a multi-millionaire?"  

Simmons ran for Senate in 2010, lost the GOP nomination to McMahon at the party's state convention, and then ran an on-again, off-again campaign against her through the primary. He clearly still thinks he was the better pick in 2010. 

McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, spent some $50 million of her own money on her race against Democrat Richard Blumenthal, but still wound up losing handily.     

Along with Simmons and McMahon, other potential GOP candidates next year include former ambassador Tom Foley and former Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, who said Wednesday that he was looking at the race. 


Asked whether McMahon would be a viable candidate in 2012 if she ended up back on the ticket, Simmons said, "Well, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting a different result."  

Simmons said he has fielded several calls from friends in the state over the past 24 hours who have offered encouragement, but that he has yet to talk to "anyone in an official capacity." 

"I know some of the Democrats have already jumped in and are yapping away," said Simmons. "But the first quarter of the year is usually a good time to sit back and think about things." 

Last cycle, it wasn't until March of 2009 that Simmons made his 2010 intentions known, and he indicated Wednesday that he's in no rush to make a decision on 2012. Former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) has already jumped into the race, and Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is expected to follow suit Thursday.