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Simmons to Challenge Dodd

Former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) said Sunday that he will challenge Sen. Chris Dodd (D) in 2010, setting up what is expected to be a marquee matchup this cycle.

According to local news reports, Simmons made his decision after meeting with his family and other close friends.

“The family had a long meeting today and was unanimous that I run,— Simmons said in an e-mail to the Associated Press. “So, I’m running.—

A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed the hypothetical Senate matchup to be a statistical dead heat, with Simmons ahead of Dodd 43 percent to 42 percent. Other public polls have also shown Dodd’s numbers to be soft among voters in the state. He has faced criticism over controversial mortgages he received in 2003 from Countrywide Financial and also didn’t help his standing in the state by moving his family to Iowa during his run for president in 2008.

Dodd was first elected in 1980 and has not faced a serious re-election challenge in years.

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