Connecticut: Linda McMahon Wins State GOP Endorsement

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted May 19, 2012 at 9:32am

As expected, former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon topped former Rep. Chris Shays in the state convention fight for the Connecticut Republican Party’s endorsement Friday night.

McMahon picked up the support of 60 percent of the delegates at the state convention, while Shays got 32 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press. While the margin was significant, most political observers expected McMahon to win, and Shays met the 15 percent threshold to qualify for the primary on Aug. 14.

McMahon and Shays are running to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I). McMahon also won her party’s Senate endorsement over former Rep. Rob Simmons in 2010. She went on to lose that race in the fall to now-Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D).

Befitting the personal tone the primary has taken, McMahon’s campaign issued a taunting press release Friday night asking, “Now What Chris Shays?” It included quotes from Shays saying he could win the primary and the convention.

About an hour later, McMahon’s campaign sent out another press release that included the text of her victory speech.

“All of the candidates vying with me for the nomination this evening are leaders with great ability who love our state and this country, but now is the time to unite and make our case to all Connecticut voters that we offer a better path to prosperity than what the professional politicians are offering,” she said.

No matter who wins in August, the Republican nominee will have an uphill fight in the fall. Democrats Rep. Chris Murphy and former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz are competing for the Democratic nomination. Roll Call rates this race as Likely Democratic.