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Where Are They Now? 2010 Republican Senate Challengers

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Flash back to 2010, when moderate New England Republican Linda McMahon was on the Connecticut ballot to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Christopher S. Dodd. A self-funder, McMahon was one of several candidates who Republicans hoped could help flip the Senate.  

But the former WWE executive went on to lose to Sen. Richard Blumenthal by 12 points. McMahon wasn’t alone. Across the country, Republican Carly Fiorina fell well short of knocking off California Democrat Barbara Boxer.  

And then there were the Republican candidates pushed by the tea party into competitive races. In Delaware, the anti-government backlash buoyed Christine O’Donnell as she mounted her third bid for the Senate. In Nevada, Sharron Angle seized on the same conservative energy to try to take out the Senate majority leader. She came closer than McMahon or O’Donnell did to flipping a Senate seat. And in Colorado, Ken Buck came within a couple points of unseating appointed Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.  

Here’s a look at where these 2010 candidates have gone:  

A spokesman for O'Donnell would not rule out another run (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

O’Donnell shook up the Republican Party by beating nine-term Rep. Michael N. Castle in the primary before losing to Democrat Chris Coons by nearly 17 points. Since then, the three-time Senate candidate wrote a book, and earlier this year she got sued by the Federal Election Commission for dipping into her campaign coffers to pay for personal expenses.  

Angle lost a bid for Senate in 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Angle lost a bid for Senate in 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the summer of 2010, some polls showed Angle ahead of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the state’s largest newspaper endorsed her before she went on to lose  to Reid by fewer than 6 points. Angle also went on to write a book and dabbles in GOP politics with her Our Voice super PAC.  

Buck is thinking about running for Senate again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)

Buck  narrowly missed making it to Washington, losing to Bennet by fewer than 2 points. But four years later, he won the election in Colorado’s 4th District. He’s been floated as potential GOP recruit to challenge Bennet in 2016, but the party seems to be looking elsewhere .  

Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Fiorina speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A 10-point loss to Boxer didn’t dampen the former Hewlett-Packard CEO’s political ambitions. Now Fiorina running for president in a crowded GOP field.  



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