Former Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) will formally launch his Senate campaign today in Hartford, for the seat of retiring Democratic-aligned Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman. Shays began exploring the race back in August, and raised over $420,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011, plus $100,000 in self-financing.
A moderate Republican, Shays was a main sponsor of campaign finance reform legislation in the early 2000s. He only narrowly won re-election in the Democratic wave of 2006, with the debate centering around his strong support for the Iraq War, and then was narrowly defeated in the second Democratic wave of 2008.
Shays faces a primary against former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, who was the unsuccessful Republican nominee in the 2010 Senate race. On the other side, the Democratic primary is currently between former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, Rep. Chris Murphy, and state Rep. William Tong.