So what's going on with former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT)? The former Congressman suspended his campaign for Senate in late May after he lost the state Republican convention vote to former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon. But now he's back on TV with a $350,000 ad buy, telling voters in the August 10 Republican primary that he's still on the ballot and they do still have a choice.
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In an interview with TPMDC, Simmons shied away from saying he was back in the race -- or that he was ever out of it at all, instead saying that he had "scaled back" his campaign. Simmons told TPMDC in a phone interview last night that everywhere he goes, people have told him that he's still their preferred candidate. Plus, he noted, "I'm just as competitive against Richard Blumenthal as Mrs. McMahon, and she's spent a ton of money."
Simmons told us that if McMahon were to win the primary, he would certainly support her as the endorsed Republican candidate in November. He also told us that he could potentially continue to spend more money from his war chest for further TV advertising before the primary. (He had $1.2 million cash on hand in his pre-convention report, covering the period up through May 1.) "Whether we spend it all remains to be seen," said Simmons. "I'm a fiscal conservative. I'm not convinced we're gonna spend it all."
So what changed, I asked? Is he back in the race? "It's correct to say that I've been on the ballot since the convention and everybody knows that," Simmons told me. "So in that regard there's been no change, I'm on the ballot. In the intervening months since the convention I scaled back my campaign to give the other candidates time to pursue their campaigns. But there's been no debates, nothing, and recent polls have shown that nothing has moved at all. I'm just as competitive against Richard Blumenthal as Mrs. McMahon, and she's spent a ton of money."