Diary

Simmons Sounds Serious As Dodd's Decline Draws National Attention

Politico is the latest national outlet to report on the increasingly tenuous position Chris Dodd finds himself in as November, 2010 looms on the horizon, and Rob Simmons sounds more and more like a candidate every day.

One of those ousted GOP incumbents, former Rep. Rob Simmons, told Politico he is “seriously exploring” running and would be making a final decision by the end of March. Simmons, who held a solidly Democratic seat in southeastern Connecticut before losing by 83 votes in 2006, met with NRSC Chairman John Cornyn of Texas last month to chat about a prospective campaign.

“My consideration of running against Sen. Dodd is not poll-driven,” said Simmons, who criticized Dodd for losing touch with his constituents. “When I first ran for Congress in 1999, the Republican brand was way down in the toilet, and people said I was crazy to run when the GOP was out of favor – and I was able to beat a 20-year incumbent.”

Simmons said that, if he runs, he would face a significant fundraising disadvantage against Dodd. Still, he believes he would be financially competitive enough to run a formidable statewide campaign.

“He’ll go to his pals in the banking industry and get lots of money – and I won’t have that opportunity. But I don’t believe that Senate offices are meant to be bought and sold,” Simmons said.

The Hartford Courant Capitol Watch blog has more from Simmons, who certainly sounds ready for the fight.

“I’m definitely interested,” Simmons told Capitol Watch. “I’m angry about what’s going on  in Washington D.C. …I’ve worked all my life, and I’ve watched my IRA go down 50 percent, and I’m luckier than most.” [snip]

“[NRSC Chairman Sen. Cornyn] expressed interest in me as a candidate, and I told him I would give it very serious consideration, which I am doing,” Simmons said. “He reached out to me.”

And if his comments on Sen. Gregg’s “thanks, but no thanks” to Obama’s offer of an appointment as Commerce Secretary are not the words of someone campaigning against a Democrat, then I don’t know what would be.

“Good for him to stand up for his beliefs,” Simmons said of Gregg. “It’s ironic that the Democratic choices don’t get approved because they don’t pay their taxes, and the Republicans don’t get approved because they won’t sell out their principles.”

I for one would be shocked if Simmons didn’t throw his hat in the ring.

Connecticut Local Politics has their take on the Politico article, and they have a poll pitting Simmons against Dodd. Check it out.

Cross-posted at The Artful Doddger.