WWE’s Linda McMahon prepares Senate run
By Aaron Blake – 09/14/09 06:01 PM ET
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Linda McMahon appears primed to run for Senate in Connecticut and should make an announcement very soon, according to sources with knowledge of her deliberations.
“A decision is imminent, and she will likely make a decision over the next couple of days,” said a Republican strategist. “It will be made sooner rather than later.”
One well-placed source said McMahon is “99 percent” in. Another said the announcement could come as early as Wednesday.
The second source noted that she has done polling on the race and hired consultants Mike Slanker and Patrick Sullivan. She has also brought on former National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman Ed Patru to help with early communications.
Patru said McMahon hasn’t made a decision yet.
“She is taking into consideration a number of factors, including resources and the time commitment it would take to win,” he said. “She plays to win, so if she gets in, she’s in all the way. She has the capacity to bring considerable resources to the race, and she has an established record.”
McMahon, the wife of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, would throw a big wrench into the race against Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) simply by virtue of her ability to spend potentially tens of millions of dollars of her own money on the race.
The GOP favorite so far is former Rep. Rob Simmons, but former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley is also raising good money for the race, and state Sen. Sam Caligiuiri is also running. Investment banker Peter Schiff has raised more $1 million for his exploratory committee, meaning Simmons could potentially have to overcome two very well-funded opponents.
No stranger to Connecticut Republican politics, McMahon has been an active supporter of GOP causes and politicians. But she has also given to Democrats over the years, including to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2006 when it knocked off two Connecticut Republicans in the House.
McMahon has been a top contributor to Gov. Jodi Rell’s (R) campaign and last year was nominated by the governor to the state Board of Education.