U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, will square off against former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, a Republican in the race to win the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent. Murphy, 39, is a three-term 5th Congressional District representative and former state legislator. He defeated veteran Democratic politician and former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz in the Democratic primary. The election marks the second time in two years that Connecticut has an open seat for the U.S. Senate. Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman is retiring at the end of the year. In 2010, former Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd decided not to run for re-election. McMahon, 63, was a political unknown back two years ago and spent about $50 million of her own money, only to be defeated by Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal by double digits. This time around, she focused on her grassroots operation, building a network with visits to people’s living rooms and tours of small businesses.
Chris Murphy definitely should be the next Senator elected from Connecticut. As a former Connecticut resident and voter, I’ll say this: I’m a Democrat and always have been, but Connecticut once had a pretty decent group of Republicans, who were intelligent, moderate and showed some concerns about other people. Sometimes, they were smarter and more humane than their Democratic opponents. Linda McMahon is not of that ilk and I am very puzzled about how Connecticut Republicans managed to turn so hard toward the really mean-spirited right. Christopher Shays, the candidate McMahon defeated, was an elected official who served honorably in the tradition of the Connecticut Republicans who gave their party a good reputation.