The Campaign Spot

Linda McMahon’s Fortune Expected to Run for Senate

The chances of a Democrat winning the 2012 open-seat Senate race in Connecticut haven’t gotten considerably worse . . . but winning that race is suddenly looking a lot more expensive.

WASHINGTON — Linda E. McMahon, the wrestling mogul who spent $50 million of her own money in an aggressive but failed Senate run in Connecticut last year, will announce in the coming week that she will try again, according to two Republicans who are close to her.

Ms. McMahon, the two Republicans said, will seek the party nomination next year for the seat being vacated by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and who announced that he would not run for re-election. They requested anonymity to avoid being seen as upstaging Ms. McMahon’s announcement.

This time, Ms. McMahon plans to raise money from private donors instead of relying strictly on her own money, according to one Republican close to her. She decided to take this approach partly because of criticism last year that she was using her wealth to buy herself a seat in the Senate, the Republican said.

McMahon, who did not respond to a request for an interview, is not likely to have a clear path to the Republican nomination. Other Republicans who are considering running include Christopher Shays, a former congressman.

The contest for the Democratic nomination is already pitting Susan Bysiewicz, a former secretary of state, against Representative Christopher S. Murphy, who is in his third term.

A third, less-known candidate, William Tong, a state legislator, is also seeking the Democratic nomination for Senate.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee undoubtedly thought that replacing Lieberman with a reliable Democrat was a gimme. With Obama atop the ticket in a heavily Democratic state, their candidate will remain heavily favored — but now the DSCC may have to dip into their pockets to ensure a win, eating up funds that will also be needed in Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Virginia, probably New Mexico, perhaps Florida, perhaps Ohio, perhaps West Virginia . . .


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