The Republicans are starting to stir in the race for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senator Joe Lieberman. Tonight during a taping of “Face the State with Dennis House” on WFSB-TV in Hartford, Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy announced he is throwing his hat in the ring.
The two-term mayor of this Hartford suburb is regarded as a rising star in the Connecticut Republican Party, a close ally of former Governor Jodi Rell and 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley. McCoy briefly considered running for Attorney General last year, and also rebuffed overtures to challenge Congressman Joe Courtney in CT-2.
McCoy made headlines in November, when he exposed irregularities at a Bridgeport polling place on election night. Ballot problems in Connecticut’s largest city delayed the official results in the governor’s race by two weeks. McCoy was working as a poll monitor when he used his cell phone to record some questionable behavior by a poll worker.
During the taping of “Face the State,” McCoy said he decided to run for the U.S. Senate after watching what he calls the lack of action by Congress, particularly on budget issues. He criticized the three Democratic candidates, Susan Bysiewicz, Chris Murphy and William Tong as big spending Democrats.
McCoy’s entrance into the race comes a week before the expected announcement of 2010 nominee Linda McMahon that she is running again. Former CT-4 Congressman Chris Shays told me he plans to announce his candidacy for the Senate on October 5th.
I asked McCoy how he plans to beat two political heavyweights. McCoy, who just turned 40, said the state needs “someone a little younger and more enthusiastic.” Shays turns 66 next month, McMahon, 63. He also pointed out that he has more political experience than McMahon, and he suggested that Shays’ experience was not “Republican enough.” Hartford Attorney Brian K. Hill is also seeking the GOP nomination.
The last time a Republican won a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut was 1982, when then Senator Lowell Weicker was re-elected. The last time Republicans won an open seat was in 1952, when Prescott Bush, the father and grandfather of the Presidents Bush, was elected.
Here is the interview: http://www.wfsb.com/video?clipId=6265896&topVideoCatNo=213439&autoStart=true