HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Well, it’s on to November in Connecticut, with Republican Linda McMahon hoping the second time’s the charm in her quest to win a U.S. Senate seat.
But she’ll face stiff competition from Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy to replace the retiring Joe Lieberman, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday night.
Former wrestling executive McMahon easily threw former congressman Chris Shays to the mat to secure the Republican nod.
“Washington is out of control, and it’s not too much to say America’s future is on the line,” McMahon said Tuesday night.
Murphy handily beat former secretary of state Susan Bysiewicz for the Democratic Senate nomination.
“We have thousands of middle class families who stood with us tonight, who are going to be joined by tens of thousands of more over the fall who want a senator who understands their struggles,” Murphy told his supporters.
The polls closed at 8 p.m., but it didn’t take too long for both races to be called. McMahon was declared the winner with only 21 percent of the precincts reporting. She had 75 percent of the vote to Shays’ 25 percent. On the Democratic side, Murphy was declared the victor with only 23 percent of the precincts reporting. He had 68 percent to Bysiewicz’s 32 percent.
Even though Connecticut is considered a blue state — Republicans hold no statewide offices or seats in Congress — McMahon intended to compete and compete hard. She’s spent some $65 million since 2010. When she lost to Democrat Richard Blumenthal, it bought her huge name recognition.
“Before I had success in business, before I helped create hundreds of jobs in Connecticut, my husband and I had to declare bankruptcy,” McMahon says in one of her current ads.
Her 2012 campaign seeks to change her image from a hard-hitting efficient business woman to someone far more human.
“We lost our home. Those were difficult times for my family and I will never forget the lessons I learned about hard work, luck and never giving up,” McMahon says in the ad.
Those ads may be part of the reason early polls show Murphy with only a slight lead over McMahon.
“By presenting herself as one of the people she certainly has improved her viability, not just among Republicans but probably among independents and even women voters, which have always presented somewhat of a problem for her,” Sacred Heart University political professor Gary Rose told Kramer.
Make no mistake about it; this is going to be a hard-fought campaign. Both candidates are expected to be well funded and out to win.
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