HARTFORD, CT (WCBS 880) – It was a bitter defeat when Republican Rep. Chris Shays lost his Congressional seat in Fairfield County to Democrat Jim Himes during the 2008 Obama sweep.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau With The Latest

Now, there is word that Shays is moving closer to declaring a run for the soon-to-be-vacated seat of Sen. Joe Lieberman.

Sources tell Roll Call that Shays is already hiring staff and interviewing consultants for his campaign team.

University of Connecticut political analyst Ken Dautrich says running for the Senate could be a good move for Shays, a moderate who built his Congressional career on compromise.

“He may be thinking, sitting back, looking at the discord in Washington and the polarizing partisanship that exists, you know, as someone who’s been in the middle, you know, he may think of himself as being able to contribute to the problematic partisanship that exists in Washington right now,” Dautrich tells WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau.

Dautrich says the big question is whether Shays will face a primary challenge from failed U.S. Senate candidate, World Wrestling Entertainment executive, and multi-millionaire Linda McMahon.

GOP strategist Chris Healy says McMahon, who lost to Richard Blumenthal in the race for Sen. Chris Dodd’s seat, has shown her self to be a strong candidate.

Healy says Shays’ greatest challenges are “expanding his name beyond Fairfield County and showing an ability to raise significant dollars to be competitive in a primary.”

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