Dodd Will Have to Dodge Dem in Primary

Former Dodd supporter goes after the state's senior Senator

Republicans are not the only ones jumping on opportunity's train as a troubled Sen. Christopher Dodd prepares for a 2010 race.  A Democrat has also jumped on-board to challenge the five-term legislator.    

Merrick Alpert, of Mystic, a Connecticut businessman and former Air Force officer, has filed papers with the FEC declaring his intentions, according to his Web site. 

On Tuesday, he plans to file the more official Statement of Candidacy and formally announce his campaign.

He has posted a video on his Web site, where he announces his candidacy and lobs shots at the incumbent.  

“Like many of you, I’ve lost faith in Senator Dodd. While he served the state well in the past, that’s not so lately,” Alpert said. “He’s become part of a culture of corruption in Washington.”

Alpert donated to Dodd’s campaigns in 2004 and 2006, according to the FEC campaign finance data. In 2006, he donated $2,100 to Chris Dodd for President Inc. and $2,100 to Friends of Chris Dodd. In 2004, he donated $200 to Friends of Chris Dodd.

Merrick’s political experience includes serving in 1992 as a delegate for Bill Clinton. He joined the staff of Clinton’s Presidential Inaugural Committee and was an advance man for former Vice President Al Gore, his Web site says.

His business experience includes ownership of a medical software company he sold, leadership of Turbine Generator Maintenance and most recently he joined his former business partner and began serving as president of Latitude 18, a research company developing environmentally friendly resins for manufacturing use, according to his Web site. He will take a leave of absence to run for Senate.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Dodd faces his toughest re-election bid yet.  His popularity has slipped amid the financial meltdown and in the wake of his failed 2008 presidential bid.

A few Republicans have also announced their intent to run:  Former Congressman Rob Simmons and state Sen. Sam Caligiuri.

Dodd, who has about $1.4 million cash on hand, is expected to maintain a fundraising advantage over his rivals. He spent nearly $6 million for his 2004 re-election and will likely need considerably more for his 2010 race.

Dodd has close ties to many leading party figures, including President Barack Obama who recently said he will back Dodd's re-election effort.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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