Simmons Stops Campaigning, But Remains on Ballot

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Rob Simmons says he's scaling back and curtailing his campaign activities but his name will remain on the primary ballot.

During a news conference this morning, he said he is releasing his staff but is not out of the race.

Before speaking at the Radisson Hotel in New London to deliver the announcement on the future of his campaign, he was on WXLM-FM in New London and said he was stopping his campaign, but did not go so far to say he is dropping out of the race. 

"I will no longer be campaigning," Simmons said during the radio interview. "We'll curtail campaign activities. Not an easy decision, not a happy decision for me at all, but I think it's the right decision."

On Monday night, news reports came out saying he was expected to drop out of the race for U.S. Senate on Tuesday morning.

Fighting the “best-financed candidate in Connecticut history” has been difficult, The Connecticut Mirror reported on Monday.

The well-financed candidate is former World Wrestling CEO Linda McMahon.

McMahon has raised $16.6 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and she's vowed to spend $50 million of her own money.

"It's an unbelievable amount of dough," Simmons said, and he thinks that "has just twisted people into thinking that the money is going to buy the race. And so, what the heck, let's shut it down and let's move forward."

Simmons had raised $2.9 million, according to campaign finance data.

Simmons, a former Congressman and Vietnam War veteran, lost the Republican convention's endorsement on Friday to McMahon.

After the convention, Simmons originally said that he planned to compete with McMahon in a primary to let the voters decide which candidate would represent the party in November. 

"For some time now I have expressed the hope that all the Connecticut Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate would agree to unite behind the convention winner to avoid a divisive and expensive primary. No one accepted the challenge," he said in a statement. "The Simmons for Senate campaign has every right to proceed with a primary challenge based on our convention record of winning 46 percent of the vote."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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