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Simmons Launches Campaign for Senate Seat
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Former Republican Congressman Rob Simmons has officially launched his U-S Senate campaign. He's hoping to unseat Democratic Senior Senator Christopher Dodd. WNPR's Marie Kuhn reports.

Simmons has spent the last two years as the state's Business Advocate. He was appointed by Governor Jodi Rell in 2006, after losing his Congressional seat by only 83 votes.

Speaking on CPTV's On The Record, Simmons said he visited more than 400 businesses across the state. He said part of his motivation to run stems from the state's jobless rate. 

"Connecticut is a wonderful state when it comes to high-tech quality jobs and a highly productive and educated work-force. But I think we're really being hurt by some of the economic problems that were facing. We run the risk of loosing some of these very talented people with this growing unemployment rate."

According to the latest poll, conducted by the Maryland-based polling firm Research 2000, Dodd has a 5 point lead over Simmons. Dodd trailed Simmons by one point, in a Quinnipiac poll earlier this month.
 
Dodd has attracted national media scrutiny after reports suggested he received favorable loan terms from mortgage giant Countrywide Financial. He's also been blamed for allowing big bonuses to be awarded to financial executives of AIG, after the company was bailed out by the Federal government.

Simmons said the senator has put himself in a vulnerable position.

"The chairman of the banking committee should know what's in these bills. He should know what those amendments say. And if the amendments says that any bonus or any contract for a bonus before February 11, 2009 is valid, he should know that. "

Simmons said he'll need to raise a minimum of $5 million dollars to run a basic campaign. He said he's filed his papers with the Federal elections Commission, and will be interviewing for campaign managers.