Former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, a moderate Republican who briefly toyed with the idea of running for governor of Connecticut last year, is reportedly eyeing the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman.
Shays, who narrowly lost his seat to Democrat Jim Himes in 2008, said that he’s seriously considering running for Lieberman’s seat. Like Lieberman, Shays is considered a political centrist.
“We’re looking into it very closely,” he told Roll Call on Friday.
The idea of a political comeback by the former eleven-term congressman hasn’t been exactly welcomed with open arms.
Shays was the only Republican member of the U.S. House from New England when he lost his seat in 2008. The most senior House member to lose his seat that year, Shays carried every town and city in his district except for Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, in losing to Himes, a former chairman of the Greenwich Housing Authority.
If he decides to run for the Senate, Shays, 65, is likely to face formidable opposition for his party’s nomination. Many expect Linda McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO, to run again. The deep-pocketed McMahon spent $50 million of her personal fortune in an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 2010.
Former U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker is also considering a candidacy.
On Friday, little-known Hartford attorney Brian K. Hill also entered the race for the Republican nomination.
The Democratic primary is also expected to draw several high-profile candidates, including U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and state House Speaker Christopher Donovan. State. Rep. William Tong — the first Asian-American to serve in the Connecticut General Assembly — is also in the hunt.