World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE), said on Wednesday that Linda McMahon has resigned as its CEO to run for Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd. Read more on Linda McMahon’s political aspirations below.
Linda McMahon, 60, formally announced her candidacy on Wednesday morning. McMahon says Washington is “out of control” and Dodd has “lost his way and our trust.”
McMahon will be up against three other Republicans that include former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, state Sen. Sam Caligiuri and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley.
Christopher Dodd plans to run for a sixth term next year.
Linda and her husband Vince McMahon, a professional wrestler, announcer and promoter, co-founded WWE. Linda has served as WWE’s CEO since May 1997 and was the company’s president from May 1993 through June 2000.
McMahon said she won’t be accepting PAC money or individual donations of more than $100, meaning her campaign will be predominantly self-financed. And she brings loads of baggage into the race – a quick perusal of YouTube shows that there’s quite a bit of video archival material for her Republican opponents to use against her.
She also donated $10,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006 – the same year that House Democrats ousted her leading Republican primary rival, former congressman Rob Simmons.
In Connecticut, Republicans have to win a critical 15 percent threshold at a Republican convention filled with GOP activists before they can move onto the primary ballot — and that could be challenging for an outsider like McMahon to accomplish.
But as Chris Cillizza notes in today’s Fix, McMahon has also brought on board an A-team of Republican consultants – with Scott Howell and Associates handling media and former NRSC political director Mike Slanker serving as the general consultant. Former NRCC press secretary Ed Patru will be handling the same role with her campaign.
If nothing else, McMahon will provide even more entertainment to a race that has seen no shortage of headlines. Her campaign will be an interesting test on whether voters will be willing to support a political outsider — even, as Chuck Todd noted, when they come from a sport most associated with the worst of politics.
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