Not quite stashed away in a bunker and not quite on the front lines, Linda McMahon has committed to at least two more debates against Republican rival Christopher Shays in their Senate primary race.
For those keeping score, that’s three fewer debates than the Shays campaign had been proposing to take place between the May 18 state GOP convention and the Aug. 14 primary.
That was all before McMahon earned the party’s endorsement with 60 percent of the convention vote to 32 percent for the former congressman.
“Pre-convention, Linda participated in five debates and several forums. We look forward to participating in several more this summer,” said Erin Isaac, a spokeswoman for McMahon.
Shays is clearly hungry for additional opportunities to engage the former WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) chief executive officer, however.
“We welcome as many debates as can be scheduled,” said Amanda Bergen, a spokeswoman for Shays.
On June 14 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, McMahon and Shays will face off in a televised debate sponsored by the Hartford Courant and FOX CT. NBC Connecticut will then host the candidates at its West Hartford studio for a July 18 debate.
McMahon declined an invitation from the League of Women Voters of Connecticut, Greenwich Time parent Hearst Connecticut Media Group and News 12 to debate Shays in his home city of Bridgeport in mid-July, however. McMahon’s campaign would not say why it turned down the invitation.
The organizers of the LWV/Hearst/News 12 debate asked McMahon to reconsider.
The Shays campaign revealed that it is also in talks with The Day newspaper of New London and WTNH Channel 8 to do a debate in July. McMahon’s handlers said they were not familiar with the forum.
In 2010, when McMahon won a three-way GOP primary but lost the general election, she participated in two televised debates, one against fellow Republicans Rob Simmons and Peter Schiff and the second against then-Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal after she locked up her party’s nomination.
“Linda’s six-point plan to put people back to work and turn our economy around is a stark contrast to Congressman Shays’ 21-year liberal voting record,” Isaac said.
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