Monday, February 05, 2007

Closer to home...

I spoke with former Congressman Rob Simmons today, and he remains as uncommitted on a potential 2008 rematch with U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, as he has been since conceding the election back in November.

He did say, however, that he is keeping his election campaign office in Mystic open, staffed and up and running, through the end of March. At least two people will remain on the payroll as the campaign goes through the process of raising money to retire the debt left over from the 2006 campaign. Simmons said the campaign ended with about a $30,000 debt - half of which has been paid already.

Simmons said he continues to give a possible run in 2008 "serious consideration," but hasn't made a final decision one way or the other. Simmons lost his re-election bid to as fourth term by just 91-votes our of more than 244,000 ballots cast - the closet House race in the country last year.

"I tell people I'm too young to retire," the 65-year-old Stonington resident said.

He did suggest, however, that a decision might be forthcoming around that end of March time frame. In the meantime, he is also considering several other possible opportunities - both inside and outside public service. He declined to talk about any specific proposals - other than to say that he has told everyone who has expressed an interest from the private sector that he has no intention of leaving Connecticut, and any potential job would have to be based on the idea of him living here.

Simmons said he is flattered when people within the district encourage him to make another bid for Congress, but noted that a number of Republicans who have supported him the past have also told him they didn't support him this time because "they wanted to send George Bush a message."

"They may want to send John McCain a message two years from now," he said, alluding to McCain's potential 2008 presidential bid and his support of the Iraq War. "That's something that has to be considered. If that's what the political process has come down to, it makes a difference."


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