Rob Simmons, who halted his campaign for the Republican Senate nomination after losing the party endorsement to former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, will begin airing TV ads urging voters to "look at the issues" before voting in the Aug. 10 primary.
In a press release on Wednesday, Simmons said he would spend some of his remaining campaign funds on the TV spots.
"For the past two months, I have been travelling the state supporting my fellow Republican candidates," Simmons said. "Everywhere I go people ask me if I am still running for the U.S. Senate. My response has been 'I'm still on the ballot.'"
In fact, Simmons has been re-endorsed by some Republican town committees in southeastern Connecticut, which he once represented as the congressman for the 2nd District.
"This year's election finds our country at a crossroads and will affect our children and future generations," Simmons' statement concluded. "Reckless bailouts and tax increases have crippled the economy and cost us jobs. This failure of our current leadership will have a long-lasting effect if we don't make them pay for these mistakes. I also feel it is important for people to know that I am still on the ballot and to provide my fellow Republicans with a choice."
The announcement that he would at least partially resume campaigning comes after weeks of speculation about his intentions, including through a series of suggestive interviews with journalists. Most recently, Simmons told Rick Green of the Hartford Courant he was "leaning" toward re-entering the campaign, though aides to Simmons quickly batted down the notion that he would stage a serious attempt to wrest the nomination from McMahon.
Here's the script of the Simmons ad:
"Today, it's important to vote with your heart and your head. Bailouts and tax increases have crippled the economy and cost us jobs. Small business is our backbone. Let's help them. National security must remain strong. Put your trust in the candidate who is and will be an advocate for veterans. These issues will have a lasting effect on our children. In the Republican primary on August tenth, you do have a choice. I'm Rob Simmons, I'm still on the ballot, and I approved this message."
UPDATE: A response from the McMahon campaign to Simmons reemergence. They don't exactly welcome the return:
"For eight months, Rob Simmons promised Connecticut Republicans that he would not primary if he lost the convention. He lost the convention, then immediately announced he would primary. Hours later, he dismissed his staff and announced he wouldn’t primary. Over the past two months, he’s been engaged in a very strange and erratic effort to reconcile his promise not to run with his desire to return to Washington. Today, we are as confused as everyone else.
"Rob Simmons has said many times he's a man of his word, and we take him at his word. Should he decide to officially un-curtail his campaign, we're prepared for that, as we have been since September 2009.
"Until that happens, following Rob Simmons' on-again, off-again campaign is a little like trying to keep up with an Abbott and Costello routine… Who’s on first?"