McMahon: 'No Regrets' in Second Failed Campaign for Senate [UPDATE]

Democrat Chris Murphy, the 5th District representative, has defeated GOP hopeful Linda McMahon in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat.

Update 10:20 p.m.

Saying it’s her own and her supporters’ job to hold responsible Connecticut’s delegation in Washington, D.C., Greenwich Republican Linda McMahon conceded the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Chris Murphy.

In the second concession speech she’s given in two years, the longtime WWE chief said she had no regrets about an often contentious campaign that drew a national spotlight.

“I don’t think we left a stone unturned,” McMahon told more than 250 supporter and media members gathered in the ballroom at the Stamford Hilton hotel. “I don’t think we would do anything differently in the campaign.”

Vying for the senate seat to be vacated by former Democrat Joe Lieberman, an Independent, McMahon and Murphy ran aggressive campaign ads and lobbed accusations of wrongdoing throughout the final weeks and days of the race.

McMahon said during her speech that she congratulated Murphy and reminded him that he’s accountable.

“I asked him to work hard for the people in our state,” McMahon said.

“It is our responsibility to charge them, to challenge them to make sure they hear what we say and to make sure they are doing what we need because they work for us,” she said to an appreciative crowd. “And if we let them forget that, then shame on us because we need to voice our concerns and we need to say what we need, and I’m looking forward to being helpful in that regard.”

In one light moment during her speech, McMahon—flanked by family and friends, including WWE pro wrestlers—thanked her husband Vince “who stood beside me and behind me all the way through this,” adding: “He’s very shy. He doesn’t want to come out.”

Murphy could not be reached for comment.

In an email to supporters, Murphy said he was thankful and called his campaign “the largest grassroots network of support Connecticut has ever seen.”

“But tonight's result is not the end of the campaign, it's beginning of a conversation I hope to continue with you throughout my time as a United States Senator.”

Update 9 p.m.

The Associated Press has called the contentious U.S. Senate race for the seat vacated by Joe Lieberman for Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Cheshire, over GOP candidate Linda McMahon, according to an article cited in the Connecticut Post.

Tonight's victory by Chris shows that we have elections in Connecticut, not auctions,'' Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement.

Four-term incumbent Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party, decided not to seek re-election in 2012. Lieberman sat as a Democrat until 2006, when he was defeated by Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary; he then ran as an independent in the general election and he won. He has since caucused with the Democrats as an "Independent Democrat."

Former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and Murphy—a 5th District Congressman—competed for the Democratic nomination. McMahon, the 2010 Republican Senate nominee, and former Congressmen Chris Shays competed for the GOP nomination. Murphy and McMahon won their respective primaries on Aug. 14, and faced Libertarian Paul Passarelli.

Update 8 p.m.

The ballroom stage and podium (pictured) at the Stamford Hilton where Greenwich resident and longtime WWE CEO Linda McMahon will either claim or concede victory in a hotly contested U.S. Senate race is being swarmed by dozens of media members as the 8 p.m. poll-closing time approaches.

Arriving here at the headquarters just now are Douglas Eklund, an Oxford resident who is moving to Stamford, and Cathy Bertasso, a city resident.

Bertasso, 69, a registered Democrat and retired human resources professional, said she is supporting McMahon because the GOP candidate is a job creator.

“She is just a generous supporter and she’s a small business woman,” Bertasso told Patch. “She knows how to create jobs and I think she would be an asset. She’s not political. She doesn’t have to do this.”

Eklund, 70, a retired SNET technician and former member of the Oxford RTC, said McMahon could help turn around the economy.

“She could help around these events that have gotten us into a situation with enormous deficit and excessive spending,” Eklund said.

Update 4 p.m.

Hours before polls close on one of Connecticut’s most widely anticipated races, supporters for the two major party candidates for lame duck U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat say they’re eager and optimistic.

Mary Howard, a registered Republican from Stamford, broke away from the phones at her city’s GOP headquarters to say she sees in party candidate Linda McMahon—longtime CEO of the WWE, based just one mile away—many of the same qualities she sees in presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“She is such a good businessperson and has created so many jobs here in Connecticut, which [Democrat Chris] Murphy has not done,” said Howard, a Manhasset, N.Y. native and former New Canaan resident who formerly worked as a flight attendant.

The McMahon-Murphy race has drawn a national spotlight as one of a handful in Congress where Democrats and Republicans have been neck-and-neck in much of the polling since primaries this summer. The race also has drawn attention and criticism for what’s been described as the personal, vitriolic nature of many campaign ads.

Murphy, a congressman in the Fifth District, received a vote today from 75-year-old Barbara Spitzer of Stamford, a native of the Chicago area and former Greenwich resident who volunteered with the city’s Democratic party during the campaign season.

For Spitzer, a psychologist, Murphy stands for women in important ways.

“I think he wants women to have choice and equal pay, and I think he stands for the environment and that’s so important, especially after this storm,” Spitzer.

Even as a separate storm approaches for Wednesday, the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy could be felt in Stamford and elsewhere. Nearly 5,000 customers of Connecticut Light and Power, the state’s major utility, remained without power as of 3:30 p.m.—down from a high of more than 600,000 one week ago.

According to Stamford Democratic City Committee Chairman John Mallozzi, overall turnout in Stamford is projected to hit about 78 percent today—down from about 81 percent four years ago.

Meanwhile, McMahon cast her vote Tuesday afternoon at North Street School in Greenwich. Speaking to the media afterwards, McMahon said she felt she had gotten her message across to constituents.

“It was my intention from the beginning to let the people of Connecticut know that I had a plan to put them back to work, to jumpstart our economy and I think that message has been resonating loud and clear,” she said.

In a video released on YouTube Tuesday (attached), Murphy—who is casting his vote Tuesday afternoon in Cheshire—urged his supporters to cast their ballots.

“This election is going to be close so make sure you reserve enough time today to get out to the polls,” he said.

The libertarian candidate for the senate seat is Paul Passarelli of Norwalk.

On his campaign website, Passarrelli paints himself as a Washington outsider who will bring fresh perspective to the senate seat.

“It bears repeating, that I will go to Washington for the State of Connecticut, the Constitution of the Unites States, and the Republic that is the Unites States of America; not for the Democrats, not for the GOP, or even the Libertarians, the Objectivists, the Greens, etc… regardless of whether he earns their support or their vilification,” the campaign website says.

Original Story

For months, Senate hopefuls Linda McMahon and Chris Murphy have traded barbs over the airwaves and during several debates. Voters will soon decide which of the candidates will replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman.

The most recent poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling and released on Nov. 2, says that Murphy has a 52-43 advantage. 

McMahon, former CEO of WWE and a 2010 candidate for U.S. Senate, has been running a self-funded campaign focused on the economy. Chris Murphy, a congressman in the Fifth District, has sought to differentiate himself from McMahon on women’s issues.

Paul Passarelli, of Norwalk, is running on the Libertarian ticket. 

Ridgefield4me November 07, 2012 at 01:11 AM
And let's ask Luca directly, do you pay for a mobile hotspot? Is that how you connect to the internet?
Jim Flynn November 07, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Murphy wins!, As a citizen of CT, thank you McMahon for spending $100 million on our economy and we gave you nothing in return
QWERTY November 07, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Never understood that logic. A candidate spends $100 million of her own money to become senator and she's frowned upon. While the other candidate begs like a hobo for campaign money and he's considered a hero. Welcome to today's America I suppose.
sebastian dangerfield November 07, 2012 at 02:52 AM
qwerty As they just said on abc---its not the name on the jersey its just the color of the jersey. Murphy is a zero. the only thing he has going for him in the D next to his name. And in CT-that is enough.
Semmas November 07, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Omg this is unbelievable. What the heck are the people of CT thinking! I'm ashamed to live in this state. What a bunch of idiots.
xxxoxox November 07, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Shows clearly that money, by itself is not enough. Experience, orga nizing and putting in the time are critical. Linda's campaign was so cynically blind to this fact again - doubling down on her past mistakes with similar results. The right person won. If Linda wants to serve CT, try seeking a less heady role and show us you know how to work.
Oldblooeyz November 07, 2012 at 03:10 AM
I think it's great that you can't buy a senate seat!
xxxoxox November 07, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Laugh all you want Luca. Labor doesn't win with shirts. The purple just lets you know who you're dealing with. Its not the shirts, its the people wearing the shirts that do the work that wins, now twice. There was plenty of purple at Murphy headquarters today doing the work of winning. But there way also yellow (firefighters for Murphy) and green (AFSCME). Laugh all you want at those purple shirts but you will be laughing as Murphy heads to the Senate and President Obama returns for 4 more years. I'll laugh with you. I would add an LOL but I hate LOL.
Sherri November 07, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I wonder if Linda McMahon will now finally realize that she can't buy an election. Another $50M of her money and it got her nothing (thankfully!) Now she can go back to selling sex and violence under the banner of entertainment and stay off my radar.
JulieShoes November 07, 2012 at 03:26 AM
I agree Chris. I specifically asked about the "Buy American" bill he is pushing....I actually spoke to someone in his office. Buy American sounds good, right? But when you read the bill, it requires any company that wants to bid on any government jobs, they either need to unionize or pay their employees prevailing union wages. This will put MANY small businesses (the likes of which my husband works for) out of business or not in contention to continue doing business as usual. If any Murphy supporters actually took a minute to look at his voting record, they would see that he historically has voted in favor of tax increases...for the middle class. He's a great guy to go out and schmooze, but that's as far as it goes. And it is disgusting to begrudge ANYONE the money they have made by building a business as long is it is done legally. I am not a WWF fan, but America was founded on the backs of people who worked hard and became successful and shame on all of you who didn't vote for McMahon strictly because she has more money than you. And Mr. Pursey, I am legit!
JulieShoes November 07, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Ahem, Grannie.....if you did a little research about the supposed 7 million tax break, you would see that it would not have actually happened because in order to do so, she would have to break laws that even someone with that much money couldn't hide from.
JulieShoes November 07, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Amen QWERTY! Welcome to the land of entitlements....they guy who begged for money won the spoils while the one who actually worked for her money got shunned.
Joan November 07, 2012 at 03:34 AM
I don't think McMahon is a stupid woman. I'm wondering what sort of return she was expecting on that "investment." In any case, she had no relevant experience that would serve the residents of our state in the Senate. The voters made the right choice.
Wondering November 07, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Let her try again. It will add another $50M to the local economy.
Jim Flynn November 07, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Hopefully she will drop another 50 million in 2014 by running for Governor. She can be a three time loser
sebastian dangerfield November 07, 2012 at 04:04 AM
steven brown.. laugh? because they won? Yeah we should all have laughed as George w bush was elected, because , after all the voters get it right--and if murphy won, and obama wins, (which he will) then that is affirmation that the american people got it right again. haha bush won in 2004 by a nice margin... im sure you still are laughing?
sebastian dangerfield November 07, 2012 at 04:06 AM
granma ? no idea what you are saying "you just said the tee shirts dont matter" Yes I did. And i havent said anything other than that.
sebastian dangerfield November 07, 2012 at 04:10 AM
nah stephen it just says that the people of connecticut choose a democrat no matter how incompetent he is..... like washington d.c. with marion barry or rangel in the bronx-- criminals get elected if they just have a D next to their name. All of the 'organization and experience-- give me a break. Since when has being a community organizer qualified you to be president?
Angus November 07, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Ed, where's Ed? Ed?
xxxoxox November 07, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Well, at least since 2008. Those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Being a community organizer sure seems to help in winning elections which is a major qualification for the Presidency.
xxxoxox November 07, 2012 at 04:45 AM
BTW, political campaigns are community organizing. Sarah Palin couldn't seem to understand this and Carl Rove will never admit it.
DC November 07, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Stephen you had it absolutely right. The community organizer is always better for the community than would be a CEO/Businessman.
LAM November 07, 2012 at 06:20 AM
Now obama, Murphy and others can reward their loyal union supporters by going after Wall Street as they promised. Oh wait aren't their retirements invested in Wall Street businesses? So which is it, are the Democrats now going to dismantle that shrine of oppression known as Wall Street as they have promised? The Union workers have agreed that their retirements and jobs should be sacrificed so capitalism can be destroyed, or is the anti wall street 1% vs 99% sound bites just to insure the ignorant will turn out to vote democratic?
LAM November 07, 2012 at 06:26 AM
yeah right, name a community organizer who has risked hjs or hers financial future to start a business that would create jobs, Sorry pal but trying to get free stuff for those who won/t work don't help any community.
Will Wilkin November 07, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Chris Murphy, Thank you for defying the leadership of the Democratic Party in order to vote NO on all 3 FTAs that Obama sent you. Thank you for all your work inserting Buy American clauses in budget bills. You are the only Dem or Repub I voted for yesterday. Thank you for opposing the free trade ruin of our country.
Wondering November 07, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Linda, run for governor. Infuse another $40M+ into our state.
Helene E. Logan November 07, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Thank you, I have been saying the same thing. Why would we want a soft porn and false snuff peddler representing us? I do hope that she and her steroid addled husband stop the madness and realize that the majority of us dislike her.
Helene E. Logan November 07, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Helene E. Logan November 07, 2012 at 02:34 PM
She can go south and fool the masses of the proudly ignorant that live there. Walt, you nailed it--the stay at home Moms of those tony districts advising her spend their days working out, picking up the kids and shopping. The working Moms are busting their butts trying to maintain a home, job and a sense of normalcy for their kids. There is a serious disconnect there, and it's mind boggling and pretty arrogant that she didn't recognize it.
CtLynn5 November 07, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Ridgefield, I charged my electronics during the day and then used them at night.


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