Former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons garnered enough delegate support at the Republican convention to primary former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, but decided to curtail his U. S. Senate campaign and leave his name on the ballot.
“Hi, I’m Rob Simmons and I’m not running for anything,” Simmons said Wednesday as he introduced himself at a fundraiser for Doug Dubitsky, one of three Republicans vying for Simmons’ old Second District seat.
Simmons said his appearance at Dubitsky’s fundraiser shouldn’t be seen as an endorsement, since he was at a fundraiser for Daria Novak the previous evening and will appear with Janet Peckinpaugh later this month.
“I’m trying to help all of them,” Simmons said.
“I ran against Joe Courtney twice. I beat him the first time by 8 points and he beat me the second time by 83 votes,” Simmons said in a brief speech at Georgina‘s Restaurant in Bolton.
Looking a little tanner than normal, Simmons said he has kept one of his campaign staffers on part-time to help him keep track of all the events he plans to attend in support of Republican candidates. But he‘s not campaigning. He said he released his staff and a number of them are already working on other campaigns.
Since curtailing his campaign in May, Simmons said he has been spending more time in the yard and it might be helping him in the polls.
Since he dropped out of the race, Simmons has cut McMahon’s lead in the Quinnipiac poll from 26 to 16 points. McMahon still beats him 45 to 29 percent in a head to head match up but his numbers inched up from 23 percent to 29 percent since he dropped out of the race.
The decision to end his campaign and leave his name on the ballot has been confusing to some Republicans, so Vernon Republican Town Chairman Hal Cummings put Simmons on the spot Wednesday and asked him to explain it to a room of about 50 Dubitsky supporters.
Click on the video to watch what how he answered the question.