MILFORD – Senate candidate Peter Schiff conceded his U.S. Senate bid Tuesday evening to a crowd of loyal supporters at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Schiff received about 22 percent of the vote, with 81 percent of the 742 precincts reporting. The results placed him third behind World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, who won with 49 percent and former Congressman Rob Simmons, who came in second with 28 percent of the vote.
“When I entered this race, I had no name recognition,” he said. “People didn’t think that I would get out of the single digits.”
Schiff praised his supporters for helping him achieve such high numbers with spending roughly the same amount of money as Simmons.
“I accomplished quite a lot with your help, with no media [coverage],” he said. “[There was] no reporting whatsoever. I know that had an impact because [citizens] don’t see me as a candidate. Well if I was a real candidate, wouldn’t they be covering me? Well, that’s what most people think, but they would be wrong.”
Schiff criticized McMahon for spending so much on her campaign and hinted that this is what put her over the top in the race.
“Linda McMahon spent close to $30 million on her campaign. What did she beat me by, 20,000 votes for an extra $20 million? How much is that per vote?” Schiff said.
According to Schiff’s website, he raised $3,279,291 for his campaign and $200,000 in the last three weeks.
Despite his criticisms of McMahon, he reluctantly endorsed her for the senate seat.
“At this point, [McMahon] is our only shot to beating Dick Blumenthal, so I guess we have to support her,” he said.
The comment was received with jeers from the crowd.
“Linda McMahon is saying the right things. Let’s hope she means some of it,” Schiff said. “I have talked to her a lot, and she has told reporters that she agrees with just about everything I say. So let’s hope so. The key is not agreeing with it, but actually doing something when she gets to Washington.”
Quinnipiac Poll numbers on Aug. 9 had Schiff with only 15 percent of the vote, and Schiff told his supporters, “We knew they were wrong.”
Despite the loss, Schiff downplayed any chances of running as an independent in the senate race, but hinted at running against U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman when the next election comes around in 2012.
“I don’t think that I would win as an independent, if anything I would give the election to Dick Blumenthal and that’s not why I started to run,” Schiff said. “The good news is that Joe Lieberman is almost as unpopular [as current Senator Chris Dodd]. I am going to keep an open mind.”
The 47-year-old ran for office for the first time this cycle, and currently is the president and chief global strategist for investment firm Euro Pacific Capital in Westport.
He is probably best known for being Ron Paul’s Economic Advisor during Paul’s Republican Presidential Primary run in 2008. Paul endorsed Schiff for the Senate seat less than two weeks ago. Schiff was also endorsed by Steve Forbes, United States Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky and United States Senate Candidate Clint Didier of Washington .