A former Olympian is expected to file paperwork Monday to challenge U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal in 2016.
August Wolf, a Stamford resident who finished fourth in the shot put in the 1984 Summer Olympics, has never held public office before, but is ready to take on one of Connecticut’s most popular politicians.
“Connecticut can do so much better,” Wolf said in a press release announcing his candidacy. “We are a hardy, can-do people, yet our current voice in the U.S. Senate seems resigned to American decline.”
Wolf, 53, said it’s his time to give back to his community by running for office. A registered investment advisor, Wolf has four children. He graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where he studied public affairs.
He is the second Republican to announce his intention to challenge Blumenthal. The first is former gubernatorial candidate Joe Visconti, who ended his long-shot candidacy two days before the 2014 election.
Visconti, a West Hartford resident, has said he would enter the U.S. Senate race if the Republican Party fails to endorse a truly Republican candidate.
David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general who ran for lieutenant governor in 2014, and former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, who was also mentioned as a potential candidate, have already crossed their names off the list.
The Republican nominee over the past two election cycles has been Linda McMahon, who largely self-financed her first campaign against Blumenthal, and also ran against U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy in 2012.
A March Quinnipiac University poll found 64 percent of voters approve of the job Blumenthal is doing. In the same poll, 59 percent of voters said Blumenthal deserves re-election.
A spokeswoman for the Connecticut Democratic Party cited Blumenthal’s fight against Big Tobacco as attorney general and his more recent advocacy for veterans in the U.S. Senate as a reason why voters will re-elect him in November 2016.
Wolf spokesman’s, John Board, said it’s going to be a very long campaign and they look forward to engaging in a dialogue about the direction of the state.
It’s likely more Republican candidates will emerge before the nominating convention next summer.