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Klarides shifts to challenge Blumenthal for Senate seat

January 30, 2022 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s former state House minority leader is shifting her focus from the governor’s race to challenge U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Themis Klarides announced Sunday she is seeking the Republican nomination to run against Blumenthal, a Democrat seeking his third term, multiple outlets reported.

The 56-year-old Klarides led the GOP minority caucus in the state House from 2015 and 2021 and currently works as an attorney.

“As I’ve traveled the state for the last eight months, voters have shared their frustration with a dysfunctional, do-nothing federal government that values rigid partisanship and political gamesmanship above the hard work and compromise required to solve the many problems facing our country,” Klarides said in her announcement.

Klarides had recently filed documents with state election regulators to face Democrat Ned Lamont. On Jan. 19, businessperson Bob Stefanowski, who ran unsuccessfully against Lamont in 2018, announced he is running again and is spending at least $10 million of his own money. Lamont spent more than $12 million of his own money on the 2018 campaign.

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The 75-year-old Blumenthal was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He has $6.9 million on hand for his reelection campaign, the New Haven Register reported.

“My focus is on doing my job and working for the people of Connecticut,” Blumenthal told the newspaper. “There will be plenty of time for political campaigns later in the year.”