NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays was out in downtown New Canaan on Thursday, looking for votes in his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate..
On a perfect sunny afternoon, Shays met with retailers and visitors to do some listening and learning, all while trying to gain support for his bid for the Republican nomination in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman. Shays worked downtown with his wife Betsi and New Canaan First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III, a longtime supporter of the former 4th District congressman.
“I’ve got my work cut out for me. I’ve got 10 weeks to win it,” said Shays. As the Aug. 14 primary approaches, Shays faces a major challenge. He trails former World Wrestling Entertainment chief executive Linda McMahon by 29 percentage points, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.
One of Shays’ big goals is to turn around the slumping American economy. Even in a well-to-do area such as New Canaan, Shays said the health of the economy matters.
“They have to see the economy grow,” he said. “The economy growing matters as much for people here as it does for the people of the South End of Norwalk or the West Side of Stamford or the East Side of Bridgeport.”
Mallozzi said Shays reminds him of himself in being a “pragmatic politician” who “doesn’t get stuck in ideology.”