Eyebrows are rising all over Connecticut today as 2004 Dodd challenger Jack Orchulli, of Darien, is scheduled to appear on WFSB’s Face the State program tomorrow morning to announce his intentions in the 2010 iteration of the race.
Rumors are circulating through GOP circles that Mr. Orchulli, 63, will announce his intent to vie for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Mr. Orchulli’s entry into the race would mark the fourth contender on the Republican side, as many come to the conclusion that Senator Chris Dodd is mortally wounded by the series of controversies that have dogged him in recent months. Orchulli would join former Rep. Rob Simmons, State Sen. Sam Caligiuri, and likely entrant Ambassador Tom Foley.
Money now becomes the threshold test for each of these candidates. Mr. Foley and Mr. Orchulli are thought to be able to self-finance their bids, if they so choose. Sen. Caligiuri is already in the mail with a fundraising appeal (Mine came Friday), and Simmons has been appearing on national television all week promoting his effort and his website.
Despite his wounds, there is little doubt that Senator Dodd will be able to marshal sizable resources for his campaign. He raised $16 million for a quixotic Presidential bid – for a real Senate campaign, the Senator can probably raise at least $20 million.
Which Republican will be most able to match him? It remains to be seen, but as the discussions continue among the various Republican candidates, it will be the benchmark against which they are judged.