May 18th, 2009
12:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Dodd gets primary challenger

Senator Chris Dodd faces a primary contest against Connecticut businessman Merrick Alpert.
Senator Chris Dodd faces a primary contest against Connecticut businessman Merrick Alpert.

(CNN) - Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, whose popularity has plummeted in recent months amidst the country's financial crisis, will face a primary challenge in his bid to win a sixth Senate term.

Merrick Alpert, a businessman who served as an Air Force officer in Bosnia, pledged on his Web site Monday to formally file paperwork with the Federal Elections Committee to challenge Dodd for the Democratic Party's nomination.

"You deserve a senator who tells you the truth and focuses on protecting your job and rebuilding Connecticut's economy," Alpert said in a video announcement. "Like many of you, I've lost faith in Senator Dodd. While he served his state well in the past, that's not so lately.

"He doesn't represent Connecticut's values anymore," said Alpert. "He represents the values of Washington, DC."

Alpert appears to have been a former Dodd supporter, donating $4,400 to the Connecticut senator since 2004, according the Federal Election Commission.

Dodd, the current chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has most recentlycome under fire for his role in allowing executives at the embattled insurance firm AIG to be paid lucrative bonuses even after receiving a massive government bailout.

The 2008 presidentiasl candidate has also come under sharp criticism for failing to rein in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae during his tenure as head of the Senate Banking Committee. Dodd also faces a Senate Ethics Committee investigation over favorable mortgage rates he received under the Countrywide VIP program.

Two Republicans are already running to challenge Dodd - Former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons and State Sen. Sam Caligiuri.

A Quinnipiac Poll taken last month suggested Dodd has only a 30 percent approval rating among Connecticut voters. The survey also indicated he would lose to both Simmons and Caligiuri in hypothetical head-to-head matchups.


Filed under: Chris Dodd
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. John

    There are more and more reasons to establish term limits...

    Pelosi, Dodd, McConnell, Byrd, Specter, etc. I am 32 and in my opinion, if anyone has been in the same seat for more time than I have been alive then it is time for fresh views. On ALL sides. We term limit our President and Governors, why not these folks?

    May 18, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Andy J, NY, NY

    haha. dodd is finished.

    lets line up the rest of the scum bags, d's and r's, and boot them too.

    May 18, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. bsmith171

    dodd needs to be put under oath.
    just like his daddy SENATOR tom.

    May 18, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Peter (CA)

    If it is his time to go, then so be it. At least Democrats are willing to challenge those who are not doing their job.

    Whiny right wingers keep electing the same corrupt dimwits. And I got a Republican representative who proves that.

    Tate@12:58

    You got Sara Palin and Rush Limbaugh. You ain't got room to talk.

    May 18, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Daisy Cloud-NY

    I'm truly dissapointed in Chris Dodd, we need new faces who will fight for the people, he's to invovled with the Lobbyist and to soft with the Republicans. We need a real Democrat who will fight for us.

    May 18, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Kevin in Ohio

    The democrat machine continues to unravel...... there is hope. Yes, we can.......

    May 18, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Blue Yankee

    I love hearing from Texans and other assorted rabble about how we here in Connecticut should vote. Tell you what: Go clean up YOUR OWN MESSES before telling Connecticut what to do!

    May 18, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. David

    If Obama is to be successful Dodd, Frank, Pelosi and Reid will need to go from their leadership positions. I am a yellow dog democrat and proud of it.

    May 18, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Kevin in Ohio

    CNN ,,,,

    How on earth does a comment like this get through?.........

    Imarriedmy sister in Mississippi May 18th, 2009 12:54 pm ET

    I have to check with the American pope,"Rush Limbaugh",before I make my statement.I cant think for my self.

    May 18, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. disco stu

    I consider myself an independant who lately sides more with the Dems then the Repubs, but its time to stick a fork in Dodd - he's done. His "I didnt know, then I did know" fiasco with the bailout bonus show he ( as usual) has been looking out for himself & his $$ backers more then the good of people of the US.
    Keep the "change" going Connecticut voters by telling the Congress & the Nation, this stuff stops now!

    May 18, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Harry

    We need a new democratic senator from CT. We cannot under any circumstance lose that seat to the GOP.

    Dodd, GTFO.

    May 18, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Michigan Jim

    Bye bye, Dodd. Take Frank and Pelosi with you, please.

    May 18, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. No Incumbents 2010

    Dodd needs to take responsibility for his acts and omissions as Senate Banking Cmte Chairman as they relate to the economic problems we face. Five terms is enough! Time to give someone else a chance to serve.

    http://www.RandPaul2010.com

    May 18, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Dallas Independent - thank goodness

    @ Fair is Fair – I know what you mean but the idiot state he's from voted him in AGAIN!!! They would vote for the devil himself rather than vote for a republican. That state is getting the (non)representation they deserve. Too bad it spills over to us all. Ol Barney is as big of a crook as the rest of them and he did, in fact, help in the cause for the meltdown! He made crock sure his little ol gay "guy" got favorable treatment along the way too!

    May 18, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. worriedmom

    @jadie
    so you are willing to back a crook, then possibly nominate someone who may help you and your state whether they are Republican or Democrat. you are what is wrong with this world!

    May 18, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. jeff

    Dodd along with Pelosi should resign.
    They both are a disgrace to the party and Obama
    This is in no way condoning Bush and what he did

    May 18, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    The names Frank and Dodd are synonimous with everything that has gone wrong with your 401ks, the stock market and the economy. We are all living in the tank because they refused Bush and Greenspan five different times since 2002 to create oversight in the banking community.
    These two, along with Reid and Pelosi, need to take a long hike that they will never return from.

    May 18, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. LIP

    The names Frank and Dodd are synonimous with everything that has gone wrong with your 401ks, the stock market and the economy. We are all living in the tank because they refused Bush and Greenspan five different times since 2002 to create oversight in the banking community.
    These two, along with Reid and Pelosi, need to take a long hike that they will never return from.

    May 18, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Leta

    Senate Banking Committee.....What are his qualifications where did he get them and what was his title while getting qualified to be on the Senate Banking Committee OVER 10-25 YEARS AGO.......You might see where all Senate Banking Committee people were 10-25 Years ago...You might find the link of Al Gore, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bill Clinton and Vince Foster........GEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZ....even if they were 16 years old 25 years ago!!!!

    May 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    Dodd’s should be in jail for this mortgage melt down he a Franks caused.

    May 18, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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