[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/10/art.getty.chris.dodd.jpg caption="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.