Shays: His calendar will be clear, starting next month

It seems to be a race to see who will declare first as a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Linda McMahon or Chris Shays.

McMahon is heading toward a mid-September rollout, one adviser said today.

As for Shays, he remains coy, at least on the record, about his plans, but he noted that his calendar will be opening up next month, when his duties as the co-chair of the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting wind down.

“We’re finishing up the report,” Shays said today. “We close down at the end of September.”

Contrary to some reports, Shays is not beginning a tour of GOP town committees this week. But he is doing nothing to contradict those who say he definitely is getting in the race, setting up a contest in which McMahon will be facing a former congressman for the nomination for the second time in consecutive races.

McMahon, the WWE co-founder, defeated Rob Simmons in 2010, losing to Democrat Richard Blumenthal. Shays lost his seat in 2008, the last time Barack Obama was on the ballot.