Self-proclaimed political outsider Linda McMahon stunned former 2nd District Congressman Robert Simmons on the first ballot, winning the Republican State Convention’s endorsement for U.S. Senate late tonight.

Weston economist Peter Schiff, considered a long-shot, fell well short of winning 15 percent of the delegate vote, the minimum threshold needed to qualify for a primary. But Schiff said that he would take advantage of Connecticut’s open primary law and petition his way onto the Aug. 10 primary ballot nonetheless.

The official tally, announced just before 11:10 p.m., had McMahon outpolling Simmons 737-632, with 44 votes for Schiff.

It was not clear immediately whether Simmons, who still held more than 44.5 percent of the delegate vote, would engage in a primary for the GOP nomination.

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