Washington – Sen. Richard Blumenthal will have at least one challenger if he runs for re-election next year, Republican August Wolf of Stamford.
The 53-year-old investment executive is the first person to step forward willing to take on a Democrat with a 64 percent approval rating and a track record of raising money.
Wolf, 53, has a different track record. He was a national champion shot put competitor and participated in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles with the U.S. track and field team. Ronald Reagan was president then, he observes, when the nation was “hopeful.”
In the political arena, Wolf has no record at all. He calls himself “a non-career politician.” He said he decided to seek the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate because he believes Connecticut — and the nation — are not on the right track.
“People need to be allowed to earn a living…and hopefully have a higher standard of living,” he said. “Connecticut can do so much better…yet our current voice in Washington seems resigned to American decline.”
Wolf is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where he studied public affairs and Near Eastern studies. He is the grandson of Austrian immigrants and the father of four children whose names also begin with the letter “A” — A.J., Alexander, Andrew and Abbie.
Wolf is a registered investment advisor who works for Lebenthal Wealth Advisors, an asset management company, and is a member of the board of directors of the Holborn Corporation, a reinsurance intermediary company.
He said Wall Street has been hurt by regulations from Washington, D.C., and he hopes to try to change that. The Senate seat Wolf is seeking was once held by former Sen. Chris Dodd, a chief sponsor of wide-ranging legislation known as the Dodd-Frank Act that imposed new regulations on the financial services industry.
Wolf said he has been paid to manage large amounts of money and will be able to raise it to run his campaign.
“I’m getting ready to get (fundraising) going,” he said.
Blumenthal reported having about $1.6 million in cash on hand at the end of the first quarter of this year.
Wolf said his motto is “learn, earn and return.”
“In life we learn, we earn and we return,” Wolf said. “This is my time to ‘return.'”
Blumenthal declined to comment directly on Wolf’s challenge, saying he is “going to concentrate as hard as possible working for the people of Connecticut in a job I love and look forward to doing.”
The Connecticut Democratic Party, however, did weigh in on Wolf’s Senate bid.
“We’re happy to see that after months of searching, Connecticut Republicans have finally found a Senate candidate to follow in Linda McMahon’s footsteps,” Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby said in a statement.
McMahon, co-founder of the WWE pro wrestling franchise, ran as a Republican against Blumenthal in 2010, when Connecticut had an open Senate seat because of Dodd’s retirement. She spent more than $50 million of her own money on the race, far outpacing what Blumenthal spent, but lost nevertheless.