Colchester native and Democrat Merrick Alpert announced today his intention to challenge Chris Dodd for the Senate in 2010. His website can be found here, and he got a coverage both nationally and locally, including from the Boston Globe, National Review Online, The Day, Politico, The Hill, CT Local Politics, and ConnPoliticsTV.
Alpert seems to have already created a stir amongst Democrats in the state. Jon Pelto, a former state legislator and Dem insider, wasted no time in attacking Alpert, calling the decision to run "strange" and suggesting Alpert is not ready for prime time and ought to start with an office he is more qualified for, like the state legislature. Roger Pearson, Dodd's other likely primary challenger, jumped in to defend Alpert, saying "he deserves a lot of credit for stincking his neck out."
Ultimately, I think it will end up being difficult for anyone not named Blumenthal to beat Dodd in a primary, and Blumenthal doesn't have the cajones for it. Both Pearson and Alpert are complete unknowns, though they have gotten involved early enough to work on that. Fundraising may be an issue for Alpert with the Democratic party machine still behind Dodd and another potential primary challenger to fight over donations with. In any event, I don't think either can overcome the obstacles to beat Dodd.
The biggest benefit could be had by the Republicans. The more the Democratic primary challengers attack Dodd, keeping his countless negatives in the public eye, the less Simmons and Caligiuri will have to. They will be free to focus more on the still-suffering economy, the nauseating Democratic spending orgy, and all of the other things that are wrong with the liberal agenda, while the Dems talk about Irish cottages, sweetheart loans, executive bonuses, Presidential pardons, etc.
It should be fun.
Cross-posted at The Artful Doddger.