BOSTON (Reuters) - Connecticut’s popular Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said on Wednesday that he intends to run for Christopher Dodd’s seat in the U.S. Senate, boosting the chances of Democrats retaining the seat in November.
Blumenthal, 63, told financial news channel CNBC that he will officially announce later on Wednesday his pursuit of fellow Democrat Dodd’s seat.
A press conference is slated for 2:30 p.m. EST at state Democratic party headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut.
Blumenthal has been Connecticut’s top law enforcement official since 1990, serving five terms in that office, and previously served in the state’s legislature.
Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is expected to announce later on Wednesday his decision to not seek re-election.
Aides gave no explanation for Dodd’s decision, but it had been clear for months the Connecticut lawmaker, dogged by questions over his financial industry connections, might be voted out of office.
With Dodd’s approval skidding, the non-partisan Cook Political Report this week said the seat was leaning Republican.
The entry of Blumenthal is likely to change that equation. In November, a Quinnipiac poll showed Blumenthal with a lopsided 78 percent job approval rate.
Republicans running for the seat include former U.S. Representative Robert Simmons, and Linda McMahon, former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Reporting by Ros Krasny; editing by Vicki Allen