Debicella to seek rematch with Himes
Published 1:55 pm, Friday, August 30, 2013
Republican Dan Debicella is poised to walk away from a lucrative management position at the world's largest hedge fund to run for Congress, setting up a potential rematch with three-term incumbent Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th, in 2014.
A person familiar with Debicella's plans told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers Thursday that the former state senator from Shelton will leave Bridgewater Associates at the end of next week to return to politics.
The Westport firm, which manages $150 billion in assets, is slated to receive $100 million in economic incentives from the state to relocate its headquarters to Stamford and create 1,000 jobs. Founded by Greenwich billionaire Ray Dalio, the fund is known for its corporate culture and a 123-page manifesto of management principles prescribed by Dalio.
"We're definitely considering it," Debicella said Thursday. "My wife and I are finalizing the decision this weekend."
Debicella, 38, a new father, said he could make an announcement as early as next week. He declined to comment further about the dynamics of the race or his willingness to give up a handsome paycheck, a move that some political observers privately characterized as a head-scratcher.
Republicans have been scouring the district for someone to challenge Himes, who increased his share of the vote to 60 percent in 2012 and is national finance chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"I've had several discussions with Senator Debicella. He's a top tier candidate," said Jerry Labriola Jr., the state GOP chairman.
"If Dan does choose to run, we will have a very real chance to defeat Jim Himes," said Labriola, calling the incumbent a rubber stamp for the job-killing agenda of President Obama and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
A spokesperson for the Himes campaign declined to comment Thursday.
In 2010, Debicella mustered 47 percent of the vote in an unsuccessful challenge to Himes, who was completing his first term at the time. The Harvard MBA and University of Pennsylvania graduate landed at Bridgewater following the loss in what was strong year for Republicans elsewhere.
Prior to 2008, when Himes upset longtime GOP incumbent Christopher Shays, Republicans controlled the seat for 40 years. The 4th District is comprised of 17 cities in towns in Fairfield County and a sliver of New Haven County.
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