HARTFORD - (AP) - Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon fended off a late challenge from former Congressman Rob Simmonsto win the Republican endorsement for Connecticut's U.S. Senateseat.

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McMahon defeated both Simmons and Weston financialexpert Peter Schiff in the GOP primary yesterday.

Simmons had led the race back when U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd wasstill planning to seek re-election. He suspended his campaign inMay after losing the party's endorsement to McMahon, then restartedhis efforts in recent weeks with TV ads reminding voters his namewas still on the ballot.

But McMahon, who spent more than $20 million of her own money onthe primary race, largely ignored his re-entry. She now facesDemocratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in November.

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