WWE CEO Linda McMahon challenges Chris Dodd to a Senate smackdown

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., the sports entertainment company behind shows such as "Friday Night Smackdown!," said Wednesday that Linda McMahon has resigned as its CEO to seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd.

McMahon's husband, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, will assume her duties as chief executive, the company said in a statement.

Linda McMahon, 60, formally announced her candidacy Wednesday morning. She said Washington is "out of control" and Dodd has "lost his way and our trust."

McMahon is up against three other Republicans in the primary: former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, state Sen. Sam Caligiuri and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley.

Dodd plans to run for a sixth term next year.

Linda and Vince McMahon, a professional wrestler, announcer and promoter, co-founded WWE. Linda McMahon has served as CEO since May 1997 and was the company's president from May 1993 through June 2000. Vince McMahon has been chairman since 1980.

Vince McMahon has been the face of the company for many years, playing the arrogant "Mr. McMahon" character on the WWE's various TV and pay-per-view shows. Linda McMahon has occasionally taken part in storylines too but for the most part has stayed behind the scenes. She also serves on state Board of Education in Connecticut.

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