Thursday, 11 February 2016
Last updated 21 hours ago
Sep 5 2013 | 11:44am ET
Bridgewater Associates executive Dan Debicella has left the hedge fund to mount a second bid for Congress.
Debicella, a Republican, said he would challenge Rep. Jim Himes, the three-term Democratic incumbent, for the seat representing southwestern Connecticut's 4th Congressional District, which includes most of the state's financial and hedge-fund centers. Debicella faced off against Himes for the same post in 2010, losing 53% to 47%.
Himes, a former Goldman Sachs banker and a resident of Greenwich, was reelected last year with nearly 60% of the vote. He also serves as national finance chairman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Debicella was a Connecticut state senator before his unsuccessful race against Himes.
Debicella explained his decision to give up a lucrative paycheck for a difficult political race in increasingly Democratic Connecticut to Hearst Connecticut Newspapers.
"The reason I'm doing this is my family lived the American dream, and that dream is being threatened by Washington and entrenched politicians like Jim Himes," the new father said.
In his 2010 run, Debicella attacked Himes' support for the Dodd-Frank financial regulation reform. Now, in something of a turnaround, he is criticizing the congressman for being too close to Wall Street, blasting Himes' work relaxing swap rules.
"Jim basically sat down with Citigroup and had them write 70 our of 80 lines of the amendment," Debicella said. "Strangely enough, Citigroup is the top contributor to Himes' campaign."
Debicella also moved to avoid similar accusations against himself.
"I'm not running to be congressman of Bridgewater," he said. But he also weighed in—gingerly—on his former employer's controversial plans to build a new headquarters in Stamford—with $100 million in taxpayer incentives.
"I think it's good for Fairfield County to have Bridgewater here, no matter where it is," he said.