By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press

STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays is taking aim at Linda McMahon’s experience as a wrestling executive, likening her to Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy Enterprises.

The pair faced off Thursday in their first debate since the state Republicans endorsed McMahon as their candidate for the U.S. Senate. Shays has garnered enough support to secure a spot in the Aug. 14 GOP primary.

Shays launched several harsh criticisms of McMahon’s WWE, formerly known as World Wrestling Entertainment, accusing her company of waging a war on women. He ticked off several now infamous WWE scenes, including one involving a woman forced to strip and bark like a dog.

McMahon didn’t directly address Shays’ criticisms, but said she was proud of the company she helped build.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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