05/21/2012 02:52 pm ET Updated May 21, 2012

Linda McMahon, Former Wrestling Executive, Says Rival Should Drop Out For GOP Unity

Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon says her Republican rival, former congressman Chris Shays, should quit the race so that the GOP can unify against Democrats ahead of the November election to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

“I respect Congressman Chris Shays and the many years he has served our state,” McMahon wrote in a recent campaign email. “I hope the congressman will reflect on last night's results and work to unify the party, so we can come together to defeat Chris Murphy in November."

The statement comes after McMahon won more than 60 percent of delegates at Friday's Republican state convention, garnering 730 votes to Shays' 389.

All candidates “are excellent leaders who love their state and they love their country," McMahon said on Friday, according to the New Haven Register, "but now is the time for us to unite and push forward."

Shays is moving forward with the paperwork necessary to challenge McMahon in Connecticut's Republican Senate primary, according to the Associated Press.

The Democratic Party has endorsed Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). While recent polling shows that McMahon is expected to win the Republican primary, Shays may have the upper hand in a matchup with Murphy.

The Republican primary will be held on August 14.

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