It was his opposition to the war in Iraq that inspired Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont to challenge Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. But for Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger, it was the economy. Schlesinger, a former six-term state representative and two-term Derby mayor, told a gaggle of reporters Monday, April 17, that the U.S. economy is heading for a “train wreck.” He said social security, Medicare, and national debt are all things that have to be handled “now before it’s too late.” Schlesinger was announcing his campaign at the state Capitol.“Babyboomers and the elderly, especially cannot risk another day, much less another term, of no-do economics,” he said. “Years of abuse and neglect by our national officials now demand immediate solutions if we are to save our futures from these emptied promises.“On the war in Iraq he diverges somewhat from the Republican administration in that he says he would like to see 50 percent of the U.S. troops pulled out and replaced by Iraqi police in the 12 months following the election this November.

But Schlesinger will face his own challenge for his party’s nomination. He will compete against Paul Streitz, a Darien resident, who is the co-founder of Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control. Streitz’s anti-immigration stance is central to his campaign.  In response to Streitz’s enthusiasm over the issue, Schlesinger said he advocates a seasonal employee visa that mandates workers return to their country for several months each year. He said this is “a way of stemming the tide of illegal immigration into our country.” In addition, his plan also would mandate English proficiency within five years.