U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. Christine Stuart photo
U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman announced he will petition to run as an independent candidate should he fail to receive enough votes in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary where he will run against his challenger, Ned Lamont. As the margin of Democratic support wanes for Lieberman, he has continually been asked by the media if he will run as an independent. Today, on the steps of the Capitol in Hartford he told the local media they won’t have to ask that question anymore. “While I believe I will win the primary Aug. 8 I know there are no guarantees in elections,” Lieberman said. “No one really knows how many Democrats will come out to vote,” he said referring to the earlier than usual primary schedule in the state.
He said if he runs as an independent, he would still retain his party affiliation and still be a member of the Senate Democrat caucus in Washington DC. Lieberman will have about a month to collect 7,500 signatures of registered voters. The deadline for the signatures to be handed in is Aug. 9, the day following the primary. Lieberman said he got the message about the petitions out “quickly and early”, but for the local media who have hounded him over the issue for about two months now today’s announcement seemed like an eternity. It also came as a slap in the face, since Lieberman told The Cook Report, a national newsletter, more than a week ago that he would run as an independent. On a WTIC “Afternoons with Bruce and Colin” Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Lieberman’s campaign has not requested the forms it needs to collect the signatures, but anticipated they would visit her within the next week. While voter turnout in primary’s is traditionally low, Bysiewicz predicted that it may be up slightly this year because the Democratic ballot will include both the U.S. Senate race between Lamont and Lieberman and a hotly contested race for governor. Bysiewicz estimated that there are about 700,000 registered Democrats, 500,000 registered Republicans, and about 900,000 unaffiliated voters in the state. All 900,000 unaffiliated voters have until Aug. 7 to register with a party, according to Dan Tapper, Bysiewicz’s spokesman. Click here to read Lamont’s reaction. Christine Stuart photo