State Rep. Diana Urban, R-North StoningtonWith less than five months left until election day, state Rep. Diana Urban, R-North Stonington, will attempt to petition her way into the U.S. Senate race by collecting 7,500 signatures by Aug. 9. A later comer to the race, Urban will attempt to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, who will run as an independent candidate if he loses the primary Aug. 8 to his Democratic challenger Ned Lamont. If Urban makes it onto the ballot she will also have to challenge her own party’s endorsed candidate Alan Schlesinger, whose candidacy has recently been plagued by news of his gambling habits.
For those who don’t know Urban, she’s a self-proclaimed progressive Republican along the lines of Roosevelt, who doesn’t often tow the party line. This Tuesday during an interview at the Legislative Office Building cafeteria the Republican with an eye on the environment, global warming, and education rhetorically asked why all those things are not Republican issues. Urban who is running unopposed for her state legislative seat said she wants to continue to serve the public if she loses her bid to get on the ballot or win the U.S. Senate seat. Why is she running for U.S. Senate?“If not now, then when and if not me, then who,” will stand up for Connecticut in Washington DC, Urban said. An anti-war candidate, Urban, said, 70 percent of Lieberman’s constituency doesn’t agree with him on the war and Lamont, the anti-war Democrat challenging him “doesn’t have a record of any substance.” But it’s not all about the War in Iraq. She said she’s concerned about the economy, global warming, and education. “And I have a legislative record to back up those concerns,” she said. An economist, Urban said she’d like to see some consistency in Washington DC when it comes to the economy. She said the United States can’t expect to grow the economy when it tells 120,000 high school graduates they won’t be able to go onto college because there isn’t enough money to help them get there. She said that kind of thinking is inconsistent with a desire to build a robust economy. She said she is a firm believer in a “back and fill” economic strategy which promotes small business and micro enterprise. She said the subsidies given to big businesses is a practice that needs to stop. Urban said she was asked by the fourth-graders at Deans Mills School what she would do if her constituents were divided on an issue. She said she would “go to my core values and hope those values are why my constituency elected me.“She said she bumped into a fourth-grader from that same school a few weeks later in a store. The fourth-grader whispered to her mother, “That’s Diana Urban.” According to Urban, the mother said her daughter has done nothing but talk about how a woman can run for office since Urban visited their class. And “If that’s all I do is inspire little Meg, then that’s okay with me,” Urban said Tuesday. Urban, single-mom, said she is running for U.S. Senate for children like Meg, her 24-year-old son Lex, and others in their generation, who will undoubtedly inherit an economic recession based on the poor choices of the current administration under President George W. Bush. “I always wanted to represent and serve more people,” Urban said. Already her grassroots effort has helped her collect over 3,500 signatures. She said if she doesn’t gather enough signatures she will drop her bid for the Senate.