There was one Democratic party leader missing from Wednesday’s unity rally in Hartford where local and national elected officials pledged their support to challenger Ned Lamont who defeated U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman in Tuesday’s primary. Speaker of the House James Amann, D-Milford, was MIA Wednesday. He said Thursday that he considers Lieberman a friend and doesn’t want to make up his mind before he talks to the senator. “I need to talk to Joe one-on-one,” Amann said following a press conference on energy today. “I haven’t had a chance to do that and until I do, I’m not commenting publicly,” on the race.
Amann’s Democratic colleagues, including Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, and other party leaders all announced their support for Lamont Wednesday. That also includes former President Bill Clinton, who had campaigned for Lieberman in Connecticut.In his defiant concession speech Tuesday Lieberman promised to run as an petitioning candidate with the Connecticut for Lieberman party. So why would Amann hesitate?Amann said Lieberman flew in from Washington D.C. to shoot a 30-second campaign ad years ago during one of his first races, which he won by 49 votes. “I consider him a friend,” he said. Amann expects to reveal his loyalty in the Senate race as early as Friday or as late as Monday. The question for Amann will become does Amann have enough support himself from the Democratic party to support Lieberman’s third-party run. What do Amann and Lieberman have in common? According to Project Vote Smart they were both given A+ National Rifle Association ratings, they both supported labor about 80 percent of the time, they were both endorsed by the business lobby, Lieberman by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Amann by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. Click here to see Amann’s interest group ratings and here to see Lieberman’s. As far as the gubernatorial candidates, Amann said he called New Haven Mayor John DeStefano to congratulate him and offer his support. Amann said DeStefano appreciated the phone call. Amann had supported the other candidate, Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, who lost his bid to challenge Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell by about 1.5 percent of the vote Tuesday. On Wednesday at the unity rally DeStefano said, “Dan and I have campaigned for two and a half years and we share a set of values.” Today, DeStefano appeared with the endorsed lieutenant governor candidate Mary Glassman, formerly Malloy’s running mate who beat West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka, formerly DeStefano’s running mate, to create a mismatched pair.“Dan was right when he said last night that no one lost” DeStefano said in a press release Wednesday.