One year ago today, all the world watched as the results of the Democratic primary between U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman and Ned Lamont rolled in.
A palpable sense that change is possible in America rang out in a Meriden hotel ballroom as a confetti- draped Lamont proclaimed victory. At Lieberman headquarters in Hartford it seemed at times that the media outnumbered the campaign staff and supporters, who returned from the polls apprehensive about what would happen.
Today, Lamont re-launched his web site with great enthusiasm from local blogs. Bloggers waxed nostalgic about the primary victory and wondered if those who propelled Lieberman back into office in the general election regretted their votes.
Connecticut bloggers are unique in that they stayed involved in politics, even when there was no Congressional candidate, like Lamont, to rally behind. And they seem poised to relive the Lamont-Lieberman battle through their coverage of local mayoral races.
Hartford’s mayoral race has all the ingredients for a Lamont-Lieberman rematch.
A bunch of Democratic Hartford politicos like City Council Majority Leader rJo Winch and her mother, Prenzina Holloway, maintained their support for Lieberman even after his defeat in the Democratic primary. Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez said he supported the Democratic nominee after the primary, but the photo of Perez smiling and clapping with Lieberman’s son after Lieberman lost the primary in August makes it hard to believe. Not to mention, Lieberman’s campaign manager, Sherry Brown is the mother-in-law of Perez’s Chief of Staff Matt Hennesy.
Perez has hired two former Lieberman staffers to run his re-election campaign against more than a handful of candidates seeking to unseat him.
According to campaign records, Perez 07 has paid former Lieberman staffers, Dan Gerstein and Ken Curran more than $20,000 each, since April. Curran is Perez’s campaign manager and Gerstein is listed as a consultant.
Lamont has also thrown his hat into the Hartford political arena by donating to two mayoral candidates running against Perez. According to records, Lamont has given $250 to Thirman Milner, who has decided to forego the Democratic primary on Sept. 11 and run as an Independent in the general election, and $250 to state Rep. Art Feltman, who has petitioned to get on the Novemeber ballot, in case he loses the Sept. primary.
Like his challengers, Perez will petition to get on the ballot in November.
Two more Democratic mayoral candidates, I. Charles Mathews and state Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, will petition to get on the November ballot.