After expressing interest in the seat for months, former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty formally announced her intention to run for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy’s Congressional seat Monday.

Murphy announced earlier this year that he will run for U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat. Lieberman is retiring.

“I have decided to officially jump into the race,” Esty said. “It’s important that Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District send someone to Washington who will fight tirelessly and effectively to bring good-paying jobs back to our state. I commit to work with members of both parties to lay the foundation for a strong economy, ensure that we have jobs for our children, and restore prosperity to the middle class.”

In a press release, Esty, a Democrat from Cheshire, touted her ability to get elected in a Republican district both at the local and state level. She lost her 2010 re-election bid to Rep. Al Adinolfi, but she held the seat for one term.

“As a state representative on the Appropriations Committee, Esty helped fashion a centrist budget that addressed both short-term deficits as well as long-term structural issues,” Esty’s campaign wrote in the press release.

“The most important thing the government can do to help create jobs is to ensure that its own fiscal house is in order, and on that, my record is unmatched in this election,” Esty said.

A long-time advocate for creating green and clean tech jobs here in America, Esty will make seeking innovative ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil a top priority.

Energy policy seems to run in the Esty family. Elizabeth is married to the newly appointed Department of Environmental Protection Commission Daniel C. Esty.

“We need to elect someone who not only understands the complicated issues facing our country at this critical time, but also someone who has a grasp of the needs of our diverse district and how those national issues affect us specifically,” Esty said.

Esty, a lawyer, stay-at-home mom, and PTA member, has been a resident of Cheshire for the past 17 years.

Several Republicans including Justin Bernier, Mark Greenberg, and Mike Clark have been lining up run for the seat. And on the Democratic side House Speaker Chris Donovan of Meriden has expressed interest in the seat, but has yet to announce his candidacy.

Some sources have said the loss of former Sen. Thomas Gaffey’s seat to Sen. Len Suzio, who associates himself with the Tea Party, may have slowed the entrance of Democrats to the race.

Former Meriden school teacher Thomas Bruenn, a Democrat, lost to Suzio in the biggest upset of the February special election. Meriden voted for Murphy by large margins in 2010, but the district as a whole which includes Litchfield, Soutbury, and and Wolcott remained in Republican hands for four years following the redistricting process of 2002.

The redistricting process has just gotten underway so it’s unclear what the district will look like when they’re done. Click here for an analysis by Susan Bigelow.