Christine Stuart file photo
Lee Whitnum, the former U.S. Senate candidate who once called U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy a “whore” during a televised debate, announced she’s seeking the Democratic nomination for governor on her website.

Whitnum, who once sued Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for defamation, is the only Democrat so far to announce her intention to run for the governor’s office, although Malloy is widely expected to seek re-election this year. A spokesman for the state Democratic Party declined to comment on Whitnum’s entry into the race.

In a statement on her website, Whitnum said she would seek judicial reforms if elected governor.

“My simple plan to empower the people will give average folks the right to fire dishonest and corrupt judges who push the boundaries of ‘judicial discretion,’” she said. “Like you, I want fairness in the court system. Unfortunately, there are few checks and balances. My simple plan will empower the people and ‘retire’ those judges who have pushed their power too far.”

Malloy filed a civil protective order against Whitnum in 2012 so he wouldn’t have to respond to every discovery request made in relation to her defamation complaint.

The judge eventually tossed Whitnum’s lawsuit on March 19, 2012 deciding effectively that there was no suit because Whitnum missed the deadline to file an amended complaint.

About a month after the lawsuit was dismissed and days after she called Murphy a “whore” Malloy said that Whitnum was the “fringe of the fringe.”

“She has almost no support if any. She has not run a real campaign as measured by the other primary candidates performances,” Malloy has said of her U.S. Senate campaign in 2012.

“By any objective test, she shouldn’t be included and now she’s confirmed why she shouldn’t be included,” in the televised debates, Malloy added.

In 2010, Whitnum, a U.S. Senate candidate, showed up at the wrong nominating convention. Instead of attending the Democratic nominating convention at the CT Expo Center, Whitnum showed up at the Republican nominating convention at the Connecticut Convention Center.

She asked Democratic delegates for a re-do and when they said that wasn’t possible she went forward as an independent candidate.