Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lieberman No Longer A Democrat

Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman narrowly lost a Democratic Party showdown to a relative unknown on Tuesday, sinking under a tide of voter anger over his support for the war in Iraq and President George W. Bush. Six years after he was the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Lieberman fell in a tight Senate primary battle to wealthy businessman Ned Lamont, who had called him a cheerleader for Bush and urged voters to send an anti-war message to the country. Lamont, whose last try for office was an unsuccessful 1990 run for the state Senate, led Lieberman 52-48 percent in unofficial but nearly complete returns. Lieberman conceded but said he would file petitions on Wednesday to run as an independent in November."If you're fed up with the nasty partisanship in Washington, then I ask your help," Lieberman told cheering supporters at a downtown Hartford hotel. Lamont's outsider bid to unseat the three-term senator in Democratic-leaning Connecticut offered a measure of anti-war sentiment among voters before the election in November, when control of Congress will be up for grabs. Lamont will be the Democratic Senate nominee in November against Republican Alan Schlesinger, a former state legislator who is seen as little threat in Connecticut. To run as an independent, Lieberman must file petitions with 7,500 valid signatures with the Connecticut Secretary of State by the end of the day on Wednesday.