Disclaimer: I have made no secret the amount of distaste with which I hold in regard to Joseph Isadore Lieberman so it should come as no surprise that I look forward to his replacement. Lieberman was a surprise (and disappointing) decision for Al Gore to pick as a running mate and I will always regard him as one of the reasons for Gore’s loss in 2000. Then Lieberman had the audacity to support John McCain in 2004. But even then I thought this was forgivable since they were friends and it looked as though McCain was going to be the Maverick he purported to be and not the weak tea he wound up being. But then Lieberman ran for President against the guy I happened to be campaigning for, President Obama. There are numerous other reasons that I will not be sad to see Joe Lieberman retire but suffice to say let’s forget all that and look at who might represent the good citizens of Connecticut in his stead.
As with the 2010 Senate race when Chris Dodd retired, Connecticut is expected to once again have another hot contest in 2012 for an open Senate seat. The race is shaping up to be a battle amongst patiently waiting Democrats but one Republican potential candidate has emerged.
David Walker (R), the former U.S. comptroller general and head of the Government Accountability Office, said on MSNBC recently that he’s considering a bid for the seat:
“People have been asking me to run for office for many years, and I’m thinking about it,” Walker told Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.”
“I don’t feel compelled to run but I’m considering it,” added Walker, who also previously served as president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
Other Republicans mentioned as possible candidates include former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons and former Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy (D), who represents the 5th Congressional District, is seriously considering running and has already reported raising more than $1 million towards that end as of March 31.
Another competitor for the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz (D), reported raising more than $500,000.
Linda McMahon, who could be a contender, drew a lot of attention in the race for Dodd’s seat in 2010 because of her business, World Wrestling Entertainment, but also for spending more than $50 million from her personal fortune in the primary and later in her general election campaign against former Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who ultimately won Dodd’s Senate seat.
When asked if she planned to run in 2012, McMahon said she was “considering a couple different directions” and would make a decision after Jan. 1. She has not returned to the WWE, where she was the CEO until 2009.
State Rep. William Tong, D-Stamford, who announced his candidacy May 8, said he has a compelling story to tell of being a son of Chinese immigrants with a Chinese restaurant in Hartford and who went on to become a successful lawyer and state legislator who won in a traditionally Republican district.
Connecticut isn’t expected to flip Republican but after what happened in Massachusetts with Scott Brown, who can tell? We will monitor this race and report on additions as election day draws nears.
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Here are the seats up for grabs:
- Retiring Democrats
- Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (I)
- Kent Conrad of North Dakota
- Jim Webb of Virginia
- Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico
- Retiring Republicans
- Democratic incumbents who may seek re-election:
- Dianne Feinstein of California
- Tom Carper of Delaware
- Bill Nelson of Florida
- Daniel Akaka of Hawaii
- Ben Cardin of Maryland
- Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
- Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
- Claire McCaskill of Missouri
- Jon Tester of Montana
- Ben Nelson of Nebraska
- Bob Menendez of New Jersey
- Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
- Sherrod Brown of Ohio
- Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania
- Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island
- Bernie Sanders of Vermont (I)
- Maria Cantwell of Washington
- Joe Manchin of West Virginia
- Herb Kohl of Wisconsin
- Republican incumbents who may seek re-election:
- Richard Lugar of Indiana
- Olympia Snowe of Maine
- Scott Brown of Massachusetts
- Roger Wicker of Mississippi
- John Ensign of Nevada
- Bob Corker of Tennessee
- Orrin Hatch of Utah
- John Barrasso of Wyoming
Feel free to throw your predictions into the ring, particularly if you live in any of these states.
- 2012 Connecticut Senate Race to Replace Lieberman Gears Up (Huffington Post)
- 3rd Conn. Democrat announces run for US Senate (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- William Tong Signals Intention To Run For Senate In Connecticut (huffingtonpost.com)