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Upstart Senate candidate Lamont launces bid for governor

January 17, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Businessman and one-time Senate candidate Ned Lamont launched another bid for the Democratic nomination for governor of Connecticut on Wednesday, expressing frustration over the state’s continuing budget crises.

The 2006 upstart U.S. Senate candidate from Greenwich said he will file paperwork to form a candidate committee, joining a crowded field of more than two dozen Democrats, Republicans and others who either have declared their candidacies or are exploring possible runs.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is not seeking a third term.

“I’ve been following the state really closely,” said Lamont, who lost to Malloy in the 2010 Democratic primary for governor. “It’s frustrating as heck, sitting there in your office, watching this budget crisis.”

The 64-year-old Lamont is founder of Lamont Digital Systems, which provides cable TV service to college students. In an interview with The Associated Press, Lamont said he sold the company several years ago and has since been focusing his time on teaching political science and public policy classes at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. He said he has also held seminars at Yale University, where he attempts to get business and labor leaders to focus on long-term solutions for the state, which has faced consecutive years of budget deficits.

Lamont said he wants to improve the economy, raise the minimum wage, establish paid family leave and implement modern highway tolling.

“I can’t promise you we turn this ship of state around in four years, but I promise you we’ll start,” he said.

The wealthy businessman is best known for defeating U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic primary, a race that attracted national attention and focused heavily on the war in Iraq. Lamont opposed it while Lieberman was a supporter. Lieberman later won the general election as an independent.

Lamont spent nearly $17 million of his own money on the 2006 Senate race. He said Wednesday he will not participate in Connecticut’s public campaign funding system in this year’s governor’s race, although he supports the program. Rather, he said he plans to raise small contributions.

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