Remember when George Gallo hinted that there may be a serious GOP contender for Joe Lieberman's Senate seat coming out of Fairfield County? Do you think he meant Alan Schlesinger?
Though he has not officially announced his candidacy, Schlesinger, [Derby's] former mayor and a state representative from 1981 to 1993, is angling for this year's Republican nomination.
With Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman facing a primary from Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman, and Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell's high approval ratings, Schlesinger said the time is right for a challenge.
"This is the chance of a lifetime," Schlesinger said Wednesday.
"I think Alan's got all of the qualifications we look for. He has both legislative and executive experience," said George D. Gallo, chairman of the state Republican Party. (Higbee)
What about name recognition? A current position in politics? A vast personal fortune? A chance? Naturally, no one with a current career is going to risk it running against Lieberman, although if Lamont's prospects start to look good...
But unless Lieberman loses [the Democratic primary], significant support from the national Republican Party would be unlikely, Gallo said. "If Lieberman re-energizes his base, it will be an uphill battle for any Republican candidate," Gallo said. "But if Lamont pulls off the upset, then it's off to the races." (Higbee)
To be fair, Gallo is being realistic about his party's chances to regain that Senate seat, lost in 1988. There is exactly one high profile, popular Republican in Connecticut right now, and she's running for another office. The GOP bench is short, and their resources (and popularity) limited. Schlesinger, whose signature issue seems to be social security reform, is credible enough to be able to jump in, should Lieberman lose, but not important enough to hurt the party if he himself is badly defeated.
Another possible Republican candidate, according to the article, is Paul Streitz of Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control. I wouldn't, were I the Republicans. Not unless they get desperate. Well, more desperate.
Chris Shays's idea of endorsing Lieberman may start to look good, after a while. Maybe Chairman Gallo should give it another thought.
Higbee, Matthew. "Schlesinger sets sights on U.S. Senate." Connecticut Post 16 March, 2006.