Lieberman May Endorse Republican Shays to Replace Him

Monday, 19 Sep 2011 08:34 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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Retiring U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman might endorse a longtime friend and Republican, former Rep. Chris Shays, in the race to replace him next year, according to The Hill.

Lieberman, of Connecticut, was a Democrat but became an independent after he lost the state’s Senate Democratic primary to Ned Lamont in 2006. He defeated Lamont in the general election to hold his seat.

Lieberman, who still caucuses with the Democrats, is expected to decide next year whom he will endorse in the contest to replace him.

“I’m totally open on it,” Lieberman told The Hill. “I’m approaching it as an independent and will support whoever, at the end when a candidate is nominated, would be best for the state.

“It’s no secret, I’m proud to say, that Chris and I have been personal friends for a long time and we’ve always worked very well together,” Lieberman added. “I’m glad he’s in the race. I think he’ll make a real contribution as a candidate.”

Lieberman and Shays have known each other for more than 35 years, and Lieberman’s mother has been a strong Shays supporter.

Shays told The Hill that he would be thrilled to have the endorsement of his old friend.

“We go back a long way, that’s for sure,” Shays said. “Joe’s going to make up his mind.”

“Obviously I’d love his support. That’s a decision he will make sometime next year,” he said.

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