Joseph Lieberman
Manuel Balce Ceneta  /  AP
Sen. Joe Lieberman, who lost his Democratic primary race, has now had enough petition signatures approved to run for his same senatorial seat, as a candidate for his own independent party this fall.
updated 8/23/2006 5:50:03 PM ET 2006-08-23T21:50:03

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has gathered more than the 7,500 signatures needed to secure a spot on the November ballot with a new party, the secretary of the state said Tuesday.

The certification means that Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000 and a presidential candidate in 2004, will run for re-election as part of the Connecticut for Lieberman party against Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger.

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Lieberman had 7,700 validated signatures. The campaign collected more than 18,500 signatures, but Bysiewicz's office stopped counting when employees determined Lieberman had enough names.

New party created
"We are happy to have cleared this hurdle, so we can focus on bringing people together in Connecticut for a new politics of unity and purpose," said Dan Gerstein, Lieberman's campaign spokesman.

Lieberman lost the Aug. 8 primary to Lamont, a Greenwich businessman who criticized Lieberman for supporting the Iraq war and for being too close to Republicans and President Bush. Lamont's 10,000-vote victory was seen as a referendum on an unpopular war and political pundits say it could have national implications.

The day after the primary, Lieberman submitted petitions to create his own political party and appear on the ballot. All of the signatures had to be verified with clerks in the cities and towns where they were gathered.

Creating a new party allows Lieberman to secure a position higher on the ballot than running as an independent, but he says he would still vote with Democrats if re-elected.

An American Research Group poll Tuesday showed Lieberman and Lamont about even among likely voters, with Lieberman receiving 44 percent of the vote, Lamont 42 percent and Schlesinger 3 percent. Last week's Quinnipiac University poll showed Lieberman leading Lamont by 12 percentage points among likely voters.

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