Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont said Wednesday he's prepared to dump more money, possibly $1 million more, into his Democratic primary battle against U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman.
Lamont, in an interview with The Associated Press, wouldn't say how much he plans to spend between now and the Aug. 8 primary. The multimillionaire, who founded a cable television company, has already spent more than $1.5 million on his campaign.
"It depends. Let's see what happens over the course of the next 30 days," Lamont said. "If the senator says, 'I'm going to put up a million dollars on TV and start hammering Ned Lamont and where he's from,' then, I'll have to match that."
Lamont's family fortune stands somewhere between $90 million and $300 million, according to his campaign manager, Tom Swan.
Lieberman, who is running for a fourth-term, is facing a primary battle for the first time in his Senate career. Just six years after being his party's nominee for the vice presidency, Lieberman has fallen into disfavor by some Democrats for supporting the Iraq war and his perceived closeness to President Bush.
Lamont, a former Greenwich selectman and newcomer to state politics, has gained in statewide polls by accusing Lieberman of being a Republican lapdog who has strayed from his Democratic roots.
Big money race
Lieberman, 64, referred to Lamont's wealth Monday when he announced plans to begin collecting 7,500 signatures to petition his way onto the November ballot as an independent should he lose the primary.
"What if my opponent, who says he is worth somewhere between $90 million and $300 million, decides to write bigger and bigger checks in the last weeks of the campaign?" he asked.
Lamont said he's willing to cap how much is spent on the campaign so long as Lieberman agrees to do the same.
"If the senator wants to cap spending at some dollar amount, give me a call, I'm all ears," he said.
Lieberman's campaign has amassed $6 million as of May, according to the Federal Election Commission. Revised figures are expected in the coming days.
Quinnipiac University polls show Lamont's support among registered Democrats increasing from 19 percent in May to 32 percent in June. Lieberman's support in the same period fell from 65 percent to 57 percent.
Lamont, 52, in May won enough support at the Democratic Party convention to force the primary.