03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Lamont Running For Governor Rather Than Re-Challenge Lieberman

Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Democrat who nearly took out Sen. Joseph Lieberman in the 2006 elections, is planning a run for the state's governor's chair in 2010.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Lamont said that his background in business and his concern over the state's budgetary crisis had compelled him to take another crack at elective office.

"This is a state that has been falling behind its peers for a long time," he said. "We are a beautiful state with a lot of advantages but we are old and getting older. The recruiters say we are old and cold and jobs are going to places like Georgia... You can't just sit on the sidelines and watch that happen."

Early on Tuesday, Lamont announced that he was setting up an exploratory committee to begin raising funds for a potential run. The decision to launch an official campaign -- confidants say and Lamont admits -- has basically been made.

"The exploratory committee is supposed to be a little bit ambiguous about running for office but I've always been a chief executive," he said. "I've run a company and I think Connecticut is a state that needs a chief executive."

By announcing his attentions for 2010, Lamont catapults himself to the top of a list of Connecticut Democrats who seem poised to run for the seat -- a list that includes Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy.

It also means that Lamont likely won't be in position to stage a re-match against Lieberman when the now Independent senator is goes for re-election in 2012.

"Senator Lieberman is going to be right where he is for the next year," Lamont said. "Connecticut can't wait."

"I'm sure that Senator Lieberman will have big bold challenger in the next few years," he added. "But I've always been an executive and I've felt that the state is in a position where it needs strong leadership."

Connecticut's current governor, Jodi Rell, a moderate Republican, has not stated her intentions about re-election. Nor has she embarked on any public campaigning or fundraising -- making the traditionally Democratic state a target for party pickup.

"Lamont wants to get something done," said a close confidant. "He's a business guy, wants accomplishments, and isn't interesting in sitting back and waiting on what happens. There is lot of problems in Connecticut... he had lots of people from Connecticut saying we don't want you to wait to re-challenge Lieberman. We want you to run for governor."

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