Matt Lieberman, the son of former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, has announced that he’s running for U.S. Senate in Georgia.
Lieberman is the first Democrat to announce his bid for the open seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).
“I am running because I am fed up with the do-nothing politicians who care more about getting reelected than governing. The people of Georgia deserve representatives that will fight the NRA, stand up for reproductive rights, and support policies to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health care,” said Lieberman, an entrepreneur.
Lieberman announced his campaign with a video featuring his two daughters, whom he raised as a single father.
In his Senate announcement video, Lieberman says he will refuse corporate PAC money and focus on protecting voting rights and reproductive rights.
Lieberman, despite his father’s career, is a newcomer to politics and has yet to receive any sort of establishment backing.
“Over weeks of conversations and meetings with Georgia Democrats about this race, his name hasn’t come up and this remains an open field as others consider running,” said a Democratic operative familiar with Georgia.
Lieberman’s entrance into the race without the full backing of Democratic leaders means the party will likely run multiple candidates for the seat, hurting their chances of winning. In a special election in Georgia, candidates from all parties run on a single ballot on Election Day. If no candidate hits 50 percent, the top two candidates advance to a runoff scheduled for Jan. 5, 2021. Democrats had hoped to unite behind a single candidate, increasing their chances of winning outright on Election Day 2020.
Other potential candidates for the seat include Ed Tarver, a military veteran and former state senator who was the first Black U.S. attorney in Georgia’s Southern District. Tarver flew to Washington to meet with Democratic leaders last month, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Other potential candidates include Michelle Nunn, a nonprofit leader who is the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn and was the party’s 2014 nominee; and two officials from populous DeKalb County outside of Atlanta, County Executive Mike Thurmond and District Attorney Sherry Boston.
Joe Lieberman was a member of the Democratic Party and Al Gore’s vice presidential nominee in 2000. But Lieberman fell out of favor with many liberals in the party for his moderate and conservative positions.
In 2006, he lost the Democratic primary for his Senate reelection bid. He instead ran ― and won ― as a third-party candidate in the general election. In 2008, Lieberman endorsed Republican John McCain for president.
Isakson announced his retirement in August, adding political drama to the state where Sen. David Perdue (R) is also up for reelection in 2020. There are already about half a dozen Democrats challenging Perdue.