Alan Schlesinger

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Alan Schlesinger
AlanSchlesinger2006.jpg
Schlesinger after a U.S. Senate debate on October 18, 2006.
Mayor of Derby, Connecticut
In office
January 3, 1994 – January 1, 1998
Succeeded by Marc J. Garofalo
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
from the 114 district
In office
January, 1981 – January, 1993
Succeeded by Ellen Scalettar
Personal details
Born (1958-01-04) January 4, 1958 (age 56)
Political party Republican
Education Wharton School of Finance (U Penn) B.S. Economics 1979, University of Connecticut School of Law JD 1987
Profession Attorney

Alan Schlesinger (born January 4, 1958[1]) is an American attorney, entrepreneur, politician and member of the Republican Party from the State of Florida. He has previously served as the Mayor of Derby, Connecticut from 1994 to 1998 and as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1981 to 1993. He ran three unsuccessful campaigns for the Republican nomination in Connecticut's 5th congressional district: in 1984, 1990 and 1998. He was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2006, finishing third with 9.6%, behind incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman, who won with 49.7% and Democrat Ned Lamont, who took 39.7%. After his defeat, Schlesinger moved to Florida and considered running for Congress from there in 2008 and 2010. In 2013, he announced that he was running in Florida's 18th congressional district, in the 2014 elections. In 2014, he finished in second place for the Republican nomination behind Carl J. Domino.

Early career[edit]

After graduating from Amity Regional High School (which serves Orange, Woodbridge, and Bethany), Schlesinger earned a bachelor's degree from the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania in Economics, and later a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He then entered private law practice, starting the law firm of Schlesinger and Barbara in Shelton. From 1979-1981, he was a member of the Board of Selectmen of Orange before his election as a State Representative. He would serve six terms in the Connecticut General Assembly, he chose not to run for re-election in 1992 and was succeeded by Democrat Ellen Scalettar.[2] He was then elected as Mayor of Derby and served in that capacity from 1994 until 1998, when he chose not to run for re-election. He ran for incumbent Democratic Mayor Marc J. Garofalo in 1999, but was defeated.[3][4] He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Congressional nomination from the Fifth District three times: in 1984 (defeated by then State Rep. John G. Rowland),[1] 1990 (defeated by then Waterbury Alderman Gary Franks)[1] and 1998 (defeated by then State Senator Mark Nielsen).[1] Both Rowland and Franks went on to win election to the Congressional seat, and Nielsen became counsel to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney after two unsuccessful attempts to win the seat.

2006 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

In April 2006, Schlesinger announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Joe Lieberman, with a pledge to spend $500,000 of his personal funds on the campaign.

Schlesinger has received strong criticism for his gambling at Connecticut casinos under the alias "Alan Gold". He is accused of using the alias to avoid detection as a card counter, while Schlesinger maintains he only used the alias to protect his privacy as a public official. (Card counting is not an illegal activity, but many casinos exercise their right to remove card counters from their businesses.) Many contended that the scandal would jeopardize Schlesinger's Senate campaign, and fellow Republicans such as Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell suggested that he withdraw. [1]. State party chairman George Gallo said he felt Schlesinger "cleared the air" after he gave a press conference after the story broke, and said that he had not asked Schlesinger to step aside. [2] On July 21, the Hartford Courant reported Schlesinger had been sued twice by New Jersey casinos for gambling debts, but had settled out of court, paying back both debts with interest.

He supports a campaign program of immigration, tax, social security, Medicare, and spending reform. He is a self-described "moderate-conservative"; among other issue stances, he opposes affirmative action and amnesty for illegal immigrants, and, while he says he is otherwise pro-choice, supports mandatory parental notification before a minor can have an abortion. He says he can reach out to independents, as he did to win in Derby, a city where Republicans are outnumbered 4:1.

Throughout the campaign he was considered a longshot, and many Republicans declined to support him, turning instead to Lieberman. President George W. Bush declined to endorse Schlesinger's candidacy. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has said that the Connecticut Republican Party "has suggested that we not make an endorsement in that race and so we're not."[5]

Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman won the election, running as an Independent after losing the Democratic Party's nomination in an August primary, with 50 percent of the vote, defeating Democratic opponent Ned Lamont, who defeated Senator Lieberman in the primary, who took 40 percent, and Schlesinger who polled 10 percent, a number considered low but still impressive considering many did not anticipate Schlesinger to enter double-digit territory, which he very narrowly did. Upon his victory, Lieberman announced he would caucus with the Democratic majority in the Senate in the 110th United States Congress.

Move to Florida[edit]

After his defeat, Schlesinger became involved in Florida politics. He previously lived there part-time in Palm Beach County and moved there full-time.[6] He considered running for Florida's 22nd congressional district against Democratic incumbent Ron Klein in 2008 and for Florida's 19th congressional district in the 2010 special election to replace Democrat Robert Wexler, who had resigned, but ultimately did not run in either race.[7]

In 2013, Schlesinger announced his candidacy for Congress in Florida's 18th congressional district, centered around Palm Beach. The incumbent is Democrat Patrick Murphy.[8]

In an article published on August 4th, 2014 by George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post, Schlesinger claimed an internal poll conducted by Cherry Communications showed that 53% of potential voters in the Republican Primary were undecided at the time, so he decided to contribute $100,000 more to his campaign efforts. Schlesinger also said that the same poll showed Carl J. Domino remains the front-runner of the race but that he was in second place and the "only one that's within striking distance".[9]

The Republican Primary for the Florida's 18th congressional district currently featured four other candidates besides Domino and Schlesinger: Beverly Hires, Brian Lara, Calvin Turnquest and Nick Wukoson. [10] Schlesinger finished in second place in the August 26 primary with 24% of the vote, while Domingo won with 38%.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Elizabeth Hamilton (October 1, 2006). "A Long Shot Won't Give Up". The Courant. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ George Judson (November 5, 1992). "The 1992 Elections: Connecticut -- U.S. Senate Race; Victorious Dodd to Press for Campaign Limits". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Garofalo, Democrats Sweep Election". electronicvalley.org. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=690265
  5. ^ "Bush will not endorse Republican opposing Lieberman". (August 15, 2006). Reuters
  6. ^ Jack Furnari (April 10, 2014). "GOP boss to grass-roots Republicans: ‘Don’t get in the race’". Biz Pac. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ George Bennett (November 22, 2009). "Democratic Mayor Varela wins backing of GOP boss". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ http://courantblogs.com/capitol-watch/alan-schlesinger-runs-for-congress-in-florida/
  9. ^ http://postonpolitics.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2014/08/04/armed-with-poll-schlesinger-plans-to-pump-at-least-100000-more-into-gop-congressional-primary/"Armed with poll, Schlesinger plans to pump at least $100,000 more into GOP congressional primary"
  10. ^ http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/news/6-vie-to-be-republican-choice-facing-democrat-murp/ngsZs/#bff818b3.3592382.735449
  11. ^ "2014 Primary Election August 26, 2014 Official Results". Florida Division of Elections. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Philip Giordano
Republican nominee for United States Senator from Connecticut
(Class 1)

2006
Succeeded by
Linda McMahon