Alan Schlesinger (born 1960) is an attorney, former Derby, Connecticut mayor, former Connecticut State Representative, and three-time unsuccessful Congressional candidate who received the Republican nomination in the Connecticut 2006 United States Senate election.
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, until being defeated for re-election in 1992. He was then elected as Mayor of Derby and served in that capacity from 1994 until after his defeat for re-election in 1997. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Congressional nomination from the Fifth District three times: in 1984 (defeated by then State Rep. John G. Rowland), 1990 (defeated by then Waterbury Alderman Gary Franks) and 1998 (defeated by then State Sen. Mark Nielsen). 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
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. . 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.  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."
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.
In 2013, Schlesinger announced his candidacy for Congress in Florida's 18th Congressional district, centered around Palm Beach. The incumbent is Patrick Murphy (D-Fl.)
- "Bush will not endorse Republican opposing Lieberman". (August 15, 2006). Reuters
- Connecticut Conservative Interview with Schlesinger
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|Republican nominee for United States Senator from Connecticut