State GOP leaders have asked the Republican seeking to unseat U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman to reconsider his campaign because he used a fake name to gamble at a casino in the 1990s, a newspaper reported.

Alan Schlesinger acknowledged that he had used a bogus name to obtain a card that Foxwoods Resort Casino patrons can use to win rewards. Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Republican State Chairman George Gallo asked him to reconsider running, The Hartford Courant reported.

“I am not going to let this bother me,” Schlesinger said. “I am going to continue in the race.”

Rell was told by a former state police officer Wednesday that Schlesinger used the name Alan Gold to gamble and avoid detection as a card counter, someone who keeps track of cards as they are played to improve their odds of winning. Although card counting is not considered cheating, counters are often banned from casinos.

Schlesinger, a self-described recreational blackjack player, alleged that the former officer, Bradley Beecher, is disgruntled and that his credibility is questionable. He said he used the pseudonym at Foxwoods because he was a state legislator and the mayor of Derby and wanted privacy.

Gallo said he would meet with Schlesinger within the next day to discuss his campaign. The state GOP cannot strip Schlesinger of its nomination, only pressure him to quit. If he did withdraw, the Republican State Central Committee would fill the vacancy, Gallo said.

The Senate race is one of the most closely watched in the country. Three-term incumbent Joe Lieberman is facing a stiff challenge in the Democratic primary from Greenwich millionaire Ned Lamont. Lieberman said he will petition his way onto the November ballot as an independent should he lose the Aug. 8 primary.

© 2006 The Associated Press