Joe brings up the rear

When prominent Connecticut Democrats marched with Senate candidate Ned Lamont in the annual Newtown Labor Day parade, one prominent Democrat wasn’t with them.

Sen. Joe Lieberman was farther back in the parade lineup Monday, even farther back than the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger. Now an independent candidate for re-election, the three-term incumbent marched several blocks behind with a group of campaign volunteers, a gap that symbolized Lieberman’s split with the party stalwarts who once supported him.

Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice president just six years ago, launched an independent campaign in an attempt to save his Senate seat after losing to Lamont in last month’s primary.

Lamont was the Democratic candidate officially invited to march in the Newtown parade, one of the state’s biggest events kicking off the traditional campaign season.

Parade organizers had invited Lieberman to march with the town’s Democrats when they sent out form letters to sitting office holders and candidates. Party members there, learning of the mistake, later rescinded the offer in favor of Lamont.

There were no boos from the crowd for either Lieberman or Lamont, and supporters for each cheered as their candidate passed.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press