About Edward Miner "Ned" Lamont, Jr.
Edward Miner "Ned" Lamont, Jr. (born January 3, 1954) is founder and chairman of Lamont Digital Systems, which provides video and data services to hundreds of college campuses across the country, and in 2010 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2010 Democratic nomination for Governor of Connecticut. On May 22, 2010, Lamont received more than fifteen percent of the vote at the state Democratic convention, and appeared on the Democratic primary ballot in the August 10, 2010 race for governor. He lost the primary to Dannel Malloy.
Lamont was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in the Connecticut United States Senate election held on November 7, 2006. He faced incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman, who ran as the nominee of the Connecticut for Lieberman party, as well as Republican nominee Alan Schlesinger, in a three-way general election in November, having defeated Lieberman 51.8%-48.2% among the enrolled Democrats voting in a primary election on August 8, 2006. In the election, Lamont lost to Lieberman - Lieberman won 50% of the vote while Lamont won 40%, with 10% voting for Schlesinger and 0.5% voting for Green Party candidate Ralph Ferrucci.
He was a teaching Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, and is currently an adjunct faculty member of Central Connecticut State University where in December 2008 he was named by the Board of Trustees as Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Philosophy. He is also on the board of directors of Conservation Services Group, Mercy Corps and The Norman Rockwell Museum.
Lamont was born in Washington, D.C. to Camille Helene (née Buzby) and Edward Miner Lamont. He grew up in Syosset, New York, and is an heir to the fortune of his great-grandfather Thomas W. Lamont, who was a partner of the banking and finance firm J. P. Morgan & Co. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1972, Ned Lamont earned an A.B. from Harvard College in 1976, and an M.A. in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management in 1980. While at Phillips Exeter, Lamont was the president of the student newspaper, The Exonian. He began his career working for The Black River Tribune, a small newspaper in Ludlow, Vermont. He was an early producer for Vermont Public Radio.
Lamont then entered the cable television industry, managing the startup of Cablevision's operation in Fairfield County, Connecticut. In 1984, he founded, and is currently president and chairman of, Lamont Digital Systems, a builder and operator of advanced telecommunications networks for college campuses.
Before running for the U.S. Senate, Lamont was elected and served as selectman in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, for one term and three terms on the town finance board, chaired the state investment advisory council, which oversees the investment of the state pension funds and he served on many civic boards. Lamont unsuccessfully ran for a state Senate seat in 1990, finishing in third place.
Lamont and his wife, the former Ann "Annie" Greenlee Huntress, a venture capitalist, have three children. Ann Lamont seconded her husband's nomination at the Connecticut Democratic Convention in May 2006.
Lamont is the great-grandson of former J.P. Morgan & Co. Chairman Thomas W. Lamont and the grandnephew (not the grandson, as has been widely reported) of Corliss Lamont (a director of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1932 to 1954). His self-reported net worth lies somewhere between $20 million and $25 million.
His father, Ted (Edward M. Sr.), was an economist who worked with the Marshall Plan which helped reconstruct Europe after World War II. He later served in the Nixon administration in Housing and Urban Development. Ted Lamont is now an unaffiliated voter, having last voted for a Republican in 1988. Since then he has voted Democratic. He told The Hartford Courant that "Eastern Moderates no longer have a place in the GOP." Ned Lamont contributed to one Republican as late as 1998, when he contributed $500 to the re-election effort of Congressman Chris Shays, but since 1999 has contributed over $57,000 to Democrats, including $1,500 to Joe Lieberman.
His mother, Camille Buzby "Buz" Lamont, was born in Puerto Rico, the daughter of an American salesman (a Quaker veteran of World War I) and a Catholic missionary. She studied at the George School in Pennsylvania, Middlebury College in Vermont, and at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She speaks fluent Spanish but never taught Ned to speak the language.
2006 U.S. Senate campaign
Lamont began showing signs of considering a run against Lieberman around February 2005. In March 2006, Lamont officially announced his campaign for the United States Senate against Lieberman. As of July 19, 2006, Lamont had spent over $2.5 million of his own personal fortune on his campaign. It was reported that as of September 11 Lamont had spent another $1.5 million of his own money on the campaign, with two months yet to go. Lamont continued to pour personal funds into the campaign during September, with reports indicating his total contributions now exceed $12.7 million. Also, Lamont pledged not to take money from lobbyists. Lamont's campaign manager, Tom Swan, was, however, a registered lobbyist with the state of Connecticut. In early 2006, Lamont received the backing of former independent Connecticut Governor and Republican U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker, who was unseated by Lieberman in 1988.
Lamont eventually portrayed himself as an anti-war candidate calling for a withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, in contrast to Lieberman, who supports the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and advocated for a troop increase proposed by then-President George W. Bush. His campaign was partially supported by anti-war activists who oppose the Iraq war and are calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, including MoveOn.org, which donated $251,156 from its contributors to the campaign.
On July 6, 2006, Lamont faced off against Lieberman in a 51-minute televised debate which covered issues ranging from the war in Iraq to energy policy to immigration. Lieberman argued that he was being subjected to a "litmus test" on the war, insisted that he was a "bread and butter Democrat" and on a number of occasions asked, "Who is Ned Lamont?" Lieberman asked Lamont if he would disclose his income tax returns. After the debate, Lamont did release his 2005 tax return and financial details about prior years. Lamont focused on Lieberman's supportive relationship with Republicans ("...if you won't challenge President Bush and his failed agenda, I will") and criticized his vote for the "Bush/Cheney/Lieberman energy bill." Lieberman stated, in response to Lamont's assertion that he supported Republican policies, that he had voted with the Democratic caucus in the Senate 90% of the time. However, Lamont argued that the then three-term incumbent lacked the courage to challenge the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War.
Lamont began as a "dark-horse" candidate, but was at a statistical dead heat with Lieberman in July, and went on to win the primary in August. Polls taken prior to the primary vote showed Lieberman, if running as an independent, polling better among Republicans and independents in a three-way race, including Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger, who greatly trailed both Lamont and Lieberman. Early August polls, however, showed Lamont increasing his lead significantly, and many speculate on the effect of the primary outcome (and expected high Democratic endorsement) on the general election. The initial post primary poll showed Lieberman holding a narrow lead in a general election, however.
On July 30, 2006, the London Sunday Times reported that former president Bill Clinton is believed to have warned Lieberman not to run as an independent if he lost the primary to Lamont. Many Democratic leaders pledged to support the winner of the Connecticut Democratic primary. Most Democratic leaders, however, supported Lieberman's campaign for the Democratic nomination, and some, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, allegedly asked Lamont not to run.
On August 21, Lamont distanced himself from the demands of some supporters that Lieberman be purged from the Democratic voter rolls.
Lamont lost the general election and conceded to Lieberman at approximately 10:30 EST, November 7.
Political activity since 2006
Lamont was one of the key supporters in Connecticut for the Chris Dodd presidential campaign. After Dodd dropped out of the race, Lamont became the Connecticut campaign co-chair for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Lamont was credited for bringing the types of voters he attracted to provide Obama's win in the Connecticut Democratic primary. In March 2008, Lamont was elected as a Congressional district-level delegate from Connecticut to the 2008 Democratic National Convention pledged to Barack Obama.
Since September 2007, Research 2000 polls commissioned by the liberal blog Daily Kos have found that Lamont would win a Senate rematch with Joe Lieberman by growing margins. However in February 2009, Lamont stated that he is not considering another campaign for Senate.
Campaign for governor, 2010
On November 4, 2009, Lamont reported that he will be creating an exploratory committee for the race for Governor of Connecticut in 2010. On February 17, 2010, he officially announced his candidacy. On May 22, 2010 he was defeated for the endorsement of the state Democratic convention by former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy. Lamont received 582 votes (32%) to Malloy's 1,232 votes (68%). However, since Lamont won more than fifteen percent of the vote he appeared on the primary ballot on August 10, 2010. He lost the primary election to Malloy, who received 57.6 percent of the vote to Lamont's 42.4%.