Lieberman says will run anyway if loses Dem. primary
WASHINGTON, July 3 (Reuters) Connecticut Sen Joseph Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, said today he would run anyway in this November's election even if he loses his party's primary for re-election.
Lieberman, 64, has been facing a growing challenge by his Democratic opponent because of his support for President George W Bush and the Iraq war.
He said he would not leave the party even if did not secure its support for a fourth term in the Senate and was forced to mount an independent bid to save his seat.
''I will stay a Democrat, whether I am the Democratic Party's nominee or a petitioning Democratic candidate on the November ballot,'' Lieberman said in a statement.
If Lieberman lost the August 8 primary, he would need to collect 7,500 signatures to secure a place on the ballot.
Lieberman has always been more conservative than the liberal wing of the Democratic party but it was his support of the war that prompted a serious primary challenge to his re-election.
Public support for Bush has fallen amid waning public approval for the 3-year war in Iraq.
Ned Lamont, who made millions with his cable television company, launched his self-financed fight against Lieberman although he has little political experience. Recent polls have shown Lamont closing the gap.
REUTERS SHB VV2357