By Christofer Ceating/
Some politicians believe it’s never too early to get started.That is the case for Peter Lumaj, a Republican attorney who filed his papers Tuesday for statewide office – in 2018.
Lumaj, who ran for U.S. Senate in 2012 and Secretary of the State in 2014, opened up an exploratory committee – meaning he does not need to declare for a particular statewide office.
“I’m starting early,” Lumaj said in an interview in the Capitol press room. “We’re looking at all the possibilities for 2018. It’s open-ended.”
An immigrant from Albania, Lumaj ran an unexpectedly close race against incumbent Democrat Denise Merrill in 2014 that was not decided until the following day. Merrill declared victory the next day and is currently in the middle of her four-year term.
“We did quite well in 2014,” Lumaj said, noting that the final tally was about 50 percent to 47 percent with about 2.7 percent for the Green Party candidate, Michael DeRosa of Wethersfield.
In the short-term, Lumaj says he’s working in the Republican attempt to regain the state Senate that they have not held since John Rowland’s first two years as governor in 1995 and 1996. Democrats, however, say they will hold their current majority.
With the upcoming task of visiting 169 Republican town committees, Lumaj thinks it’s not too early to get started.
“It’s going to be a lot of work,” he said. “You have to cover the entire state.”
State Sen. Joseph Markley, a Southington Republican who will be leading the steering committee for Lumaj along with Rep. Rob Sampson of Wolcott, said, “If you know you’re going to do it, why wait around?
Caption: Republican attorney Peter Lumaj, who ran a close race for Secretary of the State in 2014, has opened an exploratory committee for an unspecified statewide office in 2018. (Photo by Christopher P. Keating)