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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 02:57 GMT 03:57 UK
Profile: Ned Lamont
Ned Lamont declaring victory in his race against Joe Lieberman, 8 Aug 2006
Cartoonists joked until recently about Mr Lamont being unknown
Ned Lamont, who has up-ended the US political scene by defeating Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic Senate primary, is a political unknown.

Until his upset victory in August 2006, he had held no elected office higher than selectman - local official - in his home town.

But he tapped into anti-war anger and beat the 18-year Senate veteran and leading Democrat by 10,000 votes to become the party's candidate for Senate in the November mid-term elections.

Mr Lamont is a wealthy businessman with inherited money and personal success.

The Hartford Courant newspaper - which endorsed his opponent, Joe Lieberman, in the Democratic primary - estimated his fortune at between $90m and $300m (47m and 157m) in June 2006.

Cable success

Ned - whose given name is Edward - was born in Washington DC in 1954.

As an MBA student at Yale he proposed that the New York Times start a 24-hour cable news channel, an outlandish idea in the late 1970s.

NED LAMONT
Born Jan 1952 in Washington DC
Educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard, Yale School of Management
Successful businessman from blue-blood east coast family
Only local political experience before his Senate run

They did not take up his suggestion, but Ted Turner had a success with a similar operation which he called CNN.

Mr Lamont himself started a cable television business in 1984, Lamont Digital Systems, which he continues to run.

His Senate campaign appeared to come out of nowhere, with newspaper cartoons describing him as "Ned Who?" as little as four months before his victory.

He seems to have a sense of humour - the Courant saw him autograph the cartoon as "Ned Who" when a supporter asked for his signature.

He campaigned largely on an anti-war platform, sometimes appearing at a loss when asked his positions on other issues.

But liberal groups like MoveOn.org and the leading liberal blog The Daily Kos seized upon his candidacy against a Democrat many liberals felt was too much like a Republican.

Mr Lieberman - who lost by a narrower margin than polls had predicted - immediately announced he would run as an independent.

Independents outnumber Republicans and Democrats in Connecticut, so it is not immediately clear who the front-runner is in November's three-way race for Mr Lieberman's seat.

Mr Lamont has started a petition urging Mr Lieberman not to run.

Elite education

The great-grandson of a former JP Morgan chairman, Mr Lamont has the kind of education typical of the east coast elite that also includes the Bush family - Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard and the Yale School of Management.

He is married with three teenage children.

His father Ted, an economist, was a junior member of the Nixon administration after working on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe in the wake of World War II.

But although families like the Lamonts were once the backbone of the Republican party, Ted Lamont told the Hartford Courant in April 2006 he had not been a Republican for nearly 20 years.

"I felt the Republican party, frankly, no longer represented my viewpoints," Ted Lamont told the newspaper a telephone interview. "The so-called moderate Republicans are rare and declining, especially in recent years."


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