Justin Bernier, a former Navy intelligence officer, tells National Review Online he’ll make an announcement “before the end of the month” about a potential congressional bid in Connecticut’s fifth district. This morning, the district’s current congressman, Chris Murphy, announced to The Huffington Post that he’s running for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat in 2012.
“I’ve gotten a flood of calls from supporters who want to know my plans,” Bernier says. “It’s clear to me that our party did not have a winning formula in the fifth district last year.” In 2010, Bernier ran for the GOP nomination but lost to State Senator Sam Caligiuri, who was much better known. “We won 18 of 41 towns and a swing of about a thousand votes would have given us a victory,” Bernier relates. Caligiuri ultimately lost to Murphy in the general election.
Bernier is considering another run because “it’s clear that Congress can be improved.” “We’re still having some of the debates we had thought we put to bed,” he says. “We had a lot of holdouts on both sides of the aisle on [earmark reform] and we have this big national debt crisis that’s coming up.” The erstwhile candidate is concerned that the GOP has lowered its promised cuts to the budget from $100 billion to $60 billion. “We ought to be setting our sights higher,” he affirms.