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Ned Lamont to Apologize to Waterbury Mayor for Slimy Slight

Democrat Ned Lamont's campaign manager said he will send an apology to the mayor of Waterbury for describing the city that backed his opponent, Sen. Joe Lieberman, as a place "where the forces of slime meet the forces of evil."

Tom Swan said the comment was made to a reporter on Tuesday, after the city voted heavily for Lieberman in the Democratic Senate primary. He said the comments were in the context of a broader discussion of state politics in which former Mayor Philip A. Giordano was the "slime" and former Gov. John G. Rowland was the "evil."

Giordano is serving a prison sentence on federal child sex charges and Rowland, a Waterbury native, was forced to resign in 2004 and served a federal prison term for corruption.

Swan said his statement was not meant to be reflective of the city and said he would send an apology to Mayor Michael J. Jarjura Friday. Jarjura became aware of Swan's comments Thursday when the Lieberman campaign sent Jarjura chief of staff Sheila O'Malley an Internet link to a Connecticut political news site where the comments appeared.

Lieberman, who lost the primary and is now running for re-election as an independent, made Waterbury his first post-primary campaign stop on Thursday.

Meanwhile, two Republican state representatives from Waterbury called on Lamont to fire Swan.

"I am appalled by a statement of this magnitude. It is an offense to every citizen of Waterbury, whether a Democrat, Republican or independent," said Rep. Selim Noujaim. He said he is proud of the people who live in Waterbury. "A statement of this nature demonstrates a lack of responsibility and the person who made it must live with the consequences."

Rep. Tony D'Amelio called Swan's comments hurtful.

"It is consistent with the divisive and offensive partisan attacks that have been the hallmark of Lamont's extremist approach throughout this campaign," he said.

Lieberman visited Waterbury on Thursday to thank the city's Democrats for their overwhelming support on primary night, despite his loss to Lamont. Jarjura was on hand and said he will back the centrist Democrat as he runs in the general election as an independent.