Matt Lieberman, the son of former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, announced Thursday a bid for Georgia’s open Senate seat in 2020, vowing to take on the gridlock consuming Washington and deliver progress for Georgians.
Interested in 2020 Elections?
Add 2020 Elections as an interest to stay up to date on the latest 2020 Elections news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
“I am running because I am fed up with the do-nothing politicians who care more about getting re-elected than governing,” Lieberman said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “The people of Georgia deserve representatives that will fight the NRA, stand up for reproductive rights, and support policies to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health care.”
The political newcomer, and the first Democratic candidate to jump into the special election to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, railed against “the arrogance and cowardice of the politicians in Washington” in an announcement video.
Matt Lieberman via YouTube
Matt Lieberman is seen in his announcement video for Georgia state senate.
(MORE: Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson to retire in December because of health issues)
“Nothing, they can’t come up with any way of doing anything,” the small business owner said at the onset of his video.
The former teacher and single dad also expressed concerns over voter suppression. Lieberman said it would be a cornerstone of his campaign, in the wake of Democrat Stacey Abrams’ 2018 near-miss against now GOP Gov. Brian Kemp. The Republican was then secretary of state and Abrams frequently accused him of inappropriately using his role as overseer of state elections to tamp down turnout, particularly among the core of her base – minority communities.
“Last year here in Georgia, we were given hope,” Lieberman said, as the video showed a “Stacey Abrams Governor” poster. “For that hope to become change, we need to be sure that every vote is counted.”
He also invoked his father, a four-term senator who served as Al Gore’s vice presidential nominee during their loss to George W. Bush in 2000.
“To me it’s personal,” Lieberman continued. “In 2000, I watched as the Supreme Court stole the election and changed the course of history. We need a voting rights act for the 21st century.”
(MORE: Stacey Abrams will not run for Senate in 2020)
Lieberman ticked off the main planks of his platform in the video: protecting Roe v. Wade, banning assault rifles, supporting background checks on all gun purchases and implementing a constitutional amendment to end Citizens United.
Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
Senator and vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman gestures as he takes questions from students during an appearance at Mark Twain middle school in Brooklyn, Sept. 15, 2000.
He also told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution he backs the House Democrats impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
President Trump carried Georgia by only 5% in 2016, and the race is expected to be competitive after Abrams only narrowly lost to Kemp by just under 55,000 votes. Lieberman is currently running as the lone Democrat to replace Isakson, but he will likely face an uphill climb, with little name recognition across the state and the possibility of other prominent Democrats joining the contest.
There’s also the hurdle of Kemp’s upcoming appointment. A slate of contenders have already applied online to be considered as a replacement for Isakson, when he leaves Congress at the end of this year.
(MORE: Former HHS Secretary Price throws hat in the ring for Isakson’s Senate seat in Ga.)
Kemp’s office launched an online application process in early September to “ensure an open and transparent appointment process.” Kemp said the senator’s replacement will be appointed at the appropriate time, as Isakson isn’t slated to resign until the end of December.
The special election will be held on Nov. 3, 2020. The appointment will be temporary, and Isakson’s replacement will likely run as an incumbent in 2020.
Among candidates who have applied to be appointed are former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Georgia Rep. Doug Collins.
Georgia’s other Senate seat is also up for grabs in the 2020 general election since GOP Sen. David Perdue is up for re-election.