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Lieberman Says Thank You As He Steps Down

“Time, for me, for another purpose unto heaven,” Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Wednesday as he announced he would not seek re-election in 2012.

"I'm personally grateful to the voters of Connecticut and tried to thank you by being of service," the four-term former Democrat said in remarks at the Stamford Marriott.

The Stamford resident was introduced by his wife, Hadassah, who quipped that she hoped the grandchildren would stay quiet during the speech. The Senator then introduced their children, spouses and many of their grandchildren and thanked them for their support.

Lieberman, 68, will end his days in the Senate when his fourth term concludes in January 2013. He was first elected with a narrow victory of then-U.S. Sen. Lowell Weicker, a maverick Republican from Greenwich who Lieberman famously spoofed as a "sleeping bear" in his campaign.

Lieberman, a Stamford native, was Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore's running mate in 2000. But in 2006 Lieberman lost the Democratic primary to Greenwich business Ned Lamont and was re-elected as an independent, forming his own party called Lieberman for Connecticut.

Democrat Susan Bysiewicz announced Tuesday her intention to run for the Senate seat. U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Cheshire, also has hinted he plans to run.

Expected Republican challengers could include Greenwich's Linda McMahon, the former WWE leader who lost to Democrat Richard Blumenthal of Greenwich in the election to replace U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, and Greenwich millionaire Tom Foley, who narrowly lost the election for governor in November to Dannel Malloy.

What do you think about the retirement of Joseph Lieberman?

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