Thursday, September 21, 2006

Florida Republican raises money for Lieberman

Florida Republican raises money for Lieberman

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Reuters) - Democrat Joe Lieberman got some help from a prominent Florida Republican on Wednesday night in his bid to win re-election to the U.S. Senate from Connecticut as an independent.

Lieberman attended a fund-raising reception hosted for him by Mel Sembler, a former finance committee chairman for the Republican National Committee.

Lieberman lost the Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut on August 8 to Ned Lamont, who made Lieberman's support for the Iraq war the main issue of his campaign.

He immediately filed to run as an independent in the November 7 general election against Lamont and Republican nominee Alan Schlesinger.

In addition to his fund-raising work for the RNC, Sembler was also the U.S. ambassador to Italy during President George W. Bush's first term and the ambassador to Australia during the term of Bush's father, George H.W. Bush.

About 100 guests attended the event at Sembler's office in St. Petersburg. His company develops shopping centers in Florida and nearby states.

Guests were asked to contribute a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $2,100 to Lieberman's campaign.

The reception was closed to the media.

New York Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last week he would host a fund-raiser for Lieberman in New York on November 1 with former Democratic Mayor Ed Koch as one of the co-hosts.