Funeral Held for Former Independent Senator

( – Former US Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) served Connecticut in Congress for more than 20 years. He was a Democrat during his first three terms, then switched parties for the last one after losing the primary. Sadly, the influential politician has now passed away.

On March 27, Lieberman passed away at a New York City hospital at the age 82. His family revealed the cause of his death was complications from a fall he took at his home. Two days later, his family held a funeral for him in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut.

Lieberman spent 10 years in the Connecticut Senate, before losing in 1980. From 1983 to 1989, the Yale-educated lawyer was the attorney general of his beloved state. Then, he was propelled into the US Senate, where he served until 2013. In the middle of his Senate tenure, in 2000, he ran for vice president alongside Al Gore, becoming the first Jewish candidate at the top of the ticket in a presidential race.

Gore spoke at the service, saying he and Lieberman “laughed together, fought like hell together […] prayed together, thought for a season [they] had won” the presidential race together. They had—kind of. The two men won the popular vote, but the Supreme Court later stopped a recount in Florida, which handed the electoral win to 43rd President George W. Bush.

Although Lieberman almost became vice president as a Democrat, the party wasn’t always kind to him. He broke from them on a number of issues, including the Iraq War, the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, and the public option in the Affordable Care Act. During the 2008 presidential election, he bypassed Democrat Barack Obama and endorsed Republican John McCain, instead. He even spoke at the Republican National Convention.

In 2006, Lieberman ran for the Senate one last time but lost the Democratic Party primary. He formed his own political party, the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, and won the race. That year, he told “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert that he was “an Independent Democrat, capital I, capital D.” When the secretary of the Senate asked him how he wanted to be identified in his final term, he said, “Independent Democrat.”

The fiercely independent lawmaker is now being remembered for his many years of service and love for his country.

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