Christopher Shays Wednesday officially announced he is a candidate for the United States Senate, seeking the Republican nomination to fill retiring Senator Joe Lieberman's seat.
Though the official announcement was made in Hartford, Shays' campaign headquarters is located in Stratford, at the William Samuel Johnson House, 2103 Main St.
Shays, a Republican, represented Connecticut's 4th District for 11 terms from 1987 to 2009. He was defeated by Congressman Jim Himes, a Democrat, in 2008.
Speaking in Hartford, Shays said he would make it a number one priority to balance the federal budget, according to a press release sent by his campaign.
"When I am elected to the United States Senate, I will sponsor legislation that balances the budget within my six year term of office, and vote that way, regardless of the political consequences, and regardless of which party is in the majority," Shays said. "Until we get our financial house in order, nothing else matters."
Shays said his experience makes him the ideal candidate.
"We need to elect a United States Senator who possesses the courage, the record, and the experience to get things done," said Shays. "That's why I'm running for United States Senate. I have the courage to stand up for what needs to be done, but I also have the knowledge and experience to know how to get it done, and a record of accomplishment that you can rely on."
Shays said Washington is broken and needs to be fixed.
"For the first time in my life, I'm worried about our country's future," he said. "I cannot, and will not, sit on the sidelines and watch the madness in Washington continue. Washington is broken, the Senate isn't working. Nothing is getting done and I know I can make a difference. We need to elect a United States Senator who possesses the courage, the record, and the experience to get things done."
Washington needs to create jobs, he said.
"I know we can get America back on track and Americans back to work when we get our financial house in order; transform Washington by simplifying our tax code and cutting red tape; rebuild and invest in America; and become truly energy independent," Shays said. "When we do this we are putting America first. And first is where America belongs, now and always."
Shays will battle Linda McMahon and others for the Republican nomination.