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Tributes pour in as officials remember Joe Lieberman, CT’s native son

WASHINGTON - APRIL 10: U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) receives a hug from Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) prior to a news conference April 10, 2003 in Washington, DC. Eleven Democratic House of Representatives members held the news conference to endorse Lieberman as the Democratic Presidential candidate for 2004. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong
FILE, 2004: U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) receives a hug from Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) prior to a news conference April 10, 2003 in Washington, DC.

Officials in Connecticut and beyond are paying tribute to Joe Lieberman, the former U.S. senator and vice presidential nominee, who died Wednesday. (Catch up on our coverage here, here and here.)

Here's a sampling:

U.S. Rep Rosa DeLauro: "I was blessed to both count Joe as a friend and have the opportunity to serve with him in the Congress for over 20 years. It was a pleasure and honor to do so. Joe leaves an incredible legacy of public service, and he will be deeply missed."

Gov. Ned Lamont: “While the senator and I had our political differences, he was a man of integrity and conviction, so our debate about the Iraq War was serious. I believe we agreed to disagree from a position of principle. When the race was over, we stayed in touch as friends in the best traditions of American democracy. He will be missed.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal: “Joe Lieberman was my friend for over 50 years. On world and national stages, he helped to define and frame an era of history. He was a fierce advocate, a man of deep conscience and conviction, and a courageous leader who sought to bridge gaps and bring people together. He was dedicated to family and faith, and he was a role model of public service. He never ceased listening to both friends and adversaries. He leaves an enduring legacy as a fighter for consumers, environmental values, civil rights, and other great causes of our time and he was tireless in working for Connecticut no matter how far or high he went. “

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy: "Connecticut is shocked by Senator Lieberman’s sudden passing. In an era of political carbon copies, Joe Lieberman was a singularity. He fit into no political box. He defied party orthodoxy. He simply did what he believed to be right for the country and what was right for the state he adored. His work to combat climate change, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, create the Department of Homeland Security, and protect abortion access propelled our nation forward. He sometimes frustrated members of both parties, but that was mostly because he refused to be defined by partisanship. I learned a lot from Joe Lieberman, and I’m honored to succeed him in the Senate."

Vice President Al Gore: "I am profoundly saddened by the loss of Joe Lieberman. First and foremost, he was a man of devout faith and dedication to his family. ... Joe was a man of deep integrity who dedicated his life to serving his country. He was a truly gifted leader, whose affable personality and strong will made him a force to be reckoned with. That’s why it came as no surprise to any of us who knew him when he’d start singing his favorite song: Frank Sinatra’s 'My Way.' And doing things Joe’s way meant always putting his country and the values of equality and fairness first. His fierce dedication to these values was clear even as a young man. When he was about to travel to the South to join the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, he wrote: 'I am going because there is much work to be done. I am an American. And this is one nation, or it is nothing.' Those are the words of a champion of civil rights and a true patriot, which is why I shared that quote when I announced Joe as my running mate. It was an honor to stand side-by-side with him on the campaign trail. I’ll remain forever grateful for his tireless efforts to build a better future for America."

President Barack Obama: "Joe Lieberman and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but he had an extraordinary career in public service, including four decades spent fighting for the people of Connecticut. He also worked hard to repeal 'Don’t Ask Don’t Tell' and helped us pass the Affordable Care Act. In both cases the politics were difficult, but he stuck to his principles because he knew it was the right thing to do."

President George W. Bush: "Laura and I are saddened by the loss of Joe Lieberman. Joe was as fine an American as they come and one of the most decent people I met during my time in Washington. As a Democrat, Joe wasn't afraid to engage with Senators from across the aisle and worked hard to earn votes from outside his party. He engaged in serious and thoughtful debate with opposing voices on important issues. And in both loss and victory, Joe Lieberman was always a gentleman. I'm grateful for Joe's principled service to our country and for the dignity and patriotism he brought to public life."

No Labels, a group in which Lieberman served as founding chairman: "He was a man of uncommon integrity who did the right things for the right reasons. As American politics became progressively coarser and angrier, Senator Lieberman was unfailingly civil and decent to political allies and opponents alike. Soon after he departed the Senate, No Labels had the good fortune to welcome him into our movement. During his many years leading No Labels, we were all blessed by his wisdom and counsel as well as his kindness and humor. Senator Lieberman believed passionately in No Labels’ work to unite our divided country. He believed in us and that helped all of us at No Labels believe in ourselves."

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong: "No one meant more to me in my choice to pursue public service than Joe Lieberman. And no one encouraged me more than he did. I first met him when he was Attorney General, and I was a 15-year-old campaign volunteer for his 1988 U.S. Senate race. He was principled and tough, but also incredibly warm and kind, and deeply dedicated to Connecticut and his hometown of Stamford."

Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons: "Joe Lieberman was a proud son of Stamford and a trailblazer in American politics. Throughout his career, he was not only principled in his values, but he exhibited the very best of civility and bipartisanship in politics, always putting the American people first. His commitment to service is a model for us all and he will be deeply missed."

U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes: "I am saddened to learn about the passing of former U.S. Senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman, a dedicated public servant and fierce advocate for our state, the country and the issues he cared so deeply about."

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney: "The passing of Senator Joe Lieberman is a moment of history for the state of Connecticut. His long career in public life left indelible marks on our state. In eastern Connecticut, his brilliant 2005 summation speech before the Pentagon’s Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) in Boston, Massachusetts was a critical turning point in the successful effort to save Naval Submarine Base New London from closure. As a strong Sub Base supporter in the audience, I will never forget the power of his words that day which clearly reinforced the need for the Commission members to vote to keep the base open."

U.S. Rep. John Larson: “America has lost a great champion. I have known Joe Lieberman all of my political life, from his time as Majority Leader in the Connecticut State Senate, through his tenure as Attorney General, and on to the United State Senate, where he and Chris Dodd were a dynamic force for the State of Connecticut. While we may have had political differences, I have always had the utmost of respect for Senator Lieberman, someone who cared deeply about his state and this great nation we live in.”

Marc E. Kasowitz, partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres, where Lieberman worked after leaving the U.S. Senate: “We are profoundly saddened at the passing of our firm’s senior counsel Senator Joe Lieberman. We were honored when this great statesman joined our firm when he retired from the Senate over ten years ago.  We are grateful for his many contributions to our success, and we are proud that he continued to the end to be such an important voice for America’s greatest values. Joe was the wisest adviser, the most collegial colleague, and the warmest friend, and he will be greatly missed.”

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