Greenwich resident Lisa 'Lee' Whitnum, who's run unsuccessful races for Congress and the U.S. Senate, says she's in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
The 53-year-old Whitnum announced her candidacy in a one-sentence email this week. "Lee Whitnum is in the race," read the note that included a link to her website.
The announcement may be considered ironic in that nearly two years ago, Whitnum announced she was leaving the Democratic party. "I've had enough, I'm leaving the Connecticut Democratic Party," Whitnum said. At the time, she explained, "I can't be in a party where the two of the highest representative in the party namely Governor Malloy and Congressman Murphy lie to the people about the real reason why we went to the Iraq war."
According to her website, Whitnum says of her new candidacy, "I'm committed to cleaning up the judiciary in Connecticut. My simple plan to empower the people will give average folks the right to fire dishonest and corrupt judges who push the boundaries of "judicial discretion." Like you, I want fairness in the court system. Unfortunately, there are few checks and balances. My simple plan will empower the people and 'retire' those judges who have pushed their power too far."
The announcement comes as three criminal cases against Whitnum proceed in state Superior Court in Norwalk. She was arrested in May 2013 in connection with what officials described as harassing phone calls made to the family and judge presiding over Whitnum's divorce case, according to reports.
Pending Court Cases
According to the Connecticut Judicial Branch website, there are three criminal cases awaiting pretrial motions scheduled for March 26 in state Superior Court in Norwalk.
Whitnum was charged with first-degree criminal trespass on April 18, 2013 following an incident at the Atria living facility in Darien.
On June 13, 2013, Darien Police arrested her on a second-degree harassment in connection with a May 15 incident, again at the Atria of Darien. She posted a $5,000 bond in that case.
On June 21, 2013, members of the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime squad arrested Whitnum on charges of second-degree stalking, second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct. She posted a $1,000 bond for this case.
She also has several court cases pending against various media outlets, according to The Courant. She also has sued the Town of Greenwich and First Selectman Peter Tesei, claiming she was emotionally distressed by the sight of the Israeli flag flying outside Greenwich Town Hall where there was a founding of Israel celebration with a bar mitzvah in 2011.
In 2010, Whitnum ran for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut and riled Democrats during a candidate's debate when she called eventual Senate winner Chris Murphy a "whore" because of his support of Israel, according to The Hartford Courant. She also was an unsuccessful Senate candidate in 2012.
Back in 2008, Whitnum unsuccessfully challenged Cos Cob Democrat Jim Himes for the Fourth Congressional District nomination. Himes won that race and defeated incumbent Republican Chris Shays in a stunning upset.
It is expected that incumbent Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy will seek re-election. He has said previously that he will not announce his plans until the current legislative adjourns later this spring.
Whitnum is a supporter of labor unions, according to her website and says she is member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
According to Whitnum's website, she "holds a masters degree (edm) from Harvard University in Administration, Planning and Social Policy, and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in Computer Science from the University of Maryland."
She also grabbed headlines about a decade ago when she published 'Hedge Fund Mistress,' under the name Lee Royleston and made revelations that she had a relationship years ago with then U.S. Sen John Kerry.