Jason McCoy, the Republican mayor of Vernon, announced today he will pass up a re-election try this fall to focus on an exploratory campaign for U.S. Senate in 2012.

McCoy is a two-term mayor of Vernon, an east-of-the-river suburb of Hartford.

On the Democratic side, candidates are jumping into the race for the seat left open by Joe Lieberman’s decision not to seek a fifth term. Republicans are more cautious, waiting to see if the party’s 2010 nominee, Linda McMahon, is running. She spent $50 million on that race.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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