Lumaj says he could have been Trump ambassador to Albania

mark pazniokas /

Peter Lumaj at a recent GOP candidates\’ forum.

West Hartford — Republican gubernatorial candidate Peter Lumaj, who came to the United States as a refugee from Communist Albania about 30 years ago, said Monday night that he rejected an offer from the Trump administration to return to Albania as the U.S. ambassador.

“I was offered a job to be the next ambassdor to Albania to represent the United States,” Lumaj told the Republican Town Committee here. “I turned it down, because I think I can serve the state better than being overseas.”

He did not say when he was approached by the Trump administration, which has been slow to fill various diplomatic posts.

Lumaj declined to answer questions from reporters about the offer, saying he had to leave for another campaign appearance. He has been outspoken in his support of the president. Lumaj is an immigration lawyer who says he practices in New York.

The current U.S. ambassador to Albania is Donald Lu, a career foreign services officer appointed to the post in December 2017.