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50 Legislative Seats Go Uncontested By Major Parties In 2014

by Hugh McQuaid | Jul 17, 2014 9:55am
(5) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014

Despite high turnover in the legislature this year, more seats are going uncontested during the 2014 elections than were uncontested in 2012, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said Thursday.

“It is a bit surprising to see so many General Assembly seats not contested by a Republican or Democratic candidate this election season,” Merrill said in a press release, which reported that 50 out of 187 House and Senate districts were not being challenged by a major party candidate this year.

That’s a 56 percent increase in the number of uncontested seats from the last election cycle when 32 seats went unchallenged. Generally, Merrill said that number of contested seats has risen steadily since 2004 as public campaign financing has become available.

Although this year’s spike in unchallenged seats is still lower than the number of uncontested seats 10 years ago, before the launch of the public financing program, Merrill said she was surprised by the results.

“One would expect more candidates stepping up to run this year, given all of the turnover in the Connecticut General Assembly,” she said.

This year saw the retirement of about 20 legislators, a turnover which some lawmakers said has been not seen since after the contentious debate and enactment of the income tax in 1991.

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(5) Comments

posted by: UConnHoop | July 17, 2014  10:09am

Wait, wasn’t taxpayer money supposed to result in no uncontested races and higher voter turnout and peace on Earth and all of those other beautiful things?

posted by: bob8/57 | July 17, 2014  10:34am

bob8/57

Both parties should be ashamed of themselves. Recruit, campaign and debate.

posted by: RogueReporterCT | July 17, 2014  12:09pm

RogueReporterCT

1. Connecticut has become a third-world economy and every competent warm body out there is busting its butt at two jobs to put food on the table, therefore doesn’t have time for an expensive, time consuming hobby.
2. As a second job, state representative is too disruptive for most people to hold down the first job.
3. State representative doesn’t pay enough, so it’s only an acceptable option for those who have independent wealth or other means of support.
4. Who wants to be a baggy-eyed, sleep deprived shell of a human being, which is the inevitable state of any regular person with a regular job who tries to wrap their lives around this turkey of a part-time position.

So the incumbents stay unchallenged. And there are a million other reasons why incumbents are impregnable. For example, look at Beth Bye in West Hartford/ Farmington and her election record. That woman can stay senator until she falls into a grave; everyone knows how utterly futile it would be to challenge her in her senate district. So she can sit in her committee chairs and co-chairs and pretty much do whatever she wants and act as a clot in the arteries of the state for the next four decades if that’s how she wants to play it.

posted by: art vandelay | July 17, 2014  4:10pm

art vandelay

Come November be it a Republican/Democrat or Independent Governor, it will be business as usual.
The majority of the fifty or so uncontested seats are ones held by Democrats who chair the most powerful committee chair assignments.  It’s criminal that the Republican Central Committee could care less about supporting viable candidates to challenge these powerful Democrats.

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 17, 2014  5:52pm

The low pay, driving mileage and time commitment is a deterrent for more candidates to strive for the job.