Candidates Launch Petition Drives
Candidates for statewide office have decided to spend their summer gathering the requisite number of signatures they need to get on the August primary or November general election ballot.
Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, who didn’t receive enough support at the Republican convention over the weekend to primary, picked up his petitions for the Aug. 12 primary. Joe Visconti, of West Hartford, who received even less support from the Republican delegates, had already picked up his petitions. Visconti said he has more the than 75 volunteers working with him to collect the 8,190 signatures he needs to seek the Republican nomination for governor.
Lauretti and Visconti have until June 10 to return the signatures.
Republican Tom Foley of Greenwich received the nomination at the convention and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Sen. Minority Leader John McKinney received enough support to get on the Aug. 12 ballot.
As far as the rest of the Republican field is concerned, Jerry Farrell Jr. said he won’t mount a primary against Kie Westby, but Angel Luis Cadena will challenge Sharon McLaughin for state Comptroller.
Former State Rep. Jonathan Pelto, who is considering a third party run for governor, has a more of a difficult path to ballot access.
Pelto first has to form a party. Pelto’s party will be the “Education and Democracy Party.”
Then he has to form the party with 25 signatures of qualified electors. He was in Storrs Center collecting those signatures Wednesday morning. After doing that and declaring that governor is one of the positions the party will seek, he can take out the petition.
Pelto said he has 400 supporters across the state will to circulate the petitions on his behalf.
In order to qualify for the ballot, Pelto will have to gather 7,500 signatures by Aug. 6 — the same amount former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman had to gather in 2006 when he ran under the “Connecticut for Lieberman” banner during his last campaign.
Pelto said Lieberman learned the hard way that the petitions have to be circulated by Connecticut voters. There are out-of-state consulting firms that do petition drives, but even if one was hired they could only oversee Connecticut volunteers gathering the signatures.
Since some of the signatures will be thrown out by local election officials, Pelto will need to gather more than the 7,500 he needs to qualify.
“They make this difficult,” Pelto said.
He joked that he hoped he didn’t support any of the laws during his 20 years as a lawmaker that created this process.
In order to qualify for public financing, Pelto would have to gather 110,000 signatures.
Pelto said he believes 7,500 is doable.