Majority Leader Denise Merrill will officially announce her candidacy for Secretary of the State Monday morning in her home town of Mansfield.

Merrill, who was first elected to the House of Representatives 1993, entered politics through a League of Women Voters law and citizenship program, and said in December that running for Secretary of State is “going back to my roots.”
During her tenure in the House, Merrill served as the vice chairwoman of the legislature’s General Administration and Elections Committee and as chairwoman of the legislature’s powerful Appropriations Committee before she was elected majority leader last year.

As far as the timing is concerned, “it just feels like the time,” she has said.

Sources have questioned her decision to run for higher office since as majority leader she is probably a few years away from becoming Speaker of the House, one of the most powerful positions in the legislature. Meanwhile, others have already started to chase after her majority leader position.

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, who is also a Democrat, has been traveling the state laying the foundation for a run for attorney general. But her campaign has been tortured as questions about her qualifications remain unsettled and some have wondered whether she could or would step back down to run for Secretary of the State.

So far Merrill has raised $100 and spent $74 on a post office box for the campaign, according to last filing for the campaign.

Merrill is entering an already crowded field exploring a bid for Secretary of the State.

Others running on the Democratic side include former New Haven Alderman Gerry Garcia, state Sen. Jonathan Harris, state Rep. James Spallone, D-Essex, and Norwalk Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel. Republican candidates include Richard Abbate, Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell and Bloomfield lawyer Corey Brinson.