The underdog in the Democratic contest for the U.S. Senate nomination may be eating an early dinner Friday evening if the Rules Committee decides not to allow him to speak at the convention.
The underdog candidate, Merrick Alpert of Mystic, said Thursday afternoon that while the committee has been modifying some rules over the past few weeks, it’s one that committee members haven’t modified that he doesn’t like – the one that only allows endorsed candidates to speak.
“It’s undemocratic not to allow me to speak at the convention,” Alpert said.
“We have always said the only candidate to speak was the nominee,“ Nancy DiNardo, chairwoman of the Democratic Party, said.
With his lawyer in tow, Alpert visited Democratic Party headquarters in Hartford Wednesday evening and was allowed to address the Rules Committee for two minutes.
The committee is expected to meet Friday at 2 p.m. shortly before the start of the convention where party delegates will nominate its U.S. Senate and Congressional candidates.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is expected to have enough delegate support to secure a spot on the ballot and Alpert is working toward securing the minimum 15 percent of the delegates necessary to force a primary.
“I’m hopeful we’d be able to get 15 percent,” Alpert said. “The primary is in the best interest of the party. After this week it’s clear we’re not ready for the general election. If we identify a nominee without a primary the Republicans will immediately go after him.”
In addition to working toward garnering 15 percent of the delegates he needs to force a primary, Alpert also pulled a petition Wednesday that would allow him to get on the ballot if he collects signatures of more than 15,000 registered Democrats before June 8.
According to the Secretary of the State’s office, Alpert has had since April 27 to start collecting signatures, but only pulled the petition May 19. Peter Schiff, one of the three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, pulled his petition on May 6.