The frontrunner in the gubernatorial race on the Republican side doesn’t have one, his opponent has chosen a Caucasian male, the two Democratic candidates have chosen female running mates, but Independent Party candidate Tom Marsh continues to differentiate himself from the other five gubernatorial candidates.
On Monday Marsh will announce he has chosen Cicero Booker, a retired police lieutenant and past president of the Waterbury branch of the NAACP, as his running mate.
Booker is currently the minority leader of the Waterbury Board of Alderman. He ran an unsuccessful bid for state Senate in 2008 on the Working Families Party ticket.
In a phone interview, Marsh said the pairing of the two will blend Marsh’s knowledge of rural Connecticut with Booker’s knowledge of urban Connecticut.
“Cicero’s respected record of leadership, community involvement, and working knowledge of urban issues brings a strength to the Independent Party ticket that is unmatched by the other contenders in the race,“ Marsh, who is serving his third-term as first selectman of Chester, said. “Cicero has been a tireless advocate for fairness and common sense solutions in governance.”
In addition, Booker adds some diversity to the ticket. “When you look at the various tickets, a significant part of the population isn’t represented,” Marsh said.
“We have lived and continue to live with the results of a dysfunctional government,” Marsh said.
While Booker lost his 2008 bid for the state Senate he was successful in gathering the more than 2,000 signatures he needed to get on the ballot and then qualified for the $85,000 public campaign grant from the state.
Marsh, who also owns a small janitorial business, said he is half-way to gathering the 7,500 he needs to get on the ballot in November.
Marsh, who switch his party affiliation from Republican to Independent, has opted out of the public campaign finance system. According to his last campaign filing with the state at the end of April he had raised about $3,000 for the race. Marsh said he wasn’t planning on getting serious about fundraising until he was confident they would qualify for the November ballot. He said now that they’re close to reaching their goal he has planned a few fundraisers. The goal is to raise a quarter of a million dollars and let the grassroots support do the rest, Marsh said.
The announcement that Booker will join Marsh on the ticket will be made this afternoon at 3 p.m. in Waterbury.