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.