HARTFORD, CT — (Updated 2:30 p.m.) Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan are refusing to give up on their dreams of running for governor.
They’re just taking an alternative route.
After not getting the delegate support they needed this weekend at the convention to automatically qualify for the Republican primary ballot, both Lauretti and Srinivasan went to the Secretary of the State’s office Monday to request petitions. They each will need to collect more than 9,081 signatures from registered Republican voters to make the August primary ballot.
“I look forward to sharing my 26 year record of economic success in Shelton,” Lauretti said Monday. “It is a model of what the rest of Connecticut can look like with the right leadership and policies. I believe as more people in our state hear about residents of my town not seeing a tax increase for 10 straight years, we will be successful in both August and November.”
Srinivasan, an MD who represents Glastonbury, missed making it to the second ballot at the convention by one vote. The Secretary of the State’s office confirmed that he’d pulled petitions today.
David Stemerman and Bob Stefanowski also previously requested petitions, and Mike Handler had also done so but posted on his Facebook page that he won’t be going that route and plans to support the party’s nominee.
That makes seven possible candidates for the Republican primary ballot: Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, and Westport businessman Steve Obsitnik all received enough delegate support to make the ballot. Stemerman, Stefanowski, Lauretti, and now Srinivasan are petitioning for ballot access.
The deadline to submit the signatures to the Secretary of the State’s office is June 12. Stemerman and Stefanowski skipped the convention process and Handler was dropped on the first ballot after receiving the support of only 46 of the 1,133 delegates.
The task of collecting signatures is daunting, but Lauretti came close in 2014 to collecting the necessary amount.
That year, when Sen. Heather Somers decided to ditch Boughton and instead team up with Tom Foley, Lauretti stepped up after the convention to be Boughton’s running mate. The only way to get on the ballot at that point was to collect signatures.
So he and his team went to work.
Lauretti fell 1,467 signatures short of the 8,190 he needed to gain ballot access that year, and at that point Boughton decided to drop out of the race leaving Foley and former Sen. John McKinney on the ballot.
This time, Boughton is the Republican Party endorsed candidate. However, Herbst and Westport businessman Steve Obsitnik received enough support from the delegates this weekend to automatically qualify for the primary ballot.
That means there could be up to seven Republican candidates on the ballot in August. Based on that number, about 30,000 votes could be enough for any one of the candidates to win the nomination and a place on the ballot in November.
The Democratic Party’s convention is this weekend.
Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim will be vying for the endorsement. Guy Smith of Greenwich is skipping the convention and seeking to collect the signatures necessary to gain ballot access.
Smith will have to collect more than 15,458 signatures. The threshold is higher because the Democratic Party in Connecticut is bigger than the Republican Party.
Connecticut has a closed primary system, so only members registered with a party will be allowed to vote in August.