Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Jeremy Stein, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT — Progressive and gun violence prevention groups came to the state Capitol Monday to urge the unaffiliated ticket of Oz Griebel and Monte Frank to get out of the race.

They fear Griebel and Frank have no way of winning the governor’s race and will take votes away from Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ned Lamont.

Jeremy Stein, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said he considers Frank, who has been active in the gun violence prevention efforts, a friend. He feels bad having to ask him to do this, but “I’m going to feel a lot worse on Wednesday if Stefanowski wins.”

Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob Stefanowski received an “AQ” rating from the NRA, which is the highest rating a candidate without a voting record can receive. He’s said he would sign a repeal of the 2013 assault weapons ban approved after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting if a such bill lands on his desk.

“This has become a mathematical problem,” Stein said.

He said this is “not a personal attack on either Oz or Monte. This is just saying mathematically it’s improbable that you can win.”

Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Oz Griebel (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

Asked last week after the final debate whether he would consider getting out of the race, Griebel said he would tell anyone who asked him that question to “drop dead.” He said he’s in it to win it and won’t be convinced otherwise.

On Monday he was meeting voters in Middletown, Cromwell, and Newington. By the afternoon he was in Bloomfield at a phone bank his campaign set up at a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Griebel said they’re the best ticket to deal with the economy, gun violence and women’s issues.

Even though Griebel and Frank been down in the polls receiving between 7 to 9 percent of the vote the only poll that matters is the one that closes at 8 p.m.Tuesday.

Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Phone bank at Dunkin Donuts (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

“We earned our way onto the ballot and people are supporting us. Why aren’t they asking the other candidates to get out of the race?” Griebel said.

Sarah Croucher of NARAL said the group is afraid that there are some frustrated voters out there who will cast their vote for Griebel and Frank because they are frustrated with Connecticut’s political system.

“We want those people to know and to understand just how dangerous we think Stefanowski and Markley are,” Croucher said. “It’s not just like they’re center right. They are really standing up for a set of far right values that we are frankly seeing gain traction across the country at this point and those are not values that Oz and Monte stand for.”

Griebel and Frank petitioned their way onto the ballot by collecting more than 7,500 signatures. They’re one of five gubernatorial tickets. Libertarian Rod Hanscomb and Mark Stewart Greenstein will also be on the ballot.

Croucher said there might be a limit about how effectively they could communicate their decision because their names can’t be removed from the ballot at this point. However, the race is going to be close and they believed it was worth a shot.

“We hope it will bring more votes and help secure the future of this state,” Croucher said.

Croucher said it’s clear Griebel and Frank are not going to win the election and they are drawing support from Lamont and Bysiewicz.

“If we really look at this from a practical, pragmatic standpoint then what we are worried about is a really close election,” Croucher said.

Po Murray, of the Newtown Action Alliance, said she understands there is a desire for “reform in the democratic process,” and she supports that, “but right now it’s really critical that we elect the best candidate that can get the job done. Right now it’s not Monte and Oz, they don’t have the math to do that.”

She said electing an “NRA A-rated candidate” will have a “chilling effect” on gun violence prevention efforts nationally.

Naral and anti-violence groups ask Oz Griebel to get out of the race.

Posted by on Monday, November 5, 2018