HARTFORD, CT — Eight Democrats and three Republicans will appear on the ballot for Connecticut’s Presidential Preference Primary that will be held on Tuesday, April 28.
The following Democratic candidates were selected to appear on the ballot: Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren.
The following Republican candidates were selected to appear on the ballot (listed in alphabetical order): Donald Trump, Rocky De La Fuente, and Bill Weld.
Connecticut Republican Party Chairman JR Romano isn’t happy that Republicans will be forced to go to the polls to pick the incumbent president to lead the ticket.
Romano took to social media on Friday, placing the blame for what he said was an unnecessary primary on Secretary of State Denise Merrill, who has the authority to place the names of candidates on the ballot if she determines that the “candidacy of such person for such party’s nomination for President is generally and seriously advocated or recognized by reports in the national or state news media.”
Romano doesn’t believe either of Trump’s challengers meet that criteria.
“You are forcing local towns to spend tax money on a primary for political pettiness,” Romano said on Facebook, though all of the state’s towns will need to be open anyway to accommodate Democratic voters so it isn’t clear where the extra cost would come from.
Democratic Party Chairman Nancy Wyman said Romano is not making sense.
“Making decisions about how to run Connecticut’s elections is exactly Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s job. We are proud of our cities and their Democratic leaders,” Wyman said. “As one party chair to another, JR should take care of whatever issues Republicans are having, and not expect others to solve his problems.”
Besides the argument over any additional cost that a two- versus one-party primary would bring, Merrill’s communications director Gabe Rosenberg said, “What JR calls pettiness, we call democracy. Our office followed both the letter and the spirit of the law, and let the voters decide.”
A handful of states have canceled their Republican primaries. In Connecticut municipalities pay the costs of the election from staffing the polling places to printing the ballots.
Romano said the additional costs he’s referring to come from the printing of the ballots.
The Democratic primary will be closed, meaning only registered Democrats will be able to vote in the election. Based on the primary results, Connecticut will send an estimated 74 Democratic delegates to their party’s convention July 13-16 in Milwaukee. They will be comprised of 60 pledged delegates and 14 superdelegates. Delegate allocation is proportional to the results of the primary.
On the Republican side, Connecticut will have an estimated 28 delegates at stake. The Republican primary will be closed, meaning only registered Republicans will be able to vote in the election.
“In an election cycle that started almost two years ago, we are finally in the home stretch,” Merrill said. “Although the deadline to switch from one party to another has passed, new voters and unaffiliated voters can go to myvote.ct.gov/register and register online by April 23rd, or go to their town hall to register in person by noon on April 27th,” Merrill added.
“Connecticut voters will have many candidates to choose between in the April 28th primaries, all that is left to do is get out there and vote!” said Merrill.
Candidates may request that their names be omitted from the ballot as long as they make a request in writing by March 23.
Candidates who were not selected Friday can still get on the ballot by filing petitions with signatures from at least 1% of the active registered voters of their party throughout the state. That’s 7,979 for Democrats and 4,582 for Republicans.
Merrill will publicly determine the Presidential Preference Primary ballot order for both parties’ primaries on March 24.
Democratic candidates have won Connecticut in each of the last seven presidential elections. The last Republican candidate to win Connecticut was Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988, who defeated the Democratic nominee, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. Bush took 51.98% of the vote to Dukakis’s 46.87%.