When she entered the race there were six other people running for the Democratic nomination for secretary of the state. Now it’s down to two.
“It was definitely a challenge because it was just when Omicron picked up in prevalence,” Rep. Stephanie Thomas, D-Norwalk, said of the start to her campaign.
She couldn’t get out and about to talk to local Democratic Town Committees, but that didn’t stop her from getting the nomination at the Democratic State Convention in May.
Thomas is competing with Maritza Bond in the Democratic primary on Aug. 9.
And even though she was the last to enter the race she was the first to qualify for a campaign grant of $484,125. Thomas was approved on July 6 and began with a direct-mail piece introducing herself to voters. She also included information about how to vote by absentee ballot.
Thomas said the role of secretary of the state is really nonpartisan. She said it’s to implement elections well and work in tandem with the Registrars of Voters and Town Clerks.
The job also includes business registration. She said as a nonprofit consultant she’s good at linking businesses with the resources they need.
Thomas also said she would maintain the role of misinformation officer created by former Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. She said stories circulate on social media with incorrect information about the voting process and if elected she would continue to clamp down on those efforts.
“The truth never circulates the same way as the story did,” Thomas said.
She said trust and transparency are important in her role as a nonprofit fundraiser and they are just as important in the role of chief elections officer.
As a first-term state representative Thomas has been the vice chair of the General Administration and Elections Committee which oversees agencies like the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
As far as the budget for the agency goes, Thomas said it’s important to make sure the towns have the funding they need to conduct these elections.
She said Connecticut is the first state she’s ever lived in where she hasn’t gotten a mailer explaining the voting process or where to vote.
She said civic education and engagement are an important part of the job to make sure voters can exercise their right to vote.
There are now two candidates vying for the Republican nomination: Dominic Rapini and Rep. Terri Wood. Brock Weber of New Britain dropped out of the race over the weekend.
Cynthia Jennings, a third-party candidate from Hartford, is seeking to petition her way onto the ballot in November under the Griebel-Frank for CT party line.
CT News Junkie is running an occasional series of profiles of candidates seeking state office.