Questions about whether a serious challenge to Governor Malloy could develop during next year’s gubernatorial election have been coming in on an almost a daily basis.
Readers have asked for some additional background on Connecticut’s election law.
When it comes to a potential challenge, there are two key issues. One is the law related to getting on the election ballot. The other is the law related to public financing of campaigns. Here is a quick response to the ballot question.
Running for governor in 2014;
One possibility is that a challenger takes on Governor Malloy for the nomination of the Democratic Party. That candidate would need to receive the support of 15 percent of the delegates to next spring’s Democratic State Convention or collect a sufficient number of petition signatures (of registered Democrats) to force an August primary. Considering the power of incumbency, it is difficult to imagine that such a challenge would be successful. That said, since Governor Malloy and his Administration have consistently alienated many of the most important constituencies within the Democratic Party, a successful challenge for the Democratic nomination is not inconceivable.
The second possibility is that a challenger seeks to get the support of one of the existing minor parties. Each minor party has its own nomination rules. Assuming the challenger comes from the more liberal or progressive side of the political spectrum, the most likely existing vehicle for a challenger would be to try and utilize the Connecticut Working Families Party. The Working Families Party is closely associated with the leadership of a number of unions in Connecticut, a reality that might facilitate or serve as a barrier to a serious effort to challenge Governor Malloy.
Finally, a challenger to Governor Malloy could seek to petition onto the 2014 gubernatorial ballot. Such a challenger could not begin collecting signatures until January 1, 2014 and would need to submit a complete petition no later than 90 days before the election. The number of signatures needed to run for governor in Connecticut would be (1) One percent of the votes cast for the same office at the last preceding election, or (2) seven thousand five hundred, whichever is less. In this case, the 1% figure would amount to about 11,600 so the lower number of 7,500 would be needed.
Considering past voting patterns, we’d expect around $1.2 million voters to participate in the 2014 election meaning a candidate would need in the range of 450,000 votes +/- win. Of course, both Lowell Weicker (A CT Party) and John Rowland (Republican Party) were elected in three-way races for governor.
What do readers think would be the best course of action for Connecticut voters?
- Run a candidate to challenge Governor Malloy for the Democratic nomination
- Run a candidate on an existing minor party line such as the Working Families Party
- Run a candidate as a “petitioning candidate” by collecting 7,500 signatures
- Vote Republican
- Stick with Governor Malloy
- Don’t Know
If you’d like to register your opinion about these options – just click on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7R8F53Y