Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim’s Connecticut gubernatorial campaign will continue, but Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti’s will not.Tuesday at 4 p.m. was the deadline for candidates to present the required number of signatures to get onto the primary ballot. To qualify, candidates needed to collect signatures from two percent of voters in their party – 15,458 signatures for a Democrat and 9,081 for a Republican.
Among Democrats, Ganim led all comers with some 32,000 signatures, followed by Greenwich business executive Guy Smith with over 26,000 signatures. They will now battle Democratic Party-endorsed Ned Lamont – a former Greenwich selectman and unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate – to be the party’s nominee to succeed Gov. Dannel Malloy, who is not running for a third term.
On the Republican side, former hedge fund manager and Greenwich resident David Stemerman submitted over 20,000 signatures, while Bob Stefanowski, a former UBS Investment Bank chief financial officer, delivered over 15,000. They will face off with party-endorsed Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and qualifying candidates Tim Herbst, the former first selectman of Trumbull, and Westport tech entrepreneur Steve Obsitnik.
Lauretti’s campaign issued a statement shortly before 4 p.m. on Tuesday announcing his withdrawal.
“With more than 80,000 signatures expected to be submitted for verification by other candidates, the Lauretti campaign has decided it is best to not burden local registrars and the Secretary of the State with additional work that will not result in Mayor Lauretti getting on the August ballot,” the statement said.
Both political parties’ primaries will be held on Aug. 14; the general election will take place on Nov. 6.