Mayor Joe Ganim’s campaign for governor announced on Wednesday it has amassed nearly 20,000 signatures in the quest to receive 15,458 verified Hancocks from Connecticut Democrats to qualify for an August primary against party-endorsed Ned Lamont. Why the cushion?
It’s likely that 20-25 percent of the signatures will be invalidated by local elections officials because signers may be unaffiliated or not registered to vote at all. Ganim operatives are fishing where the fish are, in high density housing cities such as Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New Britain, Waterbury and West Haven.
The deadline to submit petition signatures is June 12 so the Ganim campaign can add to its total to account for signatures tossed out. The petitions are submitted to local registrar offices for review. The tabulations are ongoing so the campaign can gauge the cushion required. The calculations are forwarded to the Office of the Connecticut Secretary of State for final certification by June 19.
“Our grassroots campaign has not only collected the signatures of almost 20,000 registered Democrats, but equally important we are building a neighborhood network of tens of thousands of Democrats, many of whom live in our cities, who have not been actively involved in Democratic politics,” says Ganim in a statement released by the campaign. “Our grassroots campaign is giving a voice to our cities, to those who have been under-represented, and to those seeking a second chance.
“For us to win in November, Democratic voters need a candidate who can walk in any neighborhood; connect with a diverse group of voters, and can generate enthusiasm and turnout among base Democratic voters. Our campaign is showing we can do that,” Ganim added.
If Ganim qualifies for a primary the signatures provide a foundation for voter turnout. A large challenge for Ganim is money. He will be outspent heavily by the wealthy Lamont who is self-funding his campaign.