Former state legislator turned blogger Jonathan Pelto, a fierce critic of Governor Dan Malloy’s education policies threatening to poach votes from the incumbent, was notified on Friday by state elections officials he did not secure enough signatures from qualified electors to make the November ballot. He needed 7,500. He received 4,318. Several Bridgeport residents had secured signatures on Pelto’s behalf.
Pelto had hoped to galvanize enough support to make the November ballot as an alternative for education advocates opposed to Malloy who’s in a tough reelection against Republican Tom Foley. Joseph Visconti, a gun rights activist and Tea Party favorite, has qualified for the ballot as a petitioning candidate. Visconti is poised to swipe votes from Foley who received the endorsement from a gun owners group.
Pelto issued this statement:
“We are, of course, deeply disappointed that we were unable to collect a sufficient number of signatures to qualify as 3rd party candidates for governor and lt. governor. While we failed to achieve that critical goal, we’re hopeful that our effort has and will continue to spur a more serious discussion about the critically important issues facing Connecticut.
I want to especially thank Ebony Murphy for agreeing to serves as my running-mate, the hundreds of people who helped collect signatures and the thousands of people who signed our petition. We are also especially grateful to those who provided the campaign with their financial support.
I apologize to all of our supporters for our inability to get onto the ballot, but want to assure them and the citizens of Connecticut that we will continue to stand up and speak out about the problems facing our state and our society and the solutions that will be necessary to ensure a better future of our of our state’s residents.
The petitioning process was an eye opening one. While requiring candidates to collect 7,500 signatures to qualify for a position on the gubernatorial ballot continues to seem like a reasonable number, the primitive and burdensome laws and archaic system clearly serves as an unfair barrier to those who believe our democratic system would be better served if voters had more choices when they go to vote
In the coming months we’ll seek to partner with other 3rd parties, their supporters and those who believe in a more open and democratic process so that we can develop and advocate for a legislative package that will reduce the unfair aspects of the petitioning process and create a more open, democratic system of campaigns and elections.
I also want to offer a special thank you to Connecticut’s reporters and media for providing us with fair and extensive coverage of our campaign.
Finally, a special word of congratulations goes out to Joe Visconti, the other 3rd party candidate, who, along with his team of supporters, did a remarkable job collecting the signatures necessary to get on the ballot. Joe has shown that the People can challenge the incumbency parties and, shake up the establishment. I wish him continued success as he speaks out on the issues he is so passionate about.”