Mayor Bill Finch’s ballot access is not getting better every day. Av Harris, spokesman for the Connecticut Secretary of State’s Office, told OIB Monday afternoon the Job Creation Party that was created as a backup plan if Finch did not survive the Democratic primary will not have a ballot spot as a result of failing to meet a September 2 filing deadline notifying the office of its designated endorsement. That would have been Black Rock used-car salesman Rich DeParle who was apparently holding the spot for Finch. The decision now limits Finch’s ballot options that could leave only one path for reelection, as a long-shot write-in candidate.
Two other potential options would be Finch persuading Republican Enrique Torres or Charlie Coviello, the “New Movement Party” mayoral candidate, to give up their slots for him. Both told OIB on Monday afternoon they will not do that under any circumstances.
Rather than petition Finch directly onto the ballot as an individual, the Finch political operation rolled the dice on creating a new minor party with DeParle as the straw man. DeParle filed all the correct paperwork, including securing enough petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. He had even submitted his letter of resignation as the minor party’s mayoral designee. The problem came when the party organizers failed to meet the deadline for naming its endorsement. As a result, it has been disqualified for the ballot.
Petitioning candidates cannot give up their ballot spot to another individual. The only way that can happen is if a political party entity such as the Republican Party in the case of Torres or the New Movement Party fronted by Coviello give up their spot. “I’m not giving up my spot to Finch,” Coviello says. “This now makes me more viable.”
Last Wednesday Finch became the first incumbent in city history to lose in a primary, jumpstarting the once unfathomable comeback of former Mayor Joe Ganim who was forced from office following his conviction on federal corruption charges in 2003. Campaigning relentlessly all over the city, Ganim shocked Finch on primary day forcing the mayor to seek out a ballot path in the November general election. The mayor last week announced to supporters he would be the candidate of the Job Creation Party. Now that he has lost that option, barring Coviello or Torres ceding their positions to him, his only option is as a write-in candidate in November. He must file that paperwork with elections officials by Oct. 20.