Mayor Bill Finch’s only hope now for a ballot line for the November 3 general election is a state judge. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced Friday that irrespective of Finch’s claim to be the mayoral candidate of the Finch-manufactured Job Creation committee “they never submitted any document endorsing a candidate for that office” by the September 2 statutory deadline.
Statement from Merrill:
“I strongly support minor party access to the ballot and new participation in the electoral process. However, our election laws exist to ensure a fair and level playing field for all parties and candidates. The Job Creation party designation committee filed papers to run a petitioning candidate for Mayor of Bridgeport, but they never submitted any document endorsing a candidate for that office. State election law clearly states that in order to get a candidate on the ballot, a petitioning minor party must submit a letter of endorsement by the statutorily mandated deadline. In 2015, the minor party endorsement deadline was Tuesday September 2nd at 4:00 p.m. No statement of endorsement was submitted to our office by the Job Creation party designation committee by that deadline. Because of this, state law forbids my office from approving any petitioning candidate from that group. None of the ensuing circumstances that have taken place since that deadline passed have changed that determination made by my office. Ultimately, the Secretary of the State’s office is bound to follow the law as written and unfortunately we have no legal authority to grant any exceptions.”