The Quest For Primary Ballot –Will SuBy And Ganim Delegate Dance At Democratic Convention?

debate socks
Susan Bysiewicz checks out Joe Ganim’s sock, right, at Sunday debate in New Haven. Joe to Susan, I’ll give you my sock for delegates. Photo by New Haven Independent.

Mayor Joe Ganim has two ways to qualify for the August 14 Democratic primary for governor: 15 percent delegate support at the May party convention, or fanning out political operatives across the state for a labor-intensive petition drive. If there’s any doubt in advance of the convention about delegate support you start the signature process on day one, and that is May 1.

According to the state election calendar, candidates for statewide office may circulate petitions starting May 1. The submission deadline is June 12. Six weeks to spread operatives and canvassers across the state to bag the more than 15,000 certified signatures of Democratic electors to qualify for the August 14 primary. Statewide candidates must submit thousands more than that to cover rejected signatures.

The Ganim camp will fish where the fish are: major cities in the state, that means Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury, New Britain, Stamford, etc. Large-acre zoning towns like Easton not the place to covet signatures. Those towns are reserved for Republicans.

The signatures are submitted to local elections officials before finding their way to the office of the Connecticut Secretary of State. It’s sweat equity for campaigners and mind numbing for elections officials who must measure the signatures of electors against voter files for certification.

For Ganim who knows he’ll not be party endorsed for certain and challenged to receive the 15 percent at the convention, you start the process early so you can enter the convention bragging to delegates about the ongoing petition drive. If you come up short at the convention the signature effort carries on. If you’re certified for the ballot via signatures it leverages a personalized list you can work with for the primary.

How often has this been successful? Not often. It’s a slog to accumulate that many signatures requiring an army of operatives infiltrating accessible urban voters, if you’re a Democrat.

The Democratic convention, as it’s shaping up could be chaotic. Ganim, for one, loves chaos when he’s trying to break through via a convention, or perhaps blocking a leading contender from nailing the 50 percent plus one required for the party endorsement.

Greenwich millionaire Ned Lamont and former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz appear to enjoy the most delegate support. But does one have enough for the endorsement? If not, then it’s an open primary with no endorsement.

Now here’s where this stuff becomes negotiable at a convention. Leading campaigns will conduct polls trying to determine how ballot alignment can benefit them. For instance, if the Bysiewicz campaign determines that Ganim’s presence on the ballot benefits SuBy, it could free up additional delegate  support for Ganim. We’ve got our 15 percent, let’s make sure Joe gets his. Lamont’s campaign will have its own configuration how ballot alignment benefits him.

In the quest for 15 percent convention support, Ganim and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa start with Bridgeport’s 90 delegates as a base and scout from there. They need about 200 more delegates to get there. The scenario for Ganim to land 15 percent exists because of the number of potential candidates for statewide office covering the constitutional positions: governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, attorney general, secretary of the state, comptroller.

So if you’re a candidate for attorney general with a bloc of delegates to bring to the table and want Bridgeport’s support, Testa is gonna say, let’s be friends. A lot of this stuff could play out on the convention floor.

Meanwhile, if you’re delegate-challenged, you field an organization to hustle signatures: a two-pronged strategy for ballot access.

If both fail, you pack your bags and figure out whom to support.



  1. The Connecticut electorate is looking for an “economic savior,” but probably has little interest in any “redemption” stories, one way, or the other… They are looking for a credible candidate with a credible “super plan” for the state economy…

    No such plan has as yet been outlined (much less laid out with some substance) by any of the candidates…

    After witnessing the transportation-system-/economic-infarct effect of the Stamford-centric state development policy perpetrated on the state by Dan Malloy and the Connecticut, Gold Coast Oligarchy — carried beyond the absurd by his administration — the Connecticut electorate will not elect another Gold Coast Governor… So we can rule out any Party endorsements of Lamont and Smith… And the party will not waste its political or financial capital on gubernatorial-candidacy abortionist Bysiewicz… Ganim has not provided anywhere near sufficient motivation for the Party to back him… This pretty-much leaves the Party endorsement in Harris’ hands, who can secure it with some promised gubernatorial endorsements for future Lamont and Bysiewicz candidacies…

    It would seem that the Ganim candidacy is the statewide candidacy that can successfully challenge the Harris, endorsed candidacy for the Party slot in November — IF Ganim can come up with a “supermessage” as he secures the petition votes for a primary slot… He should also secure an independent slot, by petition, to ensure a November slot… A Democrat with a powerful economy development message that can resonate on a statewide level will steamroller the Republican candidate in November… An independent candidate with big-City support can split the vote in his/her favor in November…

    Right now, things are pointing to a 3-way race in November, with Ganim in the mix one way or the other if he can sustain fund-raising
    momentum — which won’t happen if the message-rabbit isn’t pulled out of the hat within the next 8 weeks…

    Bronin’s forced exit from the race has reconfigured it in Harris’ favor…

    1. Bob, yes it’s ok and this is democracy. The fault is with me, with you Bob and with the voters of Bridgeport for allowing this travesty. Government operates from what the voters tells elected officials what they want but in Bridgeport it’s what the mayor wants and we allow it to happen. I like Joe Ganim but he has been a TOTAL disappointment especially to the black community who truly gave Ganim a second chance by voting in huge numbers to put Ganim back in office. Mayor Ganim has failed the 21,000 Bridgeport school students, he has fail the home owners with their taxes, he has fail the City by not giving a nationwide search to hire the best candidate for the Personnel Director and the police chief. The Bridgeport City Council has fail the voters by NOT being the check and balance to action of Mayor Ganim, the City Council has fail its constituents by NOT working in the best interest of its residents in finding out what their concerns are.

      Now we have Joe Ganim taking this piss poor leadership around the state in trying to be the governor, one would have to be blind and deaf to vote for Joe Ganim to be governor and having Mario Testa hanging around him in Hartford.

  2. Joe Ganim isn’t running to win, he is begging for campaign donations and circulating petition for the good of the people of the city of Bridgeport. According to the proudly bitchy wife of a DTC district leader…

  3. I think the media has shirked its responsibility by not informing the populace of the corruption going on, seeming to like the status quo and being lazy.
    That is a big reason people don’t get out.

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