UPDATE: She needs 1,585 certified signatures to qualify for a Democratic primary ballot spot and currently sits at 1,504, according to elections officials. If state senate candidate Juliemar Ortiz comes up short, it’s likely because dozens of signatures have been disqualified as a result of an unaffiliated voter circulating petitions.
The campaign asserts, however, it did not utilize an unaffiliated voter.
Statement from campaign:
Your reporting that our campaign had an unaffiliated voter circulating petitions is, likewise, inaccurate. We have one registered Democrat who had some, not all, of their signatures disqualified, because the Bridgeport registrar is debating the timeline of when this circulator became a Democrat. Thus, referring to this circulator as an unaffiliated voter is inaccurate.
We are in the process of contesting Bridgeport’s registrar, as we have already found dozens of registered Democrats whose signatures were disqualified for no clear reason, and feel confident that Juliemar collected enough signatures to be on the ballot.
If Ortiz fails to make the ballot, Democratic-endorsed Herron Gaston will face straight up incumbent Dennis Bradley in the August 9th battle in Connecticut’s 23rd Senate District.
Bradley, awaiting trial on federal charges he allegedly violated Connecticut’s program of publicly financed races, received enough convention support to qualify.
State elections officials are still reviewing signatures from Bridgeport and Stratford Democratic voters. A final decision on Ortiz’s ballot access is expected in a few days.
The former communications director for Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz entered the race as the progressive alternative to party-backed Gaston and incumbent Bradley.
Petition challengers require five percent certified signatures from Democratic electors in the district to solidify a ballot position. The district covers about two thirds of Bridgeport and a slice of western Stratford.