The Connecticut Republican Party said Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against Secretary of the State Denise Merrill challenging the order of candidates on state ballots for the upcoming November elections. The GOP announced it had taken legal action in a news release that was first obtained by The Associated Press after the state courts had closed for the day. Last month, Merrill, a Democrat, disagreed with Republicans who said their candidates should be on the top line of November’s statewide election ballot, even though a Democrat won the 2010 governor’s race. They argued that not all of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s votes came from the Democratic Party. In fact, Republican Tom Foley received 560,874 votes, while Malloy received 540,970 as a Democrat and 26,308 as a Working Families Party candidate.
‘‘Unfortunately, the secretary’s unfounded and apparently partisan-driven position leaves us no choice but to seek redress in the courts,’’ said State Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola. ‘‘We believe the secretary of the state’s interpretation is wrong and it would be unfair to Connecticut voters to allow these elections to proceed unlawfully.’’ Av Harris, a spokesman for Merrill, said her office will take a thorough look at the lawsuit before responding more fully. ‘‘But we are very confident in how we interpreted the state election statutes and the order of the ballot,’’ he said.