The CT Tea Party in Bethel is knocked off the ballot for the November election because of a filing technicality based on a two-year-old election law, leaving former First Selectman Robert Burke the option of running as a write-in candidate. In Westport, a local minority party lost its ballot line for the first time in 20 years. In Ridgefield, the local independent party line was bounced from the ballot because of the same law. However, Ridgefield’s and Westport’s cross-endorsed candidates will appear on the ballot. Local officials in recent days learned that minority parties in Middletown, Simsbury and Fairfield may have problems related to the 2011 law, which requires minority party candidates to sign certificates of endorsements filed with town clerks. Signatures are not required of Republicans and Democrats.
Minority candidates in Westport and Ridgefield were cross-endorsed by majority parties, so they remain on the ballots. But in Easton, another filing mishap apparently will keep four minority candidates off the ballot.
Some town clerks blamed the state for not reminding them of the new rules, but the Secretary of the State’s Office pointed out that local officials were notified of the changes two years ago.
Candidates bumped from the ballot were furious. “This is a most heinous form of discrimination” to the minority candidates,” Burke said, citing the fact that the majority party candidates didn’t need to sign their endorsements. “I will look into what it takes to be a write-in candidate. I have to work to do. We conformed to everything and when it was brought to my attention, within 24 hours everything was done.”