HARTFORD – Tuesday was the deadline day for candidates seeking signatures to get onto the primary ballot.
Petitioning candidates needed to submit their signatures by 4 p.m. One of those candidates was Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim who collected the most signatures and had 32,000 of them.
Since the beginning of May, when Ganim lost his party’s endorsement, Ganim said he has worked hard to collect 1,000 signatures each day. This comes after his conviction in 2003 on corruption charges. He has since apologized for his actions and has asked voters for a second chance.
“This will be the first time in history that a candidate for governor or statewide office has qualified by a grassroots campaign,” said Ganim.
Ganim said this campaign has allowed him to get to know his voters and believed he can address those concerns.
“People have talked about second chance opportunities, even first chance opportunities. A good quality education for our public schools, opportunities for higher education and a decent job,” added Ganim.
There are others who also petitioned and FOX61 reached out to the candidate's campaign managers to those numbers.
Democrat Guy Smith submitted more than 26,000 signatures. Bob Stefanowski came in over 15,000 and David Stemerman submitted over 20,000. However, Mark Lauretti fell short of the 9,081 requirement and announced the end of his campaign.
The candidates all had to submit their signatures at the local registrars of towns and cities. From there, the individual registrars have one week to verify and certify those signatures.
After that, it gets sent to the Secretary of State’s Office where the numbers will be tabulated and that is when they give the official word on which candidates make the primary ballot.
“It should be open and diverse. I think that’s lacking and I think this campaign has become much more about any one candidate or about me, but it’s become about a battle of so much for a struggle for the heart and soul of the party,” added Ganim.
As of now, the Secretary of the State’s Office said Ganim has over 7,000 certified signatures and if he gets more, he could face off endorsed Democrat candidate Ned Lamont.