Updated, 8:48 p.m.: Lisa Thomson changed to Lisa Brinton Thomson.
NORWALK, Conn. – The race to get election petition signatures is ending Wednesday, with four would-be Norwalk Democratic candidates for municipal office trying both to force a Democratic primary and to get on the ballot this fall as a “petitioning candidate.”
The deadline to file enough petitions to qualify is 4 p.m. Aug. 9. State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140), who is seeking to be Norwalk’s next mayor, Board of Education member Shirley Mosby and Common Council at large hopefuls Sharon Stewart and Diane Lauricella have all taken out petitions to run for election this fall as petitioning candidates, in addition to their attempts to force a Democratic primary, Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said Tuesday.
Also working for a spot on the ballot – as a petitioning candidate – is Council member Steve Serasis (D-District A), but his petitions are thought to be “lost in FedEx limbo,” Wells said at 11:44 a.m.
A Serasis supporter at 6:37 p.m. posted a Facebook appeal for help getting signatures, indicating that the petitions had arrived.
Although Serasis is not seeking a primary to get re-elected, expect a primary in District A anyway. Council hopeful Kadeem Roberts “appears to have enough turned in” to challenge the Democratic Party-endorsed candidates, Council incumbent Eloisa Melendez and Chris Yerinides, Wells said.
Neither District B Council hopeful, Manny Langella and Hector Correra, has turned in any petitions in their effort to force a primary on Council incumbents Travis Simms and Faye Bowman, Wells said.
The primary would be Sept. 12.
Morris, who announced last month that he is going ahead with his challenge to Democratic Mayor Harry Rilling although he has been battling prostate cancer, needs 135 signatures to get on the ballot as a petitioning candidate, Wells said. He has turned in about half what is needed.
To qualify city wide for a Democratic primary, candidates need 942 signatures. Not one of the four city-wide hopefuls is close to having enough signatures to qualify, Wells said.
Morris has “a handful” of petitions turned in, while Mosby has “a few hundred,” Wells said at 4:17 p.m. Neither Stewart nor Lauricella had turned any in.
Candidates are also seeking signatures for Working Families Party endorsements. This is necessary in districts where the party has not endorsed a candidate in the past.
Council incumbents John Igneri and Thomas Livingston have turned in enough signatures to get a Working Families endorsement in District E, Wells said. District D Democratic Council candidates William Pappa and George Tsiranides have submitted enough petitions to get on the ballot as Working Family Party Council candidates in District D.
Langella and Correa have not yet submitted petitions for a Working Families line in District B, he said. They will be on the ballot no matter what, as they have been cross endorsed by the Republican Town Committee.
There could be four mayoral candidates on the ballot this fall if Morris is successful in becoming a petitioning candidate. If Rilling survives as the Democratic-endorsed candidate, winning a primary if there is one, he would face Morris, Republican Andy Conroy and independent Lisa Brinton Thomson.
Wells explained the would-be ballot lineup for mayor:
- The Democratic mayoral candidate (first because a Democrat got the most votes in the last race for governor)
- Conroy (as the other major party candidate)
- Minor party candidates (Working Families Party would qualify)
- Thomson (as the first person to turn in enough signatures to become a petitioning candidate)
- Morris (as the second person to turn in enough signatures to become a petitioning candidate)
There is a drawing to determine which column candidates are in for lower offices, in the categories for which voters choose more than one candidate. There are five at large Council seats and four BoE seats.