Opinion: Winning as an independent candidate is possible, but . . .

Recently, former State Rep. Jonathan Pelto appeared on WNPR’s “Where We Live” to talk about his possible third-party challenge to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Pelto, a Democrat who has been a fierce critic of the Malloy administration, promised that he wouldn’t just run to “spoil” the race for Malloy — but to make sure his issues are heard and, perhaps, to win.

Easier said than done.

Independent candidates often run in statewide races, though they rarely have much of an impact. Sometimes, independent candidates capture the public imagination by championing an issue or providing a much-needed alternative to the two established parties. This is what Pelto has been talking about doing in this election.

It’s still very hard for that kind of candidate to win. Tom Scott was this kind of candidate; he was a popular radio host who ran in 1994 on an anti-income tax platform. His lawn signs read “Repeal the Tax,” and he had a pretty passionate, dedicated following.

But in the end Scott got only around 10 percent of the vote.

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.



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