Candidates scramble for signatures to make August primary

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STAMFORD -

Connecticut political candidates are scrambling to make sure they collect enough signatures to get their names on the ballot for the August primary.

Republican David Stemmerman, who's running for governor, was in downtown Stamford Thursday. He must collect about 9,000 signatures by next Tuesday to get on the GOP primary ballot this summer. Those signatures must come from Republicans who are registered to vote.

"We have in this state a very difficult way for people like myself as a businessman, a political outsider, to make it on the ballot," he said. "All of the people who made it through the convention process have been running for office at least since 2012."

Sacred Heart University political analyst Dr. Gary Rose says petitioning candidates rarely win a primary. But with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, the GOP's preferred candidate, barely winning the party's endorsement, Rose says that could change this year.

"I think there's a real chance that we see a wide-open primary come Aug. 14, with party insiders and a collection of outsiders as well," he says.

On the Democratic side, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim says he has more than enough signatures to force a primary with Ned Lamont.

Once the signatures are turned over next week, it would take the state several weeks to verify all of them.

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