There are quite a few offices up for election this year. 99.1 PLR and AARP Connecticut wants you to know the duties of the open positions and who are the candidates running for office.
Be the difference by making your voice heard. Pledge to vote. Click on the AARP Connecticut banner below or text 22777. Vote Connecticut.
The Governor is an elected constitutional officer who serves a four-year term as the head of the executive branch — the highest state office. With the dust settling after Connecticut’s mid-August major party primaries, and an open seat in the governor’s office to fill this fall, the individuals who will occupy the top of the ballot on Election Day November 6 are clearly defined. For Democrats, it’s their endorsed candidate Ned Lamont, while Republican primary voters chose corporate executive Bob Stefanowski. Voters can also consider R. Nelson ‘Oz’ Griebel (GREE-bel) — a former GOP candidate for governor who is running this year as an Independent — along with decorated military veteran Micah Welintukonis. Voters will also see Libertarian Rodney Hanscomb rounding out the top of the ticket this fall.
Connecticut’s Lt Governor is a lot more than just a ceremonial position. The two greatest responsibilities of the Lt Governor are to lead the state government during the Governor’s absence, or to succeed the Governor in the event of the Governor’s death, resignation, refusal to serve, or removal from office. In addition to a number of other leadership roles on various commissions and work groups, the Lt Governor is also President of the state Senate – and as we saw in the current term, serves as a tie-breaker in the event of a tie vote. This November, registered voters across the state will be called to decide which one of four candidates will hold this position, Democratic primary winner Susan Bysiewicz, Republican Joe Markley, Jeffrey Thibeault of the Libertarian Party, and independent Monte Frank.
The State Attorney General is Connecticut’s chief civil legal officer, and the Office of the Attorney General was officially established in 1897. The Connecticut Constitution and General Statutes authorize the Attorney General to represent the interests of Connecticut citizens in all civil legal matters involving the state to protect the public interest — AND to serve as legal counsel to all state agencies. Our current Attorney General – Democrat George Jepsen – has served Connecticut since 2010 but is not seeking re-election this November. As a result, state voters will chose either state Representative William Tong, a Democrat — or Republican nominee Susan Hatfield, as the state’s new Attorney General for a four-year
The little talked about and often misunderstood duties of the Connecticut State Comptroller were first included in the State Constitution in 1786, and have been expanded over the years to include providing accounting and financial services, developing accounting policy, exercising accounting oversight, and preparing financial reports for state, federal and municipal governments and the public. So the comptroller actually oversees the payment of all wages and salaries of state employees; and negotiates the procurement of their medical, dental and pharmacy benefits. Today the state’s incumbent Democratic State Comptroller is Kevin Lembo. He is seeking re-election this November and is facing Republican challenger Sharon McLaughlin and Green Party nominee Rolf Maurer.
The Office of the Connecticut Treasurer (OTT) was established way back in 1638. The State Treasurer is the chief elected fiscal officer for State government, overseeing a wide range of activities regarding the prudent management of State funds. This includes the administration of a portfolio of pension assets for more than 190,000 beneficiaries and plan participants and a short-term investment fund utilized by agencies of municipal and state government. Connecticut’s current Tresurer is Democrat Denise Nappier who was first elected in November 1998. She is not running for re-election this November, so when voters go to the polls, they will choose between Republican Thad Gray and Democrat Shawn Wooden.
Secretary of the State:
The Secretary of the State for Connecticut is the official keeper of a wide array of public records and documents. The office publishes, distributes and sells the State Register and Manual, registers and licenses various businesses and commercial lenders, runs the state’s elections, officially documents legislation, regulations and other acts of the state government, and responds to more than 600,000 requests for information annually. The current secretary is Democrat Denise Merrill, who was first elected in November 2010, and who is running for re-election this November. She is being challenged by Republican Susan Chapman, Mike DeRosa of the Green Party, and Libertarian Party nominee Heather Gywn.
The Connecticut State Legislature or General Assembly includes a 36-member State Senate and 151-member House of Representatives, which meet at the capital in Hartford. During even-numbered years, the General Assembly meets from February to May, while in odd-numbered years, when the biennial state budget is completed, the session runs from January to June. The governor can also convene a special session – while the General Assembly can call their own session in order to override gubernatorial vetoes. This November, voters will go to the polls and elect their respective legislators for two-year terms. All 187 General Assembly seats are up for election this November 6, although there are 25 candidates – 2 in the senate and 23 in the house – who are unopposed.
CT State Senate:
The Connecticut State Senate is the upper chamber of the Connecticut General Assembly, and its President and potential tie-breaking member is the sitting Lt Governor. Alongside the Connecticut House of Representatives, it forms the legislative branch of the Connecticut state government and works alongside the governor of Connecticut to create laws and establish a state budget. Legislative authority and responsibilities of the state Senate include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes. All registered voters can head to the polls this Election Day to elect candidates or incumbents to fill all 36 Connecticut Senate seats for two-year terms.
CT State Legislature
Connecticut has 151 state House districts covering one or more communities – and this coming Election Day, registered voters in each district will elects one representative to serve a two-year term. Those Representatives make up the lower chamber of the Connecticut General Assembly, which alongside the Connecticut State Senate, form the legislative branch of our state government. Elected state representatives work in conjunction with the governor to create laws and establish a state budget. Legislative authority and responsibilities of the Connecticut House of Representatives include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes.
Independent, Petitioning, Minor Party & Write-In Candidates
In Connecticut, there are three ways an individual can become a candidate for public office – being nominated by a state-recognized political party; by running as an independent, often by petitioning to get their names on the ballot; OR, an individual can run as a write-in candidate. Beside major party candidates, voters on November 6 will find Independent, minor party, petitioning, and write-in candidates running for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as Connecticut’s Governor, Secretary of the State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Comptroller. Voters are encouraged to get to know the candidates on their local ballot, and if you are not registered to vote, you can sign up until or on election day by contacting your local Registrar of Voters.
On November 6 Connecticut voters will be going to the polls to cast their ballots. But what if there’s something preventing you from voting in person? QUALIFIED VOTERS can simply report to their municipal Town Clerk’s office to apply for and complete an absentee ballot. If you are an active member of the armed forces of the United States; scheduled to be out of town during all hours of voting on Election Day; if you have an illness preventing you from voting in person, or have religious beliefs that prevent you from performing secular activities like voting; if you will be working as an election official at a polling place other than your own on Election Day; or if you have a physical disability that prevents you from voting in person, you are eligible to vote absentee.
On Election Day, Connecticut voters will not only be asked to endorse candidiates for public office. This year’s ballot contains two constitutional ballot questions. By voting ‘Yes’ and passing Amendment 1, voters would endorse preserving Connecticut’s Special Transportation Fund, and require it to be used exclusively for transportation purposes including paying transportation-related debt. By voting ‘Yes’ and passing Amendment 2, voters would limit the General Assembly’s ability to pass legislation forcing state agencies to sell or convey any state land, buildings or property interest to non-state entities. Voters can review expanded explanations of each measure at their polling place before voting, or in advance at their local Town or City Clerk’s office.