Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Candidates Reach Petition Threshold for Election

According to a press release distributed after Monday's Common Council meeting, Republican Council members Phil Pessina and Joe Bibisi "have filed petitions Monday to be candidates for reelection on the Working Families Party and the Independent Party."

Bibisi and Pessina were dropped as candidates for the council by the Republican Town Committee.  They have accumulated enough certified signatures to run for those seats as independents.  They have also collected enough votes to run on the Working Families Party line, however they must be endored as candidates by the Working Families Party.

Democrat Steven Devoto, who announced yesterday that he had collected enough signatures to force a primary for the election of members to the planning and zoning committee, also announced yesterday that he, and fellow Democrat Steve Smith, had collected enough signatures to run for the P&Z with the Working Families Party.  This run must also be endorsed by the Working Families Party.

The Republican Town Committee is scrambling to find a candidate to run for their vacant seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

In announcing his run, Pessina pledged to work "in the best interest of the city."

Pessina and Bibisi had been criticized by RTC chair William Wilson and former mayor and RTC member Sebastian Giuliano for not being critical enough of a merger of city departments, or the proposed city budget.  Pessina provided copies of emails sent by the pair early in the year emphasizing their disapproval of Bibisi's and Pessina's votes.

"The residents of the City of Middletown will be the political party to which we answer," Pessina said.  "Although we will be the minority on the Council, we will be the watch dogs for our residents, seeing that the council operates in the public favor, and not the political parties favor."


Disclaimer:  Ed McKeon is a Democratic member of the Board of Education (running under the Ed4Ed banner), an associate and friend of Devoto, a volunteer for Devoto's primary run, and a co-founder of the Middletown Eye.  Ed McKeon is also a friend of Stephan Smith, both of whom were members of the Blue House Group, LLC, who worked to successfully renovate and sell a distresed home in their neighborhood.


Anonymous said...

There is an important difference between DeVoto and Bibisi/Pessina. Stephen is working within the Democratic Party system while Joe & Phil have run away from the Republican Party.

Wouldn't it be good to know why they have chosen different strategies?

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

State law does not allow a candidate to appear on both a line of a pre-existing party and a non-pre-existing (aka new party) or as a petitioning candidate (no party). The Secretary of State will likely disallow the publication of a ballot where candidates appear on both a new and an old party (i.e. Working Families).
You can appear on five pre-exising parties, if they give you their nominations. Creating a new party, however, means you can not appear on any other parties that are already out there.

Anonymous said...

I just got a headache.

David Sauer said...

Actually, it is all very simple (not). The press release states that Bibisi and Pessina have collected enough signatures to appear on the Working Family line and the Independent Party line. They can run for council on both of those lines simultaneously.

The article states that they have accumulated enough signatures to appear on the ballot as independents. The correct terminology in Connecticut is "petitioning candidate" and they would then be "unaffiliated". You cannot appear on the ballot as a candidate endorsed by a party and also as a "petitioning candidate". Also, if you create a brand new party you cannot run as a candidate on that party's line and also another party line. Since both the Working Families Party and the Independent Party are pre-existing parties that wrinkle should not effect this race.

Perfectly clear and easy to understand, no?

John Kilian said...

The Independent Party is not pre-existing on the Middletown Ballot.
Its standing in even year ballots does not qualify it as a party in municipal elections.