According to Middletown Town Clerk Linda Bettencourt, Realistic Balance Party endorsed candidates will be stricken from the ballot on the Realistic Balance line. This applies to all endorsed candidates other than John Killian, who will still appear on the ballot as the party's candidate for mayor, and Fred Carroll, who will be the party's candidate for the Common Council.
Bettencourt explained that the reason the party's endorsed candidates will be removed is that Connecticut State Statute 9-452 requires signatures of all candidates nominated by a "minority" party. The Republican and Democratic party does not require signatures of candidates to have those candidates considered valid.
Killian and Carroll signed the endorsement as chair and co-chair of the Realistic Balance Party.
The only candidate who will be completely stricken from the ballot is Steven Smith, a Meriden teacher who sought the endorsement of the Working Families Party, and was denied, but was endorsed by the Realistic Balance Party.
"I think it errs on the wrong side of access to the ballot," Realistic Balance Party chair John Killian said today. "If people want to get off of the ballot, I can understand it. If people want to be on the ballot, and are removed because of a technicality, it's tough to take."
All other candidates endorsed by the Realistic Balance Party have been endorsed by other parties, and will be listed on the ballot with those parties, those candidates include Republican Board of Education candidates Sheila Daniels, Brian Kaskel and Bill Wilson, Republican Candidate for Planning and Zoning, Jeremy Clark and Democratic Candidate for Planning and Zoning Stephen Devoto.
Republican Candidate for Common Council David Bauer, who was endorsed by the Realistic Balance Party, officially declined the endorsement of the party in a letter to the Town Clerk dated September 12.
Bettencourt explained that while the statute requiring signatures was effective as of July 2011, there were minority candidates on town ballots throughout the state in the last election, and that many of these candidates had not provided the appropriate signature.
Bettencourt said she was this week by the Secretary of State that minority candidates signatures were required. She has informed the party chair, and the affected candidates.
"As soon as I learned that the endorsements are invalid because the lack the appropriate signatures, I am bound by law to remove them from the ballot," Bettancourt said.
Bettencourt also explained that Middletown is not the only town being examined. The challenges to the minority slates began in Bethel and Westport. She predicted that the controversy will affect many ballots in the state, and may have reverberations in previous elections.
The origins of these challenges across the state has not been revealed, but in East Hampton, the entire Tea Party slate has been removed from the ballot.
In Middletown, Killian believes the challenge originated with the Republican Party.
"They had a meeting, and next thing you know the ballot was challenged," Killian said.
"We endorsed a slate in 2011, without signatures and this did not happen," Killian said. "We endorsed Seb Giuliano and Ron Klattenburg and their names were on the ballot under our line."
According to an email sent to affected candidates, Killian plans to challenge the removal of candidate names.
In fact, in 2011, The Realistic Party endorsed slate contained ten candidates (Full Disclosure: my name appeared on that endorsed slate as a candidate for the Board of Education).
"Middletown was drawn into the controversy," Bettancourt said. "But every town clerk in the state is now obliged to examine endorsed slates."