Harry Arora, who, like fellow Republican Bob Stefanowski failed to win a cross endorsement last month from the Independent Party of Connecticut, filed a lawsuit Monday in an attempt to keep the minor party's candidate for state treasurer, Jennifer Baldwin of Guilford, off the Nov. 8 ballot.
Last week a state Superior Court judge rejected Stefanowski's attempt to delete Independent Rob Hotaling from the ballot for governor.
But Arora's lawyer, Proloy K. Das of the Hartford firm of Murtha Cullina LLP, is using a different strategy from Stefanowski's legal team, charging that the Independent Party failed to file their party rules with Secretary of the State Mark Kohler at least 60 days before the controversial party caucus in Guilford on August 23.
Arora is citing an item in a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling on minor party's resubmitting their party rules each time they receive 1 percent of statewide voting.
"The Independent Party is not legally authorized to nominate candidates for state office in the November 8, 2022 election," Das wrote in a complaint filed against Kohler. "The Independent Party has not filed bylaws with the Secretary of the State for state offices, and specifically the office of State Treasurer, and is therefore not a 'minor party' for the office of State Treasurer."
Arora, a first-term state representative from Greenwich, is asking the Superior Court to order Kohler to declare that no state treasurer candidate appear on the Independent Party ballot line in November. Last week a Hartford Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Hotaling on the deadline day that statewide ballots were to be printed and sent to local election officials throughout the state.
In 2018, Stefanowski received 25,388 votes on the Independent Party ballot line, about 1.8 percent. His fellow Republican, Thad Gray, got 23,074 votes through a similar cross endorsement.
Stefanowski’s case focused on party Chairman Michael Telesca, claiming that he violated Independent Party bylaws when he voted a second time, breaking a 79-79 tie, giving the nomination to Hotaling, a Cheshire banker who was the chosen candidate of the party’s central committee.
Stefanowski’s name will only be on the Republican line, while Gov. Ned Lamont has won cross endorsements from both the Working Families Party and the Griebel-Frank for CT Party.
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