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Ballot Set for 5th District State Senate Special Election

The slate of candidates who are running in the special election to fill the seat left vacant by West Hartford’s Beth Bye has been finalized.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford voters will have the opportunity to vote in a special election on Feb. 26 to fill the 5th District State Senate seat left vacant when Beth Bye resigned on Jan. 9 to lead the Office of Early Childhood, and the slate of candidates on the ballot was confirmed late Thursday afternoon by the Secretary of State’s Office.

The 5th District includes all of West Hartford and Burlington, and portions of Farmington and Bloomfield.

Candidates on the ballot are:

  • Derek Slap (West Hartford) – Democratic Party
  • Bill Wadsworth (Farmington) – Republican Party
  • Jeffrey F. Przech (Farmington) – Independent Party
  • Mark Stewart Greenstein (West Hartford) – Amigo Constitution Liberty Party

The same delegates who nominated the original candidates for the November 2018 election were required to nominate Bye’s successor, and only those parties that had a line on the ballot in the November 2018 election were guaranteed a candidate in the special election. Candidates for other parties needed to submit at least 472 verified signatures, and receive a party endorsement by Jan. 24.

Slap and Wadsworth were both nominated during conventions held by their respective parties last week.

In addition to the Republican and Democratic parties, the Independent party had a line on the ballot in November when Bye was elected, and nominated Przech as its candidate to run for her vacated seat.

Przech was attempting to submit enough signatures and also gain the endorsement of the Libertarian Party to have a second line on the ballot, but according to Gabe Rosenberg, spokesperson for Secretary of State Denise Merrill, the Libertarian Party did not submit an endorsement by the 4 p.m. deadline on Thursday, Jan. 24.

Greenstein submitted enough signatures, Rosenberg confirmed, and received his party’s endorsement.

West Hartford Town Clerk Essie Labrot said that absentee ballots will be ready on Friday, Jan. 25.

Absentee ballot applications for the special election are available online on the Town of West Hartford website, or can also be picked up in the Town Clerk’s Office beginning Friday, Jan. 25. Ballots will also be available on Friday for those who submit a properly-completed application.

“If you will be out of town or not able to make it to the polls on Election day due to illness, disability, military service, election duties or religious reasons, you are eligible to vote by absentee ballot,” Labrot said in an email. Voters should be aware that each application for an absentee ballot must include the applicant’s original signature, and parents cannot sign for their children, nor can spouses sign for each other.

The Town Clerk’s office is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesdays from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Thursdays from 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m., and Fridays from 8:30 a.m.-noon.

For further information on registering to vote, please call the Registrar of Voter’s office at 860-561-7451, and for absentee ballot information, call the Town Clerk’s office at 860-561- 7430.

The 5th District encompasses the entire Town of West Hartford, and all registered voters, from any party, are eligible to vote in the special election. All nine of the town’s polling places will be open for voting from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. on Feb. 26.

Candidates will be asked to submit questionnaires, and their profiles will be published by We-Ha.com.

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