Months before the major parties decide who should become Connecticut’s next governor, you can cast an early vote — and in the process challenge our winner-takes-all electoral system.
Dozens of candidates have emerged to seek to succeed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who retires at the end of this year after two terms in office.
In May Democrats and Republicans will hold conventions to endorse a candidate each, then some others will qualify for an August primary.
Some cities across the country have experimented with a different system: “ranked-choice” and “instant run-off” (IRV) elections. Voters select all the candidates they support in order of preference; then those results are tabulated to remove the lowest-scoring candidate in a series of rounds, with that candidates’ voters’ next picks redistributed to remaining candidates.
The idea is to give people a reason to vote. IRV and ranked choice are designed to offer more choices in each election, so people feel they can vote for one or more candidates rather than always vote against the lesser of two “evils” left standing when final choices appear on a general election ballot. (Here’s a fuller description.)
So let’s try it out.
We’ve embedded below a ballot on which we’ve listed the 22 candidates who have filed papers (for either “exploratory” or official campaigns) and made some public show of breathing and gathering money or support. You can list all the candidates you support in order of support. Then you can view round-by-round results as they evolve in coming weeks as other readers vote, too.
Below the ballot, we’ve also provided links to information about those candidates (and in some cases embedded radio interviews they’ve done on WNHH FM’s “Dateline New Haven program) to help you make your choices.
Thanks to the organization OpaVote for designing and adapting this polling tool in collaboration with Independent webmaster Kyle Summer so we can embed it here. Thanks to Brandon Patton for finding the right tool and creating the poll.
Create your own poll with OpaVote
This is one of two test-votes for the governor’s race available to voters today. CT News Junkie launched a “March Madness” elimination-round poll for each party’s field. (Click here to vote in that one, too.)
• Toni Boucher: Republican state senator from Bethel and New Canaan; a chief deputy majority leader. Campaign website.
• Mark Boughton: Republican mayor of Danbury. Click below to hear his interview on WNHH. Click here to read a story about that interview.
• Luke Bronin: Democratic mayor of Hartford. Click below to hear his interview on WNHH. Click here to read an article about the interview.
• Susan Bysiewicz: Democrat. Former secretary of the state. Click here for a story in which she discusses her platform.
• Sean Connolly: Democrat. Former state commissioner of veteran services. Click below to hear his interview on WNHH. Click here for an article about the interview.
• Oz Griebel: Independent. Longtime Hartford area business advocate. Running centrist campaign. Click here to read a story about his WNHH FM interview; audio below.
• Mike Handler: Republican. Has worked as top aide to Republican and Democratic mayors in Stamford; runs emergency services in New Canaan. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.
• Jonathan Harris: Democratic. Former state senator, state consumer protection chief, and West Hartford mayor. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.
• Ned Lamont: Democrat. Greenwich businessman. Lost past races for senator (2006) and governor (2010). Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.
• Steve Obsitnik: Republican. Fairfield County tech entrepreneur who returned home after making it in Silicon Valley. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.
• Guy Smith: Democrat. Former CEO of Americares and a liquor distribution company, Friend of Bill (Clinton), adviser to Philip Morris on anti-anti-smoking-law strategy. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.
• Prasad Srinivasan: Republican. Glastonbury state legislator and pediatrician; models his politics after Ronald Reagan. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.
• Bob Stefanowski: Republican. Ex-Gold Coast investment banker. Story here on how he presented his candidacy to New Haven Republicans.
• David Stemerman: Republican. Greenwich hedge fund founder. Background story here.
• Erin Stewart: Republican. Mayor of New Britain. Announced campaign on Facebook Live. Story here.
• Joe Visconti: Independent. Anti-gun control, anti-immigration Tea Party stalwart. Story here from his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.
• David Walker: Republican. Former U.S. comptroller general. In-depth Weekly Standard profile here.
• Jacey Wyatt: Independent. Perennial candidate from Branford. Sample story here from previous campaign.