Despite the availability of public financing to pay for the campaign, 50 state legislative races this year will go uncontested in the fall elections.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill made the announcement Thursday that the number of uncontested races has jumped by 56 percent from only two years ago. Overall, 42 House of Representatives and 8 state Senate races will not be contested by a major political party.
In 2012, there were 32 uncontested races in the 187-member legislature.
Minor party and write-in candidates may still contest the races as the totals include only the lack of a Republican or Democratic candidate.
The lack of candidates traditionally comes in races that are dominated by a particular party. For example, no Democrat is running in the 151st House district in Republican-dominated Greenwich and in the 36th Senate seat that covers Greenwich, North Stamford, and New Canaan.
Conversely, no Republican is running in the 4th and 5th districts in Democratic-dominated Hartford.
“It is a bit surprising to see so many General Assembly seats not contested by a Republican or Democratic candidate this election season,” said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, the state’s top chief elections official. “There has been a steady decline in the number of uncontested races since 2004. That has coincided with the availability of public campaign funds through the Citizens’ Election Program. The number of uncontested races in 2014 is still lower than its height 10 years ago, however one would expect more candidates stepping up to run this year, given all of the turnover” in the legislature.
The eight uncontested Senate races are up from five in 2012.
The political season is heating up as there will be both Republican and Democratic primaries on Tuesday, August 12. Unaffiliated voters who want to switch their political party in order to vote in the primary must do so by 12 noon on Monday, August 11.