Third-Party Candidates Get a Say | Connecticut Public Radio

Third-Party Candidates Get a Say

Oct 29, 2014

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” -Kate Ter Haar
Credit Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

According to the latest Q-poll, a lot of Connecticut voters don’t like any of the candidates running in the upcoming gubernatorial election. But, they don’t have much choice in that race or any of the other state races that generally have 2 candidates -- maybe three if we’re lucky -- on the menu.

People are deeply disengaged from our political process, evident in the low percentage of people who vote or bother to become familiar with the issues that affect their daily lives. To make matters worse, our elected officials and often, the media, cultivate the polarization and bickering that turn off qualified candidates whose measured voices and civil behavior get lost in the clamor.

Our cultural model of the maverick politician who isn't constrained by the limitations of either major party is Jefferson Smith, from "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington." But don't forget, Smith is appointed to the job and only because a flipped coin lands on its edge.

When we look for a model of a candidate who really bucked the two-party system, the models are harder to find. The odds are so stacked, even against the people who claw out-of-line on the ballot.

Every election cycle we make an effort on this show to talk to some of the people who make a go of it without the backing of a major party.

Some of them are running as registered write-in candidates, some have ballot lines with other parties, they don't get a lot of news coverage and God knows, they don't have a lot of money to buy advertising.  

So they're here today. 

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  • Rolf Maurer is running as a candidate for CT State Comptroller and CT State Treasurer on the Green Party ticket 
  • Mayor Ernest Eldridge is a candidate for State Representative in the 49th District of Windham and Willimantic. He’s running with The Bottom Line Party 
  • Todd Cheney is a write-in candidate for State Senate in the 6th District of New Britain and Berlin 
  • Linda Louise LaCasse is a petitioning candidate for State Representative in the 52nd District of Somers