Primary challengers seek spots on town ballots
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Aug. 12, 2011
After not receiving an endorsement during last month's Democratic Town Committee meeting, Mary Alice Dwyer Hughes has spent the past two weeks collecting enough signatures to qualify to run in the mayoral primary.
Dwyer Hughes announced Aug. 10 that she has submitted more than 1,000 signatures to the Town Clerk and the Registrar of Voters, more than enough to enable her to run in the Sept. 13 primary against the endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate, Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc.
“I received a phone call late this afternoon from Peg Byrnes, Democrat Registrar of Voters, advising me that she had validated the required number of signatures. I am extremely grateful to my supporters in East Hartford,” Dwyer Hughes said. “I will be seeking a televised debate prior to primary day with my Democratic opponents to let East Hartford's Democrat voters themselves decide who is the most qualified candidate to move East Hartford forward.”
Dwyer Hughes was just one of several candidates who brought signature petitions to Town Hall for validation to run in the primary. Susan Skowronek, a Town Council member who did not receive an endorsement from the Republican Town Committee, brought her signatures to Republican Registrar of Voters Mary Mourey.
Skowronek said she had more than 180 signatures, more than the required 137 needed to mount a primary challenge for a seat on the Town Council. Skowronek, a first-term council member, said she did not receive an endorsement from the committee because she was being “punished for not doing what [town committee members] told me to do. I vote for what I think is right for the people of East Hartford, and there are some people who don't like that,” she said.
Victoria Gaudette Brinius, who is making a primary challenge for a seat on the Board of Education, also came to Town Hall with her signatures. “We have way more than what we need. I am running for a two-year term, to replace Bob Damaschi, who is stepping down, on a four year term.”