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STRATFORD Palmer close to getting on Nov. ballot in 120th

August 7, 2018

STRATFORD — Prez Palmer, who some describe as the Democratic Town Committee’s biggest headache at the moment, has submitted many more signatures than he needs to get on the ballot in November as an unaffiliated candidate for the 120th House seat.

It’s not official yet — the signatures still have to be verified as coming from people living in the 120th and are registered to vote. But those familiar with the process say that it’s a near-certainty that Palmer’s name appear on the ballot because he submitted more than 110 signatures and he only needs about 40.

Palmer, a registered Democrat and a member of the DTC, had earlier sought to challenge the endorsed Democrat for the seat, Phil Young, in a party primary. But he failed to get the required number of certified signatures, so instead of facing Young in a Democratic primary next week, he’ll likely be taking on both Young and the Republican, James Feehan, in November.

Word on verification should arrive in a few days from the Office of the Secretary of the State, according to Town Clerk Susan M. Pawluk. Town Hall is doing a preliminary check of the names; that effort should be completed by late Wednesday.

“Right now I’m focusing on my Republican opponent,” Palmer said, “because he’s the only one who has successfully qualified for (state) campaign financing — so he is the only true recognizable opponent at this time.”

Palmer said that he’s “well-prepared to take his message to the people,” and that Democrats in town “should stand behind me.”

The DTC is bracing for a tight race between Young and Feehan. Although Young is the incumbent, the general consensus among Democrats is that a vote for Palmer is a vote for Feehan, who was a comfortable winner when he ran for the Town Council and the Board of Education over the years; Feehan was chairman of both of those panels.

“It’s probably safe to say that the people who are thinking of voting for Jim would not vote for Prez,” said Democrat Registrars of Voters Rick Marcone, an old hand at politics in town.

When Young was seeking re-election to his 6th District Town Council seat last year, Palmer challenged him to a primary and won, 99-68. Palmer later lost the election to Republican Ken Poisson 618-551.

Although most of the political establishment in town see Palmer coming in third in a three-way race, he boasted that he’s confident of victory.

“I believe that I will be the prevailing voice come November,” he said.

jburgeson@ctpost.com

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