On Sunday, John Blankley announced he had achieved the required number of signatures of registered voters to have his name on the ballot in the Aug 17 special election for State Senator in the 36th district.
The seat became available after Democratic State Senator Alex Kasser resigned in June. She had won a second term in November, 2020.
Delegates from the Democratic party selected Alexis Gevanter as their nominee last Tuesday to be their nominee, but not before Blankley, a Democrat and former member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, announced over the 4th of July holiday weekend that he would run as an Independent.
At their convention on Saturday, Republican delegates from the district, which includes Greenwich and portions of New Canaan and Stamford, selected Ryan Fazio as their candidate.
Fazio had 19 votes and Leora Levy garnered 9 votes.
The previous evening State Rep Harry Arora withdrew his name from consideration, saying most of the delegates were making their choice based on loyalties and personal relationships.
Blankley issued a release Sunday afternoon saying he’d achieved the required 546 signatures of registered voters in the 36th District, which he had to do by 4:00pm on July 12 to be included on the ballot.
In fact, Blankley said he had garnered 580 signatures by July 11 and was “building the buffer” in the event that any signatures are rejected.
“It is with great humility that I can report that I have exceeded the required signature threshold to be placed on the ballot as candidate for the 36th Senate special election on August 17,” Blankley said in the release. “I am particularly humbled by the breadth of support I have received in equal measure from Unaffiliated, Democratic and Republican voters who signed my petition.”
“It is now clear there is wide support for securing our rights, and to promote fiscal security for our towns and our State, and to have a very experienced businessperson who knows our state helping to lead the way,” he added. “Over the next month, I will be urging voters of Stamford, Greenwich and New Canaan to make a statement that we can have the leadership we want in Hartford.”
Blankley has run for this State Senate before. In 2016 Blankley challenged then incumbent, Scott Frantz for the job. Mr. Frantz won the election, earning a fifth term. Prior to that, in 2011, he challenged then First Selectman Peter Tesei. In 2012, he challenged State Rep Livvy Floren who won a 7th term.
Buckle up. It will be an interesting three-way race.