BREAKING NEWS: Rep. Stephanie Thomas to Run for Secretary of State

State Rep. Stephanie Thomas speaks in the House of Representatives

BREAKING NEWS: Wednesday, Dec. 1, 10:30 a.m. — Representative Stephanie Thomas (D-143 Norwalk, Wilton, Westport), held a press conference Wednesday morning, Dec. 1, to announce she will be running for Connecticut Secretary of State.

Thomas chose the newly opened Norwalk Art Space, where she’s on the advisory board, as the location for her press conference announcement.

A media alert sent out before the announcement event offered a quote from Thomas explaining why she’s running.

“Apathy often wins more elections than our political parties and I believe it is time for that to change. I have made a career out of problem-solving and finding solutions that work and I will bring that same proactive attention to the position of Secretary of the State to champion transparency in government, streamline business processes, and strengthen trust in our elections,” Thomas said.

It was followed by a press release Wednesday morning with another quote from Thomas.

“For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about civic engagement. Voting is the underpinning of our democracy, and it breaks my heart when I hear people say that they don’t plan to vote or that voting doesn’t matter.”

The CT Secretary of State’s office oversees a wide range of services, including business and commercial filings, elections and record repository. The current Secretary of State, Democrat Denise Merrill, has said she’s not going to seek re-election after serving three terms.

As a state representative, Thomas has served as the vice chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee. The media alert touts Thomas’ co-sponsorship and work to pass “a variety of voter-focused bills such as automatic voter registration at state agencies and resolutions to advance early voting and no-excuse absentee ballot voting.”

Thomas officially filed on Tuesday, Nov. 30, for the formation of a Candidate Committee with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, which is the formal step demonstrating intent to run for a specific office.

The filing document shows that Wilton resident Peter Squitieri is serving as treasurer for Thomas’ campaign.

Wilton Democratic Town Committee chair Tom Dubin said the town’s Democrats are supportive of the move. [Editor’s note: Wilton will no longer be part of the 143rd District following the statewide post-census redistricting.]

“Stephanie Thomas has been a wonderfully responsive and knowledgeable advocate for Wilton as State Representative for the 143rd District. During her tenure she has distinguished herself through a commitment to ballot access, including early voting and more convenient registration. In addition, her background as a small business owner provides experience and insight that would support Connecticut’s entrepreneurs and business owners. She would make an ideal Secretary of the State and we are pleased that she has thrown her hat into this ring.”

The media alert said Thomas is “the only Democrat to have filed a Candidate Committee,” while other Democrats have only filed Exploratory Committees without officially announcing which statewide office they’re seeking.

According to the New Haven Independent, other Democrats who have indicated they’re considering running for Secretary of State without formally declaring yet include New Haven Health Director Maritza Bond, former New Haven Democratic Town Chair Jacqueline James, New Haven Alder Darryl Brackeen, Hamden State Rep. Joshua Elliott, State Sen. Matt Lesser of Middletown, and Meriden State Rep. Hilda Santiago.

In addition, Brock Weber and Dominic Rapini have announced their candidacies for Secretary of State on the Republican side.

The story has been updated to include a comment from the Wilton DTC chair.