TRUMBULL -- GOP gubernatorial candidate and former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst sharply criticized several Republican candidates for governor who have vowed to disrespect the party's convention process and attempt to gain ballot access by petition if they fail to get enough support from GOP delegates on May 12.
"If these candidates can't demonstrate enough viability to win the support of 15 percent of the grassroots Republicans at our convention they do not have what it takes to defeat the Democrats in November and should immediately drop-out," Herbst said.
Political neophyte and Dodd-donor Bob Stefanowski, who hasn't voted in an election since 2001, announced Wednesday he would skip the convention and focus on trying to petition onto the primary ballot. At a Republican debate in New Britain Wednesday evening, several other GOP candidates, including Obama-donor David Stemerman, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan and Democratic-appointee in Stamford Michael Handler all said they would try to petition onto the ballot if they failed to get 15 percent at the CTGOP Convention on May 12.
"In order to take-down the Democratic machine in Hartford and defeat Gov. Malloy's chosen successor, we need to nominate a battle-tested candidate who can generate enthusiasm and build a movement to take back our state," Herbst continued. "The convention is a critical part of the process for determining which candidates are able to motivate our party to fight tooth and nail to win."
"It is an incredible sign of disrespect to the Republican activists who are on the front lines for our party for candidates to say they will skip the convention or not respect its outcome," Herbst said. "These delegates are the volunteers who knock on doors, stuff envelopes, make phone calls and sacrifice their time to get Republicans elected locally and statewide."
"These delegates have earned their role in the process by fighting for our party and should withhold their support from any candidate who would ignore their voice," Herbst said.
At the debate Wednesday, Herbst also noted that he was the first candidate to pledge to support the Republican nominee, even if it's not him, and that several candidates on stage refused to follow his lead and say they would commit to doing the same.“Any candidate who cannot make that simple promise is proving they hold their own ego or political self-interest above what is right for Connecticut families,” Herbst said.
“If a candidate cannot agree to support the nominee, even if it is not them, it should be a disqualifier for GOP voters,” he said.