Lauretti falls short at Independent Party caucus

UPDATE: Mayor Mark Lauretti was unsuccessful in his bid to earn the Independent Party endorsement for governor. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski earned a cross-endorsement from the Independent Party on Sunday, according to CTMrror.org.

Stefanowski went up against Lauretti, Oz Griebel, a former Republican; Rod Hanscomb, a Libertarian;  and Mark Stewart, a Democrat.

Lauretti told The Herald Friday that he would go back to supporting Stefanowski if he didn’t earn the nod.

Original Story: Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti is seeking the Independent party’s endorsement for governor. 

Lauretti spoke to The Herald Friday afternoon, confirming he will seek the nomination at Sunday’s caucus, despite throwing his support behind Republican Bob Stefanowski before the primary.

“I endorsed him only through the primary because I wasn’t participating,” Lauretti said. “And he knew that. All the candidates did. People want to act like this is a surprise. It’s not.”

The 14-term mayor said the endorsed candidates for governor, Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski, don’t not have his record. 

“No one else has done it — not raised taxes for 10 years and not run a city that is thriving,” he said. “I’ve been elected 14 times. That’s two and a half generations of Connecticut residents. It’s not the same people electing me. “

Lauretti failed to earn enough support at the Republican convention in May and fell short in his signature drive to qualify for the August Republican primary ballot for governor. On Friday, he criticized the state’s Republican insiders, saying it’s why he has decided to go the Independent route. 

“The Republicans didn’t think I was worthy,” Lauretti said. “If you aren’t on the team with these people than you can’t get on the ballot.”

Lauretti said he has reached out to Independent voters in Shelton

“This was never designed to be forever,” Lauretti said of his time as Shelton mayor. “ And I never envisioned I would be around this long.”

If he doesn’t earn support from the Independents, Lauretti says he’ll back Stefanowski in November. 

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