The combined statewide campaign team of Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti announced at the beginning of the week that it had collected more than 4,000 petition signatures to get Lauretti on the Republican primary ballot for lieutenant governor. That means as of early Monday, the campaign appeared to still need to get about 4,000 signatures \u2014 or almost 450 a day \u2014 to reach the required 8,190 by June 10 at 4 p.m. \u201cI have to be optimistic,\u201d Lauretti said when asked if he would reach the threshold by the deadline. \u201cIt\u2019s hard, but it is what it is.\u201d Boughton is running for governor. \u2018Dozens of collection teams\u2019 In a June 2 email, the Boughton-Lauretti team said it had \u201creceived offers to help from more than 100 volunteers statewide,\u201d and that \u201cdozens of signature collection teams [were] out gathering petitions across Connecticut\u201d the previous weekend. Lauretti said he knew his campaign for statewide office \u2014 he began by running for governor, then switched gears after doing poorly with delegates at the Republican State Convention \u2014 would be difficult. \u201cI knew it was an uphill battle when I got in,\u201d said the 12-term mayor. Combining financial resources The Boughton forces are motivated to help Lauretti since they could then combine monetary donations to try to qualify for the state\u2019s campaign financing program. Lauretti proved himself to be a strong fund-raiser when running for governor, although he now needs to begin raising new money for lieutenant governor since his gubernatorial campaign funds cannot be combined with Boughton\u2019s donations to reach the state\u2019s campaign financing program limits. \u201cTeam Boughton-Lauretti is working hard to get on the August primary ballot and raise the money needed to compete in the contest,\u201d said a June 2 campaign email. \u201cWe are encouraged by the strong response to our new team.\u201d Paying some petition collectors The Boughton-Lauretti campaign team has offered $2 per signature to petition collectors, which has drawn some attention but is perfectly legal. Paying petition signatures is not unusual in most states, but few candidates in Connecticut have resorted to it since election and campaign financing laws have been liberalized to make gathering signatures for a primary more of a real-world situation. Lauretti filed the paperwork to run for lieutenant governor on May 23, giving him 19 days \u2014 the first and last of those being partial days \u2014 to collect the required signatures. That averages out to 432 signatures a day. Some signatures will be ineligible One thing to keep in mind is that candidates need to collect more signatures than required because some of them will inevitably be found to be ineligible for various reasons. It\u2019s unclear how carefully the Boughton-Lauretti team is verifying the signatures along the way. In general, the more verification being done by the campaign during the collection process, the fewer signatures that probably will be tossed out. Sometimes entire petition sheets filled with multiple signatures can be disqualified. Other campaigns often scrutinize and challenge the petitions, which are verified by local election officials. Other lieutenant governor candidates If Lauretti qualifies for the lieutenant governor primary he would face three other candidates \u2014 state Rep. Penny Bacchiochi of Stafford, the endorsed candidate; former Groton Mayor Heather Somers, and former U.S. Comptroller David Walker of Bridgeport (who is running with McKinney). Boughton automatically qualified for the Aug. 12 primary for governor by getting enough delegates at the convention, as did state Sen. John McKinney of Fairfield. Boughton and McKinney will challenge the endorsed candidate, Greenwich businessman Tom Foley, in the primary.