Lauretti fails to qualify for lieutenant governor primary

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti won’t be running for lieutenant governor after all.

According to the Secretary of the State’s office on Tuesday afternoon, Lauretti’s campaign failed to turn in the 8,190 valid petition signatures required to have the 12-term mayor placed on the Aug. 12 Republican primary ballot.

The Secretary of the State’s office said 6,723 of Lauretti’s signatures were found to be valid — or about 75% of the approximately 9,000 signatures the campaign has said it turned in.

Lauretti’s campaign teamed up with the gubernatorial campaign of Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton to try to collect the signatures over 19 days, following the Republican State Convention in May. They said they handed in about 9,000 signatures by the June 10 deadline.

Since then, local election officials around the state have been checking the names for validity. A certain percentage of the signatures routinely are determined to be invalid, usually because the signers are not registered voters or not registered in the appropriate political party.

Had started out running for governor

Lauretti has began the campaign running for governor, but did poorly at the Republican State Convention and failed to secure the required number of delegates to qualify for the GOP primary for governor.

Then, a few days after the convention, Lauretti teamed up to run for lieutenant governor with Boughton. The two campaigns worked together to try to collect the signatures needed by Lauretti to qualify for the primary.

The goal was to run together as a team so they could combine fund-raising donations to jointly qualify for the state’s public financing campaign.

Boughton had expected to do that with another candidate, former Groton Mayor Heather Somers, but Somers decided to run on her own around the time of the convention.

Recently, Boughton dropped out of the race for governor, primarily because he thought the Lauretti petition drive would fall short and therefore he wouldn’t be able to qualify for public financing.

Now in 12th term as mayor

Lauretti was first elected mayor of Shelton in 1991. He won re-election in 2013 with 77% of the vote.

“We have improved things,” he said about his leadership in Shelton after that campaign. “Look around — when everyone else is struggling, we’re doing well.”

Lauretti is the longest serving mayor in Shelton history. He is married with four children. In the past, he has owned restaurants and worked as a school teacher and sports coach.