Working Families Party: Third-party bid is in Chris Donovan’s hands
5th District Congressional Democratic candidate Chris Donovan addresses the media at Hubbard Park in Meriden. His wife Niki is in blue at left. Mara Lavitt/New Haven Register
By Jordan Fenster, Staff Reporter
If Chris Donovan should lose Tuesday’s Democratic primary, could he remain on the ballot as a third-party candidate endorsed by the Working Families Party?
The Connecticut Working Families Party has already endorsed Donovan, but has no mechanism to remove him from the general election ballot should Donovan lose the Aug. 14 Democratic primary for 5th District Congress but decide not to withdraw his name from the Working Families line.
Donovan’s campaign declined to address the possibility, saying it’s focused 100 percent on winning the Democratic primary on Tuesday, Aug. 14.
“There is no Wednesday,” said Donovan campaign spokesman Gabe Rosenberg.
“It would be up to his campaign if they would resign from the ballot line or not,” according to Taylor Leake, Connecticut Working Families Party spokesman. “We’re still hoping that he wins (the Democratic primary).”
According to some sources, Donovan has dropped sharply in the polls, a result of the arrests of two of his senior campaign staffers on charges they conceived a cash-for-legislative action scheme and then sought to conceal the source of $27,500 in campaign donations.
News site CTNewsJunkie.com said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee conducted an internal poll showing Dan Roberti ahead of both Donovan and opponent Elizabeth Esty, though the DCCC would not confirm the results of the poll.
The Working Families Party has remained supportive of Donovan’s campaign despite the arrests, Connecticut director Lindsay Farrell telling the Connecticut Post’s Brian Lockhart after the arrest of the candidate’s campaign finance director that “Chris Donovan is a great guy, who has always stood up for working people and their families, and he’s always done it with honesty and integrity. His commitment to clean elections and good ethics legislation over the years makes it unimaginable that he could have known that this was happening.”
That commitment, according to Leake, has not waned.
“We are working as hard as we can to help him win,” he said. “He’s the only candidate with a record we can trust.”