House race for 122nd: Liscinsky to pursue legal efforts to be Democratic candidate

Arlene Liscinsky of Shelton currently isn’t on the ballot to run for state representative in the November election due to administrative obstacles, but is pursuing legal action to try to get on this fall’s ballot as the Democratic candidate.

Liscinsky ran and lost as the Democratic nominee in the July 22 special election for the 122nd House District, left vacant when longtime Republican incumbent Larry Miller died in late May.

She had hoped to run again for the full two-year term in the Nov. 4 general election but that will require a legal challenge.
Liscinsky, a Shelton Board of Education member, could still try to run in November as an independent petition candidate — with no party affiliation — but has decided not to pursue that option.

The 122nd District includes slightly less than half of Shelton as well as small parts of Stratford and Trumbull. Republican Ben McGorty of Shelton easily won the July 22 special election to fill the seat through the end of this calendar year.

‘Due to an error...’

According to a press release from her campaign, Liscinsky and her supporters “worked hard to get the required signatures on her petitions so she would appear on the November ballot as the Democratic candidate. She has been notified that she did not qualify, although she had gained and submitted the necessary signatures early and on time, before the deadline.

“Due to an error by the Shelton Registrar of Voters, and compounded by the Secretary of the State's Office [SOTS] overlooking two petitions, her petitions to get on the November ballot were ruled invalid,” the release continued.
The release states that while Liscinsky “did nothing wrong, and in fact completed her part of the task correctly, the only way to correct these errors is to sue the SOTS and the Shelton Democratic Registrar of Voters.”

She said litigation is an expensive proposition — with estimates ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. “While she has been told she likely would prevail in court, there is no guarantee,” stated the release.

‘Wants to fulfill her commitment’

Liscinsky said running as an independent “is not her first choice,” but she “very much wants to run and fulfill her commitment to the voters of the 122nd District.”

“If she cannot get the ruling reversed, given the obstacles she must overcome, along with additional efforts to fund raise, she has decided to suspend her campaign,” states the release.

“She has the support of all three town committees to move forward if she chooses,” according to her campaign release. “She is committed to work with area Democrats, to help get them elected even if she does not run herself.”

August and November elections

McGorty is being sworn in as the state representative from the district today, July 25. But he faces an Aug. 12 GOP primary to run for a full two-year term in November from Michael C. Vickerelli of Stratford. McGorty is the party-endorsed candidate in the primary.

Another candidate, Cheryl Jansen of Shelton, has indicated she plans to run as an independent in the Nov. 4 election.

Jansen was the Democratic nominee in 2008 and 2010, and ran a particularly strong race against Miller in 2008 with Barack Obama at the top of the Democratic ticket.

Due to when the late Rep. Miller died and the election calendar, Republican voters in the 122nd District will have to cast ballots three times in less than four months, and Democratic voters twice.

Shelton makes up the bulk of the district, which has traditionally leaned Republican. Trumbull makes up a small portion of the district.