There’s more competition for state legislative seats than in any election year since 1998, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announced today.

Connecticut’s chief elections official reported that 54 of the 187 races for state House and Senate, or nearly 29 percent, lack a Democratic or a Republican candidate. That’s down from the 60 races that lacked major party competition two years ago.

It’s also the lowest ratio since 1998, when 26.7 percent lacked a major party candidate.

“This decline in uncontested General Assembly races means more Connecticut citizens are interested in the electoral process and running for office,” Bysiewicz said today. “Although some legislative districts still lack competition, I am very encouraged by these numbers and I am proud of those Connecticut citizens who have decided to get involved in the political process.”

Six of the 36 Senate districts, or 16.7 percent, lack major party competition. Among House contests, 48 of the 151 races, or 31.8 percent, lack either a Democrat or a Republican.

This year marks the second state election cycle under the Citizens’ Election Program, which allows candidates for state office to obtain publicly funded grants to finance their campaigns, provided they first raise a threshold amount of private money in small amounts from individual donors.

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Keith M. PhaneufState Budget Reporter

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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