Secretary of the State Denise Merrill created a candidate committee Wednesday, becoming an official candidate for re-election in 2014.

Merrill said she once again will participate in the voluntary Citizens Election Program, which will limit her to maximum contributions of $100 in return for public financing.

It was a low-key launch for the first-term Democrat. She filed her papers, then dropped in on the Capitol press room to announce.

“I don’t think this comes as a surprise to anyone,” she said. She joins Comptroller Kevin Lembo as an announced candidate for re-election. All six constitutional officers — governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and treasurer are the others — are expected to follow suit.

Unless someone decides on retirement or a career change, Connecticut will have no open seats for Congress or the statewide constitutional offices for the first time since 2006. In 2010, Treasurer Denise Nappier was the only constitutional officer to seek re-election. Democrats won all six seats.

Merrill was the House majority leader when she sought the Secretary of the State office in 2010. She succeeded Susan Bysiewiecz, who ran for attorney general. 

“I am very proud of the work I have accomplished thus far to modernize and improve the Secretary of the State’s office,” Merrill said. “In just three short years, we have worked to shore up the integrity of our elections, modernize voting for all Connecticut citizens, and expand voting rights to increase participation in democracy.  We have also greatly improved business services, better utilizing technology to improve responsiveness, efficiency and transparency.”

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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