His running mate threw in the towel last week, but it took the secretary of the state’s office until Tuesday to formally declare Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti ineligible for the Republican primary for lieutenant governor.

Lauretti needed 8,901 signatures from GOP voters to win a place on the ballot in August. The secretary of the state’s office says his final tally was 6,723.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, a Republican candidate for governor, quit the race last week, concluding that the petition drive would fall short.

Without Lauretti on the ballot, Boughton had no hope of raising the $250,000 in contributions of no more than $100 each to qualify for public financing. Boughton and Lauretti planned to pool their qualifying contributions.

Republicans still face a two-way primary for governor and a three-way race for lieutenant governor.

Tom Foley, the convention-endorsed gubernatorial candidate, is being challenged by Senate Minority Leader John P. McKinney. Penny Bacchiochi, the endorsed candidate for lieutenant governor, is opposed by Heather Bond Somers and David M. Walker.

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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