Special elections: A dozen candidates for three seats

The ballots are set for special elections on Feb. 24 to fill three legislative vacancies created by lawmakers who accepted positions in the executive or judicial branches of government.

Two of the vacancies are in Bridgeport, where Sen. Andres Ayala resigned his 23rd District seat to become commissioner of motor vehicles and Rep. Auden Grogins left the 129th District to accept appointment as a Superior Court judge. Ayala’s old district also includes a portion of Stratford.

The other vacancy was created by Rep. David Scribner, R-Brookfield, who gave up his 107th District seat to join the Liquor Control Commission. Stephen G. Harding is cross-endorsed by the Republican and Independent parties in the 107th. The Democratic nominee is Howard Lesser.

In the 129th House, there is a crowd: Democrat Steven Stafstrom, Republican Enrique Torres and three petitioning candidates – Robert T. Keeley, Robert E. Halstead and Hector Diaz. Keeley and Diaz are Democrats and former legislators.

The ballot in the 23rd Senate also has five names:  Democrat Richard DeJesus, Republican Quentin Dreher, Edwin A. Gomes on the Working Families line and two petitioning candidates — Charles E. Hare and Kenneth H. Moales.

Gomes, a Democrat, once held the seat, but he lost a Democratic primary to Ayala.

Eligible voters have until Tuesday, February 10 to register to vote by mail or online for the special elections. The deadline for registering in person at registrars’  offices is Monday February 23.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.