Guy Smith falls short, leaving a Lamont-Ganim primary

mark pazniokas /

Once there were six Democratic candidates for governor. From left, Guy Smith, Ned Lamont, Jonathan Harris, Susan Bysiewicz, Sean Connolly and Joseph P. Ganim.

Guy L. Smith conceded Tuesday that his petition drive for a place in the Democratic gubernatorial primary has failed, leaving Democrats with a two-way race on Aug. 14 between the convention-endorsed candidate, Ned Lamont, and Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim.

Smith, a corporate executive from Greenwich who served as a special adviser to Bill Clinton during impeachment proceedings against the president, needed signatures from two percent of registered Democrats. As of 4 p.m. Monday, the secretary of the state’s office had counted only 10,896 signatures, just two third of the necessary 15,458.

“It is with sadness that I announce the end of my campaign for governor of Connecticut,” Smith said in an emailed statement. “Although this is disappointing, I am grateful for the support from friends, family and in particular my wife Marjorie, and the tens of thousands of Connecticut residents I have met over these many months. I want to express my profound thanks to my campaign team for all their dedication and I know they share in my disappointment.”

Ganim, who failed to qualify for the primary at the state convention, successfully petitioned to force a primary. Two of the five candidates in the Republican primary, Bob Stefanowski and David Stemerman, also gained ballot access by petitioning.