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The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a trial court was correct in giving the Waterbury faction of the Independent Party sole control over the party’s statewide ballot line, ending a long feud with a faction in Danbury.

The unanimous decision should allow the Independent Party to make endorsements in 2020 without court action. The inability of the factions to agree in 2016 left the line unclaimed in the U.S. Senate race, as Danbury cross-endorsed Republican Dan Carter and Waterbury nominated John R. Price of Wallingford.

Last year, Judge Trial Referee A. Susan Peck rejected the Danbury group’s request for an injunction blocking Waterbury from nominating candidates for statewide office and concluded that Michael Telesca and Rocco Frank Jr., the Waterbury leaders, had properly filed bylaws in 2010 that establish its faction as a statewide party.

Cross-endorsements have been pivotal in some races, giving candidates two places on the ballot.

Without the votes cast for Dannel P. Malloy on the Working Families Party line in 2010, the Democratic nominee would not have been elected governor. State Rep. Pamela Staneski, R-Milford, won by 150 votes in 2014, when 253 of her votes came on the Independent line.

Last year, the Working Families, which is financed by unions, cross-endorsed Ned Lamont, the Democratic nominee for governor. At a caucus in Waterbury, the Independent Party cross-endorsed Republican Bob Stefanowski for governor.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

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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