Suddenly the political scene in Coventry has changed with one candidate asking to be removed from the ballot. Republican Catherine Root notified election officials last Friday to remove her name from the ballot as a candidate for the Town Council.
Ms. Root has been a Coventry resident for 31 years and has been active in the American Legion Auxiliary. She is well known as a volunteer with Coventry Human Services and the Booth and Dimock Memorial Library Book Sale.
She is currently retired and was formerly employed by the State of Connecticut in the Department of Social Services working in areas of fraud recovery and disability. According to a Republican publication she had 28 years of service with the State of Connecticut.
While there was no reason given for her withdrawal from the election her action was taken on the heels of an appearance at the SOS Coventry public forum last week. SOS Coventry is a political action committee that has been closely tied to Democratic candidates in the past.
Absentee ballots will become available this Friday creating a situation for quick action if a new candidate is to be considered. According to Town Clerk Susan Cyr any candidate can withdraw up to 24 days before the polling date. When that happens “a political party may replace the candidate up to 21 days before the polling date,” according to Cyr.
It is possible for Ms. Root to reconsider or for a new candidate to be name by the Republican Party. Since the ballots are already printed without a full slate of Republican candidates adding a candidate at this time could require new ballots to be printed or the hand counting of all ballots after the polls close.
Catherine Root was a late addition to the Republican slate as she was not endorsed at the Republican caucus when candidates were selected for this election. Ms. Root later took action and gained a place on the ballot after circulating a petition to become a Republican candidate.
This is the first time in recent memory anything like this has happened in Coventry. Now with just a little over a month the Republican Party finds itself with campaign literature and signs endorsing a candidate that may not appear on the ballot. Adding a candidate will add expense for the Party and any new candidate or reinstatement of Root will add expense for the Town of Coventry.