Carmen DiCenso has collected enough signatures to qualify for the September Democratic primary, according to a post on his campaign’s Facebook page.
DiCenso, the president of the Derby Board of Aldermen, is challenging two-term incumbent Mayor Anita Dugatto for the Democratic line on the November ballot.
“I am humbled and honored to have the support of the Democratic Party and thank them for their confidence in my ability to lead and make Derby better,” DiCenso said in a prepared statement. “I am very happy with the response from my constituents. The sheer number of supporters that reached out to my campaign to sign the petition was empowering. With the support of the majority of the Derby DTC, I am looking forward to the opportunity to have a chance to make Derby a better place for all residents.”
The winner of the Sept. 12 primary gets the Democratic line in the Nov. 7 general election.
The Republican nominee for mayor is Rich Dziekan, a retired Hamden police officer who most recently worked in Ansonia under Mayor David Cassetti.
This year’s mayor’s race in Derby has had its shares of ups and downs so far.
The Derby Democratic Town Committee July 18 endorsed DiCenso over Dugatto by a 21 to 15 vote.
But Dugatto’s campaign protested the endorsement because it was conducted by secret ballot, which is against state and national party rules.
State Democrats then stripped DiCenso of his endorsement July 21, saying both Dugatto and DiCenso should collect signatures to qualify for the Sept. 12 primary.
All Democrats in Derby are eligible to vote in the primary.
DiCenso’s team needed 117 signatures to qualify for the primary. They collected 193 signatures, according to his campaign.