Jean DeSmet Candidate Statement

Running for CT State Senate district 29


I am running for State Senator in District 29 because CT needs to make a change to our voting system.  We need Ranked Choice Voting (RCV).

Democratic elections aim to represent the will of the people, as expressed by the majority.  Elections today are falling short of that ideal, undermining voter confidence and democracy itself.

RCV elects candidates who represent over 50% of the voters and increases the voices of our residents who are not affiliated with either of the 2 major parties.  RCV brings the political process in line with the original Greek definition of politics, ie. “making decisions in groups.”  

When we invite more people into the room, when we rid ourselves of backroom deals and power brokers, we form a community of trust and goodwill to bring us, together, into a future where we will work to face climate change and our other large problems.

Third party candidates like myself are labeled as "spoilers", as if the 2 major parties are the only legitimate representatives of our citizens.  You are probably hearing that (again) about my candidacy.   

The spoilers are the 2 major parties. Gov. Lamont and Secretary of State Merrill both support RCV, and RCV passed the House.  But the major party powers do not want to lose their control.  Sen. Flexer, as Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, blocked RCV in the Senate this year.  

If Sen. Flexer does not get re-elected, the Democrats will say it was “Jean’s fault.”  But the fault lies with the system and with Sen. Flexer for blocking Ranked Choice Voting.  If CT adopts RCV, Sen. Flexer’s chances of winning would be enhanced.   I hope to make clear to the major parties that RCV benefits them, too.

RCV is not complicated.  Instead of voting for only 1 person (or party) we rank our choices.  If there are 3 candidates, we vote 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice.  That’s pretty logical, isn’t it?  It reflects how we make many decisions in our lives.  I love Chocolate ice cream.  If I can’t have Chocolate, I’ll have Strawberry, etc.  

Over the years, I’ve run in elections with up to 5 candidates.  The winner might have less than one-third of the voter’s support. By ranking our choices, candidates will show they have the support of 50% of voters to win. Elections must reflect the will of the people, not just two Party powers.  We need systemic change.

Thanks to Monte Frank for calling attention to this vital issue.  

Vote to show that we need to elect our representatives through Ranked Choice Voting (RCV).

More information on RCV is at: