FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — The Democratic presidential primary season has been filled with headlines of Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders.
But when Connecticut voters head to the polls for the April 26 primary, they will probably be surprised by the name at the top of the ballot.
The ballot order was picked randomly Tuesday by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill with students from the Law & Government Academy at Hartford Public High School in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes.
The candidates' names will be in this order on the Democratic line:
- Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente
- Hillary Clinton
- Bernie Sanders
And they will be in this order on the Republican line:
- Ted Cruz
- Ben Carson
- Donald J. Trump
- John R. Kasich
Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, 61, made it onto the ballot by submitting more than 7,700 petition signatures . He is a businessman, developer, and real estate tycoon from San Diego and identifies as a conservative Democrat. Numerous media accounts say he was inspired to run because of his dissatisfaction with the current candidates, especially Donald Trump, whom he accuses of alienating large segments of the population.
Republicans Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio had their names removed from the ballot since ending their campaigns.
"This has been an exciting election with a lot of interest and it looks like it will remain competitive for a long while yet," Merrill said. "Connecticut will make its voice heard in the democratic process on April 26. However to cast your ballot in the April primary you must be registered with a party. If you are a new or unaffiliated voter, it is not too late."
The names were drawn from a basket, supplied by the Connecticut Historical Society, that was once owned by Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale.
The deadline for new voters and for unaffiliated voters to enroll in a party for the primary is April 21 via mail or April 25 in person. For more details, check the state website .
Polls will be open April 26 from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. for registered Republicans and Democrats.
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