Connecticut General Statutes §9-372(6) defines minor party to mean, “a political party or organization which is not a major party and whose candidate for the office in question received at the last-preceding regular election for such office,…at least one percent of the whole number of votes cast for all candidates for such office at such election.” (Emphasis added).   


The first step in becoming a minor party is running a candidate using a nominating petition with a party designation.  If that candidate garners one percent (1%) of the votes cast for that office, a minor party for that office is born.  Having minor party status, affords the minor party the ability to nominate for the office without having to gather signatures at the next election for that office.


The second step in maintaining a minor party is to file party rules.  Connecticut General Statute§9-374 requires that minor parties file ” least one copy of the party rules .... in the office of the Secretary of the State...”  This filing is required before the minor party nominates a candidate. 


The third step in maintaining minor party status is to continually run candidates as the offices are up for re-election.  Failure to do so will result in the loss of minor party status for that office. 


There are many minor parties in Connecticut, some local and some state-wide.  Contact the local town clerk for a list of minor parties in your town.  Currently, the statewide minor parties are the Green Party, Working Families Party, Libertarian Party and Independent Party. 


Please note that minor party and third party are used synonymously.