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Rep. Hilda Santiago declares for secretary of the state

Rep. Hilda Santiago, D-Meriden, who created an exploratory committee for statewide office in August, said Thursday she is committed to running for secretary of the state.

Her announcement comes two weeks after Rep. Stephanie Thomas, D-Norwalk, became the first Democrat to launch a campaign to succeed Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, who is not seeking a fourth term.

Santiago’s exploratory committee had raised $8,735 through Sept. 30, the end of the most recent filing period. She is trying to become the first Hispanic person to win statewide office in Connecticut.

She joins Thomas and two Republicans with candidate committees, Dominic A. Rapini and Brock L. Weber.

At least four other Democrats have formed exploratory committee in possible preparation for a run: Rep. Josh Elliott of Hamden; Sen. Matt Lesser of Middletown; Rob Simmelkjaer of Westport, a former television executive who is chair of the Connecticut Lottery; and Maritza Bond, the director of public health for the city of New Haven.

Merrill and Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo are the only two of the six statewide constitutional offices who have announced they are not running. No one has created a campaign committee for comptroller.

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