Denise Merrill

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Denise Merrill
Denise Merrill 2013.jpg
Connecticut Secretary of State
In office
January 5, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 2019
Years in position 4
PredecessorSusan Bysiewicz (D)
Base salary$110,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 6, 2018
Campaign $$1,252,864
Term limitsNone
Prior offices
Connecticut House of Representatives
Bachelor'sUniversity of Connecticut (1988)
OtherAttended San Francisco Law School (1974-75)
Date of birthOctober 8, 1948
Place of birthSan Mateo, California
ProfessionAttorney, teacher, consultant
Office website
Denise W. Merrill (b. October 8, 1948, in San Mateo, Calif.) is the current Democratic Connecticut Secretary of State. She was elected to the statewide office in November 2010 and took office on January 5, 2011. Merill began her second term as secretary of state in January 2015 after winning re-election in 2014.[1] She was uncontested in the August 12 Democratic primary and defeated Republican Peter Lumaj in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to becoming secretary of state, Merill was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives. She was first elected by the state's fifty-fourth house district in 1992, and was re-elected every two years subsequently. She was chair of the House Appropriations Committee from 2005 to 2008 and, for her final year in the legislature, Merill served as State House Majority Leader.[2]

Merill's professional background spans a variety of fields related to child development, civic outreach and general education. Starting out as an attorney, she turned to teaching and finally landed in consulting, where she was able to combine the knowledge she had accumulated through academia and life experience up until that point. Merill consulted for the Connecticut State Department of Education for 10 years, half of which she spent doing double duty as Executive Director of the Consortium for Law and Citizenship Education Incorporated. Merill went on to serve as director of the Training Resource Academy at the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut.


Merill is a native of San Mateo, Calif. She is a licensed attorney and a former state lawmaker for the Connecticut House of Representatives.

She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1988 and previously attended San Francisco Law School.

Merill began her career as a self-employed lawyer, but switched to teaching after two years. She later segued from teaching at the Vershire School into consulting on educational issues in Connecticut. From 1984 to 1994, she worked as a consultant for the Connecticut State Department of Education while serving as Executive Director of the Consortium for Law and Citizenship Education Incorporated. She held the latter position from 1984 to 1991.


  • Attended San Francisco Law School (1974-75)
  • Bachelor's degree, University of Connecticut (1988)[2]

Political career

Connecticut Secretary of State (2011-Present)

Merrill has served as the Secretary of State of Connecticut since 2011.[2]

Ability to print extra ballots

Following her election as Secretary of State in November 2010, Gibson requested that the state legislature pass legislation authorizing her office to print extra ballots if they believe that local election officials have failed to print sufficient ballots. This initiative was in response to what happened on November 2, 2010, when Bridgeport ran out of ballots because they had not ordered enough. To serve the extra voters, ballots were photocopied; these copies had to eventually be recounted and as a result, the final verdict on the state's gubernatorial election was delayed for days.[3][3]

Connecticut House of Representatives (1992-2010)

Merrill was a representative in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1992 to 2010.[2] She was the Majority Leader from 2008 to 2010.[4]



See also: Connecticut secretary of state election, 2014

Merrill ran for re-election in 2014. She was uncontested for the Democratic nomination in the primary on August 12 and defeated Republican Peter Lumaj and Green Party candidate Mike DeRosa in the general election.[1] The general election took place November 4, 2014.


Secretary of State of Connecticut, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDenise Merrill Incumbent 51% 533,543
     Republican Peter Lumaj 46.7% 489,515
     Green Mike DeRosa 2.3% 24,038
Total Votes 1,047,096
Election Results via Connecticut Secretary of State.


See also: Connecticut Secretary of State election, 2010
2010 Race for Secretary of State - Democratic Primary[5]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Denise Merrill 62.9%
     Democratic Party Gerry Garcia 37.1%
Total Votes 169,981
Denise Merrill for Secretary of State Campaign logo
2010 Race for Secretary of State - General Election[6]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Denise Merrill 52.9%
     Republican Party Jerry Farrell 43.8%
     Independent Michael J. Telesca 1.3%
     Green Party S. Michael DeRosa 1.2%
     Libertarian Party Ken Mosher 0.8%
Total Votes 1,105,203





2002 Race for State House, District 54 - General Election[10]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Denise Merrill 54.4%
     Republican Party John B. Thacher, III 45.6%
Total Votes 5,145



Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Merrill is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Merrill raised a total of $1,252,864 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[13]

Denise Merrill's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 Connecticut Secretary of State Won $1,215,221
2008 Connecticut State House District 54 Won $6,247
2006 Connecticut State House District 54 Won $8,094
2004 Connecticut State House District 54 Won $7,040
2002 Connecticut State House District 54 Won $10,887
2000 Connecticut State House District 54 Won $3,875
1998 Connecticut State House District 54 Won $1,500
Grand Total Raised $1,252,864

2006, 2008, 2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Denise Merrill's donors each year.[14] Click [show] for more information.


Merrill received the Environmental Champion Award (2009) from the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.[15]

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Contact Information

Capitol Address:
Office of Secretary of State
210 Capitol Avenue, Suite 104
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) 509-6200
Fax: (860) 509-6209


Mailing Address:
Secretary of State
ATTN: Capitol Office
Post Office Box 150470
Hartford, CT 06115-0470

See also

External links

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The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine was used to recall this version of the website from November 3, 2010.


Political offices
Preceded by
Susan Bysiewicz (D)
Connecticut Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Connecticut State House - District 54
Succeeded by
Gregory Haddad (D)