Norwalker Rob Merkle, a favorite among some Tea Party supporters, has qualified to primary in the 4th Congressional District Republican race



Hour Staff Writer

Norwalker Rob Merkle's name will appear on the ballot in August as part of a Republican primary election in the 4th Congressional District.

On Monday, the Secretary of the State's office confirmed that Merkle successfully petitioned his way onto the Aug. 10 primary ballot. Merkle needed to collect the signatures of at least 1,988 registered 4th District Republicans and did so, according to Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.

Merkle, a favorite among some Tea Party supporters, said in May that the Republican "has their favorite. The people don't. The people haven't had a chance to have their say."

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Rick Torres, a Bridgeport Republican, also qualified to participate in the Aug. 10 primary election. Torres and Merkle hope to defeat Shelton Republican Dan Debicella -- the party's endorsed candidate -- in the primary election and incumbent Democrat Jim Himes in the general election in November.