Despite a schism within the ranks of the Independent Party of Connecticut, rival factions of the group have both endorsed Linda McMahon for Senate, giving the Republican nominee a clear path toward a second spot on the ballot.

Had the competing wings, one based out of Danbury and the other in Waterbury, been unable to reach a consensus on an endorsement, a judge likely would have been forced to settle which candidate gets to run on the Independent Party line in the November election.

McMahon is counting on her name appearing on the ballot both as a Republican and Independent, providing a counterweight to the cross-endorsement of Democrat Christopher Murphy by the Connecticut Working Families Party.

Minor parties have until 4 p.m. Wednesday to submit their endorsements to the Secretary of the State's Office.

The Danbury faction endorsed McMahon during a party caucus Aug. 19 that Dr. Robert Fand, the group's leader, said was attended by 120 people.

"I think she's an honorable and professional candidate," Fand said. "One of the most critical reasons for endorsing Linda is to create balance in the U.S. Senate."

City and town clerks are still certifying petitions that McMahon turned in to run as an Independent. She needed signatures from 7,500 voters by Aug. 8.

Michael Telesca, of Waterbury, who identified himself as chairman of the state central committee of the Independent Party, said McMahon was the only candidate to meet that requirement.

"We're always thankful when people want to run on our line, especially petition candidates," Telesca said.

Telesca said McMahon shouldn't be penalized because of party infighting.

"We do have basically an open tent situation," Telesca said. "We want to see Independent people get elected. I would say Linda probably fits that bill."

A message seeking comment from McMahon was not returned Tuesday by her campaign.

neil.vigdor@scni.com; 203-625-4436; http://twitter.com/gettinviggy