Big Night For Testa And Ganim–Pereira’s Insurgent Slate Loses, Black Rock Challengers Fall

Testa and Lydia
Democratic Town Chair and City Clerk Lydia “Queenie” Martinez campaign in front of JFK precinct Tuesday afternoon.

Insurgents came up well short Tuesday trying to take out seasoned campaigners in Democratic Town Committee primaries. A slate led by 138th District Leader Maria Pereira has lost all nine seats to a coalition aligned with Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa in the Upper East Side, according to unofficial returns. Testa spent most of his day in the district wooing voters at the JFK precinct. Pereira, herself, is within recount range. Two years ago Pereira’s slate won all nine seats.

Paoletto slate broom
Victorious slate in 138th District pull the broom out Tuesday night after results.

138th District slate winners Tony Barr, Tyreke Bird, Abraham Duque, Dolores Fonseca, Rafael Fonseca Jr., Kevin Monks, Anthony Robert Paoletto, Martha Santiago, Nessah Smith.

In the 130th Black Rock/West End District unofficial returns show that the slate led by Danny Roach, a city employee supporter of Mayor Joe Ganim, won a majority of the seats with former City Councilman Scott Burns the leading vote producer. While Roach’s slate has prevailed one of his slate members Shaquana Shaw trails former City Councilwoman Donna Curran from completing a clean sweep of the district by four votes, according to unofficial returns. A recount will follow. So Roach’s slate has taken at least eight of nine seats.

A number of voters in Black Rock on Tuesday told OIB they were turned off by the negative campaigning of the challenge slate. “Nasty,” is how one Black Rock voter described it who said she was not an establishment fan but rejected the tone of the insurgent slate. Most challenge slate members performed well at the Black Rock precinct while the Roach slate ran well across the board at Aquaculture including absentee votes in the precinct. A number of voters also said they split their ticket. Electors could choose from any nine among 18 candidates.

130th slate winners in bold: Burns 607, Larcheveque 583, Cline 580,  Mulligan 577, Meehan 561, Amado 559, Manzo 546, Roach 540, Curran 538, Shaw 534, Vulcano 525, Bluestein 513, Bacon 504, Valencia 504, Dwyer 498, Kennedy 490, Blake 474,  Raleigh 464.

Shaw and Vulcano in recount range.

130th slate campaigning
130th challenge slate members Lynda Bluestein, Diane Vulcano and Donna Curran in front of Black Rock School. Image from Black Rock In The Know FB page. Curran is the lone member from that slate who won. A recount follows.

Testa and City Clerk Lydia Martinez spent primary day campaigning in front of the JFK precinct. The chairman expressed confidence before the polls closed that he’d be elected to another two-year term as party leader. He had concerns about the challenge slate’s absentee ballot operation in the district. “And you talk about my absentee ballot work,” Martinez needled OIB. “They’ve got more than we do.” Turns out the absentee ballot tally was fairly even across the two slates. For Testa the primary results in general and the 138th district win in particular was satisfying given Pereira’s success in the Hooker School precinct, her base support. The victorious slate defeated her at Hooker. Ganim also campaigned at JFK precinct.

In the West Side 132nd District insurgents lost all nine seats, including City Councilman Marcus Brown, according to unofficial results.

The North End 133rd District slate led by former City Council President Tom McCarthy won all nine seats, aligned with Testa.

135th District Leader Steve Nelson’s slate won all nine seats.

The 131st District is a mixed bag also subject to recount. The establishment slate led by Mitch Robles, and City Council members Jack Banta and Denese Taylor-Moye, are in a tight battle for district control with a slate led by former City Councilwoman Mary Bruce, neighborhood activist Jorge Cruz and former City Librarian Scott Hughes.

What does this mean? Another two years for Testa as party leader. Within the next week or so he’ll schedule a meeting of the town committee to select party officers. It was also a strong night for Ganim, a candidate for governor. Major insurgent gains would have been an embarrassment on his mayoralty as well as hurt his positioning for governor. Ganim needs 15 percent delegate support at the state party convention in May to make the August primary ballot. Testa influences the Bridgeport delegate selection to the convention and can now cut deals with other delegations around the state to try to reach the support threshold. In lieu of that Ganim can petition onto the August ballot via signatures.

The following candidates appeared on the Democratic Town Committee district ballots.

130th District, Black Rock/West End:
Slate B: Eric M. Amado Jr., Scott Burns, Joy A. Cline, Anne H. Larcheveque, JoAnn Manzo, Michael S. Meehan, Thomas A. Mulligan Jr., Daniel S. Roach, Shaquana Shaw.

Slate C: Shaurice Bacon, Gregory Blake, Lynda Bluestein, Donna M. Curran, Dione T. Dwyer, JoAnn R. Kennedy, Michael R. Raleigh, Jenny Valencia, Diane M. Vulcano.

131st District, South End/Downtown/West End:
Slate B: Jack O. Banta, Paul R. Boucher, Tommika Leak, Genoveva Miranda-Torres, Jose A. Negron Sr., Glenn Pettway, Mitchell Robles, Eric M. Simmons, Denese Taylor-Moye.

Slate C: Mdsufian Ahmed, Mary L. Bruce, Jorge Cruz Sr., Shavonne Davis, Frances Demery, Travis M. Harden, Scott Hughes, Omari O. McPherson, Melody Thergood.

132nd District, West Side:
Slate B: Carolyn D. Askew, M. Evette Brantley, Julian T. Brown, Michael D. Freddino Jr., Anthony J. Lancia Sr., John W. Olson, Elaine Pivirotto, Rolanda Smith, Reginald F. Walker.

Slate C: Lillian M. Alves, Marcus A. Brown, Rosie A. Clarke-Jones, Robert F. Distasi, Braxton T. Gardner, Antoinette Giles, Robert Halstead, Eva J. McLeod, Lisa Parziale.

133rd District, North End:
Slate B: Albertina Baptista, Michael A. DeFilippo, Patrick Gorrell, Jeanette Herron, Hernan F. Illingworth, Sabrine Kuczo, Thomas C. McCarthy, Samantha R. Nelson, Wayne Rodriguez.

Slate C: Jessica R. Allen, Sandra J. Carolina, Vincent DiPalma, Joseph Goldberg, Gail Janensch, Robert T. Keeley, Claire Mastromonaco, Anne Pappas-Phillips, Leighton O. Reynolds.

135th District: Whiskey Hill/North End:
Slate B: Robert A. Anderson Sr., Harry A. Bell, Darrett Evans Moss, Linda G. Jones, Wilfred E. Murphy, Doris R. Nelson, Stephen M. Nelson, Carmen D. Roman-Hatton, Arnold L. Whitaker Sr.

Slate C: Lisa Anderson, Audrey M. Barr, Keisha Burks, Tomeekha Gee, Warren Godbolt, Mary McBride-Lee, Waith K. Mitchell, Charlie L. Stallworth, Ruth M. Vines.

138th District, Upper East Side:
Slate B: Jacqueline Abrams, Timothy L. Bassey, Daniel C. Faber, Charles E. Hare, Sarah Lewis (not this Sarah Lewis), Helen Olga Losak, Maria H. Pereira, Michele L. Small, Samia G. Suliman.

Slate C: Tony Barr, Tyreke Bird, Abraham Duque, Dolores Fonseca, Rafael Fonseca Jr., Kevin Monks, Anthony Robert Paoletto, Martha Santiago, Nessah Smith.



  1. Joel Gonzalez // Mar 6, 2018 at 8:44 pm


    Challenge slates take 5 of 6 Democratic Town Committees.

    I know many of you Wish this was the news you’d be reading.

    This spells trouble for Senator Moore, Ed Gomes, Pete Spain, Maria Pereira, as far as future TC endorsements are concerned.

  2. As former town committee district rep 138th I’m happy for my freinds the Fonsecas, after so much trash talk that the unethical, manipulative, demented Bridgeport most hated politician Maria Pereira, got her rear handed to her with a clean sweep by the Fonsecas,just proves that good conquers evil…no matter how much she floats and toots her horn she’s lost her 2 recent attempts to conquer here in Bridgeport politics…people are finally starting to see her for her true colors, and I’m glad that in my community I still rule and people like me for what I’ve done and continue to do..with and without a position, because what I do I do it without a agenda…Maria Pereira Lost AGAIN…I guess her big mouth ain’t saying much tonight…I’m so glad for this new town committee..REVENGE IS SWEET WHEN SERVED WITH A WUPPASS LIKE THE FONSECAS GAVE THE SELF PROCLAIMED SUPERSTAR IN POLITICS MARIA PEREIRA????

    1. Congrats to Anthony Paoletta, Nessah Smith , Tony Barr, Ty Byrd,Shawn Duque,Dollie Fonseca, Rafael Fonseca, Kevin Monks, Anthony R. Paoletto,Martha Santiago and Council Woman Nessah Smith! What an impressive win!!! You guys didn’t even have to work hard :-)! Teamwork is always the way to go. Very proud of all of you !

  3. Wow 60 wins for me– Great night tonight, great energy. Bad news for Marilyn Moore in Black Rock. Congratulations to all of the winners this evening. To those that failed Thank you for wanting to serve. To Joe Ganim and Mario Testa- Congratulations. Those running on an anti Ganim anti Testa slate had the wrong message. We are into moving the city forward. Jim Fox please add the 60 wins to my list. Sorry that you only got 1 win in Black Rock. Bob Keely? hmmmmm.. Well bottom line, it is time to come together, the election is over. If anyone on this blog could possibly name one candidate that could do what Mario Testa does as a Town Chairman I’d be interested in hearing about it. Having to deal with 90 personalities. Good luck! There are good soldiers and problem children , you must be a bridge builder and the ability to bring in the money for campaigns. Just curious, if anyone has a name please reveal it. Just one name will do.

    Proud of all of my friends that won and disappointed for the few that lost. Time to unite and move forward.

    1. Bridge Builders? What do you know about such work? You have to be able to handle steel, not steal, as in public trust. Where have you seen capacity to handle the difficult task of building a bridge. First you need to have solid respectful foundations, usually accomplished by those on the high ground, in this case, the incumbents.
      So, you are looking real hard, Steve? And its about building and bringing in money. Sometimes money is used to tactically take short cuts. And sometimes relationships. And if you add up the value of all of the resources used in the effort, you discover that it did not add to the real value of the community, but rather raised questions that continue to go without answers. But I am happy that you are happy Steve. You have shown an appetite to be easily satisfied on many past occasions. What will the DTC win, fighting back challenges in 2/3 of the City mean? Time will tell.

      1. John Marshall lee you lost. You didn’t talk to me in public the other morning do not ever address me on this blog. You bore the shit out of me. Talk to the other bloggers. I do not come on here to converse. I post for my audience not yours. Yu totally lost Black Rock again. Get over it! Move on ! No work on The Republican campaign and save yur energy fr someone interested in what you have to say. I am no longer interested in any of your whining. Please do not address me anymore as I will no longer respond. Better yet, Addrsss me after you have coffee with Ron Mackey and when he starts campaigning for David Walker with you, let me know. Next time I run into you at Fruta Juice, I will give you the same welcome as you gave me. You lost thats all that matters to me . My friends are hard working and they all won and to think they weren’t endorsed by Marilyn Moore. Her face in the Center as the star of the losing team. Nice touch, your idea or Petes?

        1. Can’t stop writing about me? Well one can only hope? After all you have made plenty of pledges that you have broken in the past. Did I ignore you the other day, or is it that you look older, these days, and your presence was out of context? Not sure.
          Ignore me, please? Time will tell.

  4. Steve,all the ass kissing you do,what do you hope to gain through it?Is it so you have a sense of “being involved” or being able to feel “ my friends won”?… One day you’ll realize that these people aren’t really your “friends”
    During the months leading up to the mayoral campaign two years ago you were a staunch Finch supporter, even posting that Joe would do no good for the city, the day after Finch was off the ticket because of a paperwork error, you started kissing Joe’s ass.Have some pride Steve, geeezzz…

    1. Harvey , I do have last thing on your post to address. I have had a fascinating life up until this point. I have had it all and lost it all , I have travelled all over the world. I have won and lost. In my life there has been only one constant across the board, I have been blessed with many “Best Friends”, it is embarrassing when I introduce many different friends to folks with the prefix “Best Friend”. May of my political friends are very good friends and others are political acquaintances that are friends and of course there are those that use you for their own personal gain in the political area. When it comes to friends I have many and certainly know the difference. I even try to be friends with those that despise me because it is always easier to take the high road. Please don’t identify which of my friends really aren’t. On that front I am certainly not naïve.

  5. Harvey Weintraub, I just responded on my ChromeBook with a very long passionate response to your condescending post. It was erased when the battery died.

    So now I will give the short version. My commitment to a candidate is not a lifetime prison term. I supported Finch for his first and third Campaign- ass kisser? seriously? Finch has never ever done anything for me. Never even a guest at a fundraiser and that was ok. I never had my hand out – ever. I was a guest at a Ganim Fundraiser and I was supporting Finch . Joe Ganim has always been respectful to me even when I was disrespectful to him and Mario.

    That being said. I am grateful that 60 friends of mine won last night. “Political Friends” and personal friends. It was a very exciting evening. Just wanted to respond to the ass kissing comment. I have never been accused buy anyone that knew me of kissing ass. That would be done with the intention of getting something in return. I have knocked on a million doors, I talk to my constituents regularly. I call them to see if there is anything that needs to be raised to my council woman, I have stood in front of polls long before I was a member on the town committee and I have never given my time with the expectation of anything. Just a FYI, I interviewed with city during the Finch Campaign. The day after a Hospital visit. I never said a word to Finch and the job was “promised ” to someone else and I never said a word. All through the Finch campaign I was friends with the entire Ganim group. Elections come and go – sometimes we agree , sometimes we don’t. We have to respect all.

    I support Ganim and hope he goes for the gold. Bridgeport will only be better for it! That is my opinion. That’s all I have to say about this. Again, I am, so excited about last nights results , I couldn’t sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know JML, Bob Walsh, Jim Fox, Bridgeport Kid, Ron Mackey and Donald Day, Lisa Parziale (Happy Birthday) etc. are extremely disappointed and that gives me great joy! :-). Time to support the city with positive energy.

    1. Steve, I have been a life insurance salesperson for over 50 years. You get used to people saying NO. Actually you learn that NO is the first response towards getting to YES. And a professional insurance sales person, who focuses on the needs and wants of the client, will maintain their integrity intact. And that is a lesson for other phases of life. So, know that I am not extremely disappointed, but rather proud to have friends who battled the unknown and came up short. It wasn’t fatal. And it sure is not final.
      Thank you for your short version. Honestly! TIME WILL TELL.

      1. Spin it however you wish, Stevie. The status quo of politics of deceit has been maintained. It is just one battle. There are many to come. A crook was re-elected to serve the city he was convicted of robbing. Now he wants to be governor? If Mario Testa puts his delegates behind Little Joe Ganim at the nominating convention it will further tarnish Bridgeport’s already tarnished reputation. You must stop drinking the Kool Aid.

        Mayor Ganim wants to be governor. Just about everyone in the state of Connecticut knows that will never happen. Face it. Ganim is not Donld Trump. He doesn’t have the Kremlin and a gaggle of Russian oligarchs to assist in swaying popular opinion. A pipe dream is a pipe dream.

        MGM Resorts is offering to spend $675,000,000.00 in construction and community investment. One big problem: to build a casino requires a change in state law. We all know how dysfunctional the relationship between legislative and executive branches of state government is. Malloy is a lame duck, beyond reach. The gubernatorial candidates haven’t even made it to the first cut. No one knows who the final contenders will be. So a casino in Bridgeport is a long long way off, years, if at all. A pipe dream is a pipe dream.

        So that leaves what, the amphitheater? That’s bunged up in legal action. The Poli & Magestic renovation? On track as far as I know. Cherry Street Landing? Meh. Years before that takes final shape.

        All the development proposed and otherwise is good. It does not change the fact Bridgeport suffers under socioeconomic injustice. Lack of employment and educational opportunities. A retail economy dependent on welfare benefits, EBT and criminal proceeds. Environmental hazards. On and on, on and on, on and on.

        The city is broken. We can’t wait for Ariana day. The time to fix it is now, not sometime.

  6. The opposition’s operation in the 138th District was not led by the challengers, but by Mario Testa, Joe Ganim and Lydia Martinez. Many city employees were at the polls and transporting voters including Thomas Gaudett, Angel DePara, Chris Alacon, Danny Pizarro and the Gypsy from Public Facilities.

    Lydia Martinez set up a table at JFK by 7:00 am. She appeared to have a checklist of Hispanic voters and she and a Hispanic male with her phonebanking. They had several drivers picking up car loads of Hispanic voters. Lydia told the voters as they exited the vehicle not to speak to the opposition. Many listened as if they were children. Mario Testa spent most of his day at JFK and Ganim visited three times for 30-45 minute intervals. They both spoke with voters. Mario Testa was telling voters I was against afterschool programs and eliminated them. LOL!

    Mario Testa felt the police officer on duty was too amicable with our team so a Sergeant came out to speak with Mario Testa. Chief AJ Perez personally came to the school and the officer was replaced.

    My team believed they were handing the voters they transported something as they exited the polls. It is unclear what was being distributed.

    They had softsheeters, paid poll standers, and a phonebanking operation.

    This effort was equivalent to the Mayoral Primary between Ganim & Finch. Substantial sums of money were spent, however the opposition failed to file their 7 Day Preceding Finance Report in violation of state law, therefore I could not review their revenue and expenditures.

    I only knocked on doors in Thomas Hooker to get petition signatures and chase ABs. My health is still not 100% and I have surgery tomorrow, therefore I relied on a mailing and phonebanking. I have not canvassed Thomas Hooker School since the Summer of 2016 due to my health.

    With the herculean effort by the opposition, they won by an average of 40 votes in total.

    Now I focus on my health and recovery, walking my district and reconnecting with voters.

    We will continue the great work we have been doing in the 138th District elected or not.

    1. Maria you brought it on yourself. You antagonized almost everyone you met. I will give you this you scared the hell out of the machine. They figured you would win hooker but they knew eastside middle school was up for grabs. I dont know if you won hooker but if not it had to be close.
      If you are going to stay in politics you need to change your confrontational style or its all over. You can go far if you soften your approach.

      1. Andy, on this one I agree with you, Maria is a hard worker and is good at researching her information on the BOE BUT as you said Andy it’s Maria’s confrontional style and the unnecessary name calling of those who disagree with her. The sad thing for Maria is she can’t change and won’t change and that becomes her problem.

    2. Come on Maria Pereira. Did Ed Gomes, Marilyn Moore other set up a table at the polling places for you? Where were your friends? Sometimes when you lose, you win!

  7. Time to keep fighting.
    In the 132 we worked our tails off and came out on top decisively on the voting machines. It was the patronage inspired AB operation proven to be corrupt beyond a doubt that again won it for the free riders
    I was proud to walk and bike the hood and introduce myself as Bob Halstead and I’m running for office as Town Committee candidate. As McMurphy said in One Flu Over the Cuckus Nest: “At least I tried-I did that much”. I’m proud of all the brave challenge candidates,City-wide who deserve to be proud.
    Lombardi:”Greatness not achieved through rising but in rising after you’ve fallen”.

  8. Karen Jackson and Michelle Smalls working NobHill was a feather in the Challengers cap. The maintenace guys still remember last years Christms Tree lighting and how poorly they were treated. Anthony must thank Mark, Kevin , paul and…. The residence love them. Voted for Michelle but………

      1. They absolutely did, Not this past Xmas , One year ago and they still talk about it. Check my friend Mark Moran, Kevin and Paul. Serious. I am 100 percent serious and I am certain Michelle Smalls will concur or you may meet me anytime at Nob Hill , I am there 3 times a week- They are my Republican sparring partners.

  9. As someone with a limited vested interest in the workings of the BDTC (we own and pay real estate taxes in Bpt, and we share a State Senator) I’d like to thank and congratulate all candidates who stood for the Town Committee. Giving registered Democrats a choice is important. Change takes time, but a challenge also makes the people who have been in power aware that nothing and no one lasts forever.
    Joe Ganim now is assured of Bridgeport’s 90 votes at the State Dem convention along with the votes of the Harp machine in New Haven. This is a big help in reaching the needed 15% to qualify for the primary without petition signatures. He has been out and about the state visiting DTCs pitching his candidacy. However, he has not pitched neighboring DTCs during the countdown to delegate selection the end of this month.
    Here in Trumbull, the TDTC has hosted virtually every candidate except Ganim who want to be the Dem candidate for Governor, including those who have dropped out of the race, or dropped down to seek lower office such as AG or Treasurer. We don’t invite the candidates, they request time to be heard.
    Whoever is the D nominee must be able to carry the near urban communities as well as the large cities or the election could be lost.

    1. Joe Ganim is assured of nothing, Marshall. If he thinks Mon Signor Testa can deliver a statewide election he’s either delusional or on drugs.

  10. Marshall, I think you are presumptuous to think that Mayor Ganim can count on the votes of the, your words not mine, the Harp New Haven machine. It has never been said or implied that she would support his run with votes, an endorsement or money.

    1. @Donald
      Yes, I am making a presumption. But it is based on my decades in the New Haven Democratic Party (my parents were ward chairmen) and I was active stuffing envelopes as a child, driving people to the polls from age 16, working for candidates until I moved out of the city. I still have many lifelong friends active in the NHDTC and this presumption is based on conversations I’ve had recently and their opinions. Much can change between now and the nominating convention. That said, the New Haven Dems are not enthralled with down county Gold Coast candidates.

  11. Marshall, like you I have many friends that are politically active in New Haven and none from the Black community believe that no endorsement, vote or money will come via Mayor Harp that is forthcoming in support of Mayor Ganim. None! She won’t alienate her base for a training program for a casino that may or may not come to Bridgeport years from now.

    1. Don, New Haven mayor Toni Harp just raise the taxes in her city with a 11% increase plus New Haven is not getting the correct money from the state from the (P.I.L.O.T) Payment in Lieu of taxes, so Mayor Harp has her own problems and endorsing Ganim for governor is not a top priority, running her city is her main concern, to bad Joe Ganim not doing the same thing. The black community in Bridgeport has seen absolutely nothing from Mayor Ganim.


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