Aided By Absentee Ballots, Stafstrom Narrowly Defeats Torres For State House

Steve Stafstrom
Steve Stafstrom joins State House

Former Democratic City Councilman Steve Stafstrom has narrowly defeated Republican Enrique Torres in the State House special election, according to unofficial returns from the Registrar’s Office: Stafstrom 776, Torres 720. Torres won on the machines by 20 votes, according to returns. Absentee ballots placed Stafstrom over the top. On his Facebook page Stafstrom wrote “Thank you Bridgeport!!! Thank you for all the support and for all the well wishes. Now lets get to work.”

Unofficial results including absentee ballots:

Steve Stafstrom 776

Enrique Torres 720

Bob Keeley 154

Bob Halstead 48

Hector Diaz 45

In an interesting twist both candidates ran stronger in each other’s respective bases of support. Torres won his home precinct in Black Rock, but Stafstrom ran stronger there than expected considering the large turnout that is the remaining bastion Republican neighborhood in the city. Torres also ran stronger than expected on the West Side where Democrats enjoy a large voter registration advantage. In the end, the absentee ballot operation in the Aquaculture precinct made the difference for Stafstrom.

Torres storekeeper
The storekeeper won on the machines but absentee ballots cost him.

Torres defeated Stafstrom for City Council in 2013. Torres owns the popular Harborview Market in Black Rock. Stafstrom is an attorney with the Bridgeport-based law firm Pullman & Comley. He is the nephew of former Democratic Town Chair John Stafstrom, a partner in the firm.

Connecticut’s 129th State House District covers Black Rock, the West Side and portions of the North End and West End. A special election was called following the vacancy by Auden Grogins, now on the state bench.

Former State House members Bob Keeley, Hector Diaz and City Councilman Bob Halstead ran far behind.



  1. Lennie,
    What percentage of ABs make up the Stafstrom and Torres totals?

    My back-of-the-envelope calculations, based on your posts here, indicate:
    Stafstrom got 165 ABs of his 776 total, or 21.26%;

    Torres got 78 ABs of his 720 total, or 10.83%.

  2. Pete–With a huge Democratic registration advantage district-wide, those numbers are not an anomaly. No Republican candidate has ever come this close since Casey Daley, a Republican, held this seat in the ’80s.

    1. UOB, I didn’t vote for either of these candidates; however, when you talk about advantage … if what you’re saying stands true, then how do you explain the machine vote?

      1. Pete–My comments were in regards to your Lord of the ABs. Rick and his team did an outstanding job. This you may remember, Rick and Phil won at Black Rock School.

  3. I was saying the same thing about an interesting twist when I saw the Central votes and only saw stats for win by 10. I was like Torres has this won but I thought Rick would carry Black Rock by a way larger margin and okay Lennie thanks when I voted at 742 Black Rock was on pace for 700 votes throughout the voting ours but way more votes cast than expected, almost 300 more than I thought would vote.

  4. No mention in the Connecticut Post article that Stafstrom won with absentee ballots. Torres was supported by people who made an effort to make a choice. An amusing element of voting in Bridgeport.

    1. Enrique had a herculean task and effort he put forth. The reality is this was a special election, similar to a primary. Similar to Rob Russo’s short-lived stay in the Senate back in 2008-2010. If everyone remembers, that was when Bill was eating with two forks and two paychecks. If Finch had done the right thing, an oxymoron, the special could have been held on February 5, 2008, coinciding with the Presidential Primaries in Connecticut. Rob would have lost! In a general election, especially a presidential year, it would be very difficult for Enrique to prevail.

  5. Torres wins if Huey, Dewey and Louie don’t try to enter this election. They had no hope of winning and made a half-assed attempt to run. To Bob and Hector, please ride off into the sunset. Halstead, plant your garden and go to council meetings. I am no fan as such of Torres but he is better than that puppet known as Stafstrom.

    1. Andy, maybe you should try decaf. You are even crankier than I remember you, and this is only online. I can only imagine what you are like in person these days. 🙂

      1. Moore, I don’t remember you so big deal. I guess you don’t like people who tell it like it is. Huey, Dewey and Louie had every right to run for office but if they did not see they had no chance of winning then they need a checkup from the neck up. You are right, I don’t like too many people and I speak my mind. If you don’t like it, TS.

    2. Fardy, why don’t you just have Black Rockers decide the fate of your district like they did for mine? No representation here for Brooklawn or lower North End. Pardon me for giving a damn.

      1. Halstead, it just so happens state Rep districts are larger than council districts. The fact Black Rock is more politically active than where your council district is located is too bad. Get more active and build a stronger district.


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