They tried parachuting into State House districts to challenge incumbents, except Bob Keeley and Wanda Simmons couldn’t find the ripcord. Their candidacies fell flat. Kerplunk.
Keeley, who lives in the 129th State House District, and Simmons who resides in the 124th District decided to cross district lines to wage primaries against incumbents Jack Hennessy and Chris Rosario respectively–a violation of state election law.
According to Gabe Rosenberg, spokesperson for the Connecticut Secretary of the State, in single-town districts both the endorsed and challenge candidates must reside in the district in order to run. All Bridgeport’s six State House areas are single-town districts.
Keeley listed his Park Avenue residence and Simmons Newfield Avenue, both outside the districts where they sought office. This means, barring a court challenge, they won’t appear on the August 11 primary ballot after a petitioning effort.
Democratic Registrar of Voters Patricia Howard confirmed Friday afternoon she notified the candidates of their disqualification. Her email to Simmons:
As per CT General Statute 9-406 revised on June 18, 2013, in order to appear on the Municipal Primary ballot for the office of state representative. Said candidate must be an enrolled Democrat and appear on the last completed enrollment list of the assembly district for which they aspire to run.
Hence; you are not eligible to participate as a petitioning candidate in the 128th district for State Representative.
Patricia A. Howard
Keeley’s ballot shortcomings have been fantastical the past decade, losing about as many races as in years, be it State House, City Council or Democratic Town Committee.
He has formed an alliance with State Senator Marilyn Moore to punish legislative incumbents who didn’t support her run for mayor; albeit she never asked them to support her, according to the veteran pols being targeted.
On Thursday Downtown businessman Kelvin Ayala was notified he qualified to primary state Rep. Antonio Felipe. The signature counting in the Registrar’s Office continues for Tony Barr and Bob Halstead also seeking to primary incumbents Charlie Stallworth and Steve Stafstrom, respectively.