DeFilippo, Herron Take Flight In North End–No-Show Keeley Finishes Last In City Council Race

Herron DeFilippo
Primary night winners Jeanette Herron and Michael DeFilippo.

This long, strange trip for City Council in the North End 133rd District will finally come to a close. Tuesday night district Democrats voiced loud and clear their support for endorsed candidates Michael DeFilippo and incumbent councilwoman Jeanette Herron who ran up nearly a three to one win over challengers Anne Pappas Phillips and former State Rep. Bob Keeley who abandoned his running mate in the final weeks, checking out mentally and physically by not even bothering to vote in a primary battle that had been overturned twice by a state judge based on accusations of absentee ballot irregularities.

Tuesday night’s results showed no dispute with DeFilippo and Herron running up large wins both on the machines and absentee ballot counts at the Blackham and Madison School precincts.

133 results Michael DeFilippo 216, Jeanette Herron 210, Anne Pappas Phillips 73, Bob Keeley 71.

At the Madison Avenue restaurant of Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, campaign operatives savored the big win acknowledging the oddity of Keeley who brought lawsuits challenging the previous results not sticking around to fight the good fight in the end. Just days before the primary Keeley left a voice mail on Phillips’ phone that he was heading for the west coast. Days before that Keeley notified OIB that he had lost enthusiasm for the race and wasn’t campaigning. Others noted the big win was a result of voter backlash against a judicial system intruding on elections.

Bottom line is Keeley’s sole interest in running for City Council centered on what he perceived as a path to become City Council president to place him next in line should a vacancy occur in the mayoralty, and he used the court system to prop up that option before Barbara Bellis, a Superior Court judge, suspicious of the city’s political establishment. Ironically, Keeley has been much a part of the city’s political establishment when convenient to his self interest. When the option to become council president vanished in the timeline of the court battles he lost interest in the race. And it showed in Tuesday’s results.

Phillips DeFilippo
Opponents Phillips and Defilippo share a light moment in front of Blackham School.

That did not deter Phillips, a newcomer to elected politics, from putting up the good fight standing in front of Blackham School all day urging voters to support her. And she had company from loyal activists such as former City Council President Lisa Parziale, who has battled health issues, stepping up for a friend abandoned by Keeley.

The campaigning in front of Blackham took on a surreal feeling with opponents DeFilippo and Phillips treating each other graciously noting the absence of Keeley who had repeatedly pontificated against the political establishment, albeit disingenuously. Although four candidates, the two top finishers are declared primary winners.

At Testo’s Restaurant Tuesday night Herron noted that it was her absentee ballot vote that was not counted on the night of last September’s primary that Keeley leveraged to force another vote. The ballot had mistakenly not been counted primary night and found its was into a recount when Herron and Keeley were tied. The recount showed Herron with a lead by one vote. Keeley challenged the result and Bellis ordered another primary. Another vote took place with Keeley behind on the machine count. He challenged the result again claiming Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa asking Police Chief AJ Perez to assign a police officer to pick up last-minute absentee ballots was a violation of campaign finance law. Bellis agreed. It was appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court which upheld Bellis. During the process it was Phillips, a lawyer, who aided the legal maneuvering.

Meanwhile a new City Council was sworn into office. Aidee Nieves was selected council president with Keeley waiting on the sidelines involved in the court action. When Keeley’s chance for the council presidency vanished so too did his resolve in the council race. Keeley challenging the results of the primary had nothing to do with reforming the absentee ballot process but everything to do with positioning himself for the council presidency. It’s a slap in the face to true believers seeking to challenge the establishment. Keeley cackling corruption is like the burglar baying “I’ve been robbed.”

By the way, there’s still a general election to come in this race that will be set by Bellis in conjunction with elections officials. Yes, a wild OIB moment.



  1. Congratulations Jeanette Herron and Michael Defillipo. Very proud of both of you. I have supported you for the start and I do not know how that makes me a sychphant. If it does, then maybe someday I can get something in return from being a staunch supporter. The city is very fortunate. The constituents of the 133rd are very fortunate. The real losers are the individuals that actually believed that Bob Keeley was a worthy candidate. He was not and the information that didn’t make its way onto the blogosphere was done out of respect. Why I do not know . His lack of respect and outrageous comments did not resonate with the young voters and the seniors that followed his career via his mother are n longer walking the earth. Ms. Phillips, I am sorry that you had to deal with your partners absurd behavior.

    1. You Think???? When did you get put in charge of the blog. Haven’t you realized that everything out of this sycophants mouth is pure 100% bullshit. To his credit he has kissed enough ass to get a job that pays more than $75.00 per day.

          1. Andy and the Kid, I think he’s the only patronage employee who opens himself up to humiliation knowing his fellow patronage employees are looking at him every day. Is that called masochism?

          2. Lisa P. When I told Marcus Brown I hoped he lost the DTC it was because of you. Keep kissing kids ass. He hasn’t had action in only G-d knows . Much like yourself. I steered myself out of my line and sped to the 132 and did everything for Mike Freddino , Elaine Pivirotto, Rolanda Smith and my favorite, M. Evette Brantley. I guess teamworkis the way to go!. I am however sorry for Marcus as he is well aware I am a fan of his. Lisa you are pure poison. I am sorry for you but Karma is a bitch !

  2. Ann Phillips is a class act that stood up to corruption and exposed Mario Testa for his fraudulent elections activities. She also exposed that Acting Chief Perez and the BPD have become an extension of the corrupt political machine in Bridgeport.

  3. How many Democrats in the 133d? And close to 300 showed up in this District for the third primary? And the special expense of those primaries was for City taxpayers, including those in the 133? And this is the District well known to and by Mario Testa, Tom McCarthy, and more recently J. Herron who organized the Citizen’s Union previous to her CC position? Where is voter participation? What will happen in the actual election if turnout is so low? Can Mickey Mouse write in? Time will tell.

      1. The Testa/Ganim political playbook dictates that voters should be treated as if they are mushrooms: keep them in the dark on a diet of bullshit.

  4. Lisa P. When I told Marcus Brown I hoped he lost the DTC it was because of you. Keep kissing kids ass. He hasn’t had action in only G-d knows . Much like yourself. I steered myself out of my line and sped to the 132 and did everything for Mike Freddino , Elaine Pivirotto, Rolanda Smith and my favorite, M. Evette Brantley. I guess teamworkis the way to go!. I am however sorry for Marcus as he is well aware I am a fan of his. Lisa you are pure poison. I am sorry for you but Karma is a bitch !

  5. Good for you patronage employee S.Auerbach, I helped Mike Freddino also, so there. You should show respect for the mercy and kindness shown to you by Joey G. He gave you a job, and what do you do to repay him, you get on a public blog, something that no other City employee does, and disparage him by being mean, and abusive to those of us who pay high taxes in the City that in return pays your salary. The Mayor, the Town Chair, and other department heads rise above public, verbal outbursts I believe because they know it would reflect badly on the administration. You should follow their example and appear professional while on the payroll. The alternative is you can give up your patronage position and go wild.

  6. While giving moral support to my good friend, Anne Phillips, I had the opportunity to meet Mike DeFilippo. I’ve put in hundreds of hours standing in front of polling places over the years and I have to say I enjoyed his company during the day. A really nice, respectful guy. I wished him luck on the Council and told him not to be bothered by always being judged because of his association with Testo. Michael’s a respectful young man.

    1. Lisa,I am certain that Mike Defillipo gives a rats ass about your opinion. I do not know of one person on the council that has a negative opinion of Mike. Do you???

      On a more important note. I am just leaving a packed house in the East End. It was the Urban Revitalization Coalition. Remarks by Ralph Ford, Rev. Charlie Stallworth , Rev. Mary Lee Mcbride, Ernie Newton etc with a great ommentary by Dr, Darryl Scott and Whitehouse Representatives. President Trump and Ron Mackey were not in attendance, though I am certain they would have enjoyed it. I did. There were a few city employees there . Only a handful. Very interesting. Been a very long day.

      1. Steve,

        I am quite sure no one gives a rat’s ass about YOUR opinion. Ms. Parziale held elected office. What have you held other than someone else’s coat?


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