Dishon Francis Plans Primary Against Republican Endorsed Mayoral Candidate

News release:

Dishon J. Francis, a Republican candidate running for the Office of Mayor in the city of Bridgeport, has released a statement regarding the endorsement of John Rodriguez for Mayor by the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee.

“On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, members of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee nominated and endorsed John Rodriguez for Bridgeport Mayor. Prior to the endorsement, Mr. Rodriguez did not express any public interest in running for mayor. In his 2017 run for Bridgeport City Council, Mr. Rodriguez did not fundraise and received a total of 47 votes, 3.57% of total votes cast in the district and a distant 3rd place finish behind Ernie Newton and Eneida Martinez.  In 2018, Mr. Rodriguez ran for state senate against Dennis Bradley and received only 12% of the total votes cast and did not participate in the state Citizen Election Program (CEP).

“While I’m sure Mr. Rodriguez is a nice person, I don’t believe the mayoral campaign of Mr. Rodriguez or most of the slate of Republican candidates endorsed by the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee represents a good faith effort to compete against the candidates endorsed by the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee. The endorsement of Mr. Rodriguez is a de-facto endorsement for Joe Ganim and the Bridgeport political machine. Mr. Rodriguez has neither the determination nor drive to wage a competitive campaign for mayor against Joe Ganim or any other candidate. I have always believed that trust is earned as opposed to given, which is why I will be waging a primary campaign and directly seeking the support of Bridgeport Republicans. Starting today, my team and I will be doing the hard work necessary to collect signatures to qualify for the primary.

“In March of 2019, I approached the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee Chairman regarding a possible run for Bridgeport Mayor; he stated I should run as a Democrat. On June 6, 2019, I held a Meet and Greet and invited every member of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee to attend, including Chairman Michael Garrett; he declined. On June 19, 2019, I tried to attend a Bridgeport RTC meeting at Port 5; Michael Garrett denied me entry in violation of Republican State Party rules. Given recent history, I was not surprised by the nomination and endorsement of a candidate who has no intention of running a competitive race because unfortunately this is standard practice in the Bridgeport Republican Party. Apart from Rick Torres’ 3 mayoral runs, no other Bridgeport candidate has attempted to run competitive races for Bridgeport Mayor within the last 20 years. Mr. Garrett did not run a competitive race for mayor in 2007 and Mr. Rodriguez will not run a competitive race in 2019 if he remains the nominee.

“Running non-competitive Republican candidates in name only on the ballot in municipal and state elections is the reason why most city candidates choose to become Democrats and run in Democratic primaries. There are of course exceptions; Republicans Rick Torres, Phil Blagys and previously registered Republican Donna Curran have run active campaigns for city council in the 130th and most endorsed Republicans running for the Bridgeport Board of Education have competed for guaranteed minority seats, but the vast majority of Bridgeport municipal and state district candidates are place holder names on the ballot to give the appearance of choice to voters. The process is a disservice to those people who never intend to run for elected office and to Bridgeport voters who are looking for viable alternatives to candidates endorsed by the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee.

“Running candidates in ‘name only’ has serious consequences when it comes to the financing of campaigns. Over the past 10 years, the Bridgeport RTC has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional CEP grant funds to Democratic state senate and representative candidates by putting Republican names on the ballot who have no intention of fund raising, walking, or competing in the general election.  BRTC Chairman Mike Garrett is probably the biggest offender when he gave Senator Ed Gomes an additional $66,000 in CEP grant funds in 2016 when he submitted his name for running for State Senate in the 23rd District. Chairman Garrett never formed a campaign committee and never raised a dime. Had he left the Republican ballot position blank, Senator Gomes’ CEP grant would have been reduced by $66,000. More money for Democratic candidates means more campaign canvassers, more campaign mailers, and more money for absentee ballots operations. This not only helps Bridgeport Democratic candidates; it hurts state-wide Republicans trying to compete in the city. If Chairman Garrett doesn’t understand that then maybe he isn’t fit to lead the party. It’s sad to say but the greatest contributor to the Bridgeport DTC has been the Bridgeport RTC. Rather than operate as the vocal minority, the Bridgeport RTC has acted like a wholly owned subsidiary.”

Francis concluded, “Successful cities and towns have active parties that create checks and balances of power on each other. If Republicans continue running candidates in name only, we will continue to lose the trust of Bridgeport voters, enrolled registered Republicans, and elections. The only way we can bring real change to the City of Bridgeport is to challenge the status quo and my team and I plan to do just that. I will not be the only person challenging endorsed Republicans for elected positions and I ask all registered Republicans to please sign my petition and the petitions of other candidates who want the opportunity to compete in the primary on Tuesday, September 10th.”



  1. Lisawhite, what political experience did Mayor’s Mandanici, Paoletta, Moran, JG1 and Fabrizi bring with them into city hall. Don’t answer it’s merely rhetorical as I could your dog whistle all the way at my house.

    1. Donald…Yes I will answer. It is rather presumptuous for you to make those kind of remarks to me, because you have chosen to know nothing about me.
      I have been a registered Democrat in Bridgeport for 40 years. I always vote the most qualified candidate for the job. if Marilyn Moore (or any of her supporters) come to my door, I will gladly sign a petition so that Senator Moore will be able to primary Joe Ganim. And if Senator Moore is successful in forcing a primary in September, I will vote for her in a heartbeat.

      1. Oh my lisawhite, so angry at what? How or what was I being presumptuous about? I merely stated several mayor’s, past and present that had NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE whatsoever, that which you thought was so necessary for Dishon Francis.

        Now having said that, why would you voting for Marilyn Moore prove anything to me about who you are as a person. It tells me more about your displeasure with Mayor Ganim and nothing about how you view Black people. That’s like saying I’m not prejudiced because I have a Black friend.

        1. “Don’t answer it’s merely rhetorical as I could [hear?] your dog whistle at my house”

          *that* remark irritated me more than anything else. Why? Because you choose not to know anything about me. Any time you can send a remark like that my way, you do.

          why would I sign a petition for Marilyn Moore? why would I vote for her? because i have read about her background. the people of this city deserve to have a choice between the same old and someone with a different perspective.

          if Dishon Francis wants my vote, I *need* to know what kind of experience he brings to the table. yes he’s young…what’s his educational background? where has he worked? what has he done in the community?

          1. Lisawhite, I never asked why you would vote for Marilyn Moore, I merely stated that you voting for the Senator told me nothing about you other than your displeasure with Mayor Ganim. Your questioning the political experience of Dishon reeked of dog whistling because as you say you’re a lifetime Democrat and you should know that the only Mayor in the last 50 years that came in with political experience was Mayor Finch and we seen how that ended.

            You asked that I not to try and read you, Yet you’re trying to read me. These are but my observations and nothing personal.

  2. Mr. Francis comes across as a likable person and in his public statement (if he was actually its author) comes across as being knowledgeable. However, if he wants to challenge the record of John Rodriguez, then we also should look at Mr. Francis. He has changed party affiliation twice since March, from unaffiliated (in Stratford) to Democrat (wherein he was also a Democrat candidate for Mayor) and then to Republican in April. He, who purports to be a young political leader seeking change, has been a registered voter for five years but only voted once, in 2016. Before this year, he doesn’t report political activity. With respect to active Bridgeport Republican candidates, he overlooks me who is the only Republican to have qualified for state funding twice. In addition, he fails to mention that, after the rigged Republican convention last evening where I was not afforded a fair equal opportunity to be present representing my own active and publicly-known candidacy for Mayor, I also will petition for a primary, that as a known anti-establishment Republican who is loyal to Republican principles!

  3. Who needs political experience when you have political savvy?
    When you come from Haiti you’ve already overcome more obstacles than a midget trying to dunk on LeBron James.
    All candidates are a step behind Dishon Francis whose inexperience is a blessing disguised as a curse.
    Dishon Francis for Mayor of Bridgeport!

  4. No wonder Bridgeport is rudderless and we have a PR guy as mayor. The Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee (aka known as TestaGanim and acolytes) are the paragon of political patronage and The Bridgeport Republican Town Committee is the poster boy for dysfunctional political organizations.

  5. Dishon Francis, don’t worry about a thing because Ethan Book will solve all of those problems that you have listed. Ethan Book will run as a Republican for mayor and get elected. Republican Mayor Ethan Book will immediately cut taxes, balance the budget, fund public school a 100%, he will reduce shootings and killings to nothing, new high paying businesses will relocated to Bridgeport. After Ethan Book third term as Bridgeport’s mayor Ethan will run for governor of Connecticut.

  6. Francis is right about the CEP funding. That program is easy to game and cash in on. Last year when Rodriguez was nominated to run for State Senate, Stratford Republicans orchestrated a primary for that seat, held 3 quick fundraisers raised $15k and got a $39 k CEP primary grant to go against Rodriguez who had $100 to Stratford’s $54,000 but their candidate Caz lost by 6 votes so he missed out on another $95k CEP for the general. So they could have scored $144,000 by just coming up with $15,000. But with just the $39,000 that they did get most people who “donated” got their money back and more by being paid as campaign workers which they reinvest into another campaign hoping to score CEP funding. They ran a good scam in that Caz race ,44 people gave the max $250 and only 1 of them actually lived in the 23rd district. There appears to a lot of abuse and money wasted in this program and your chance of getting audited is low.

  7. I Can’t help but laugh at Reading Dishon’s Statement as he plans
    To primary Mr. John Rodriguez. He states that the Bridgeport
    Republican Town Committee is an extension of The Democratic
    Town Committee when nothing can be further from the Truth.
    The fact of the Matter is that Dishon is nothing more than a puppet
    For disgraced Ex Sherriff Charlie Valentino who went to prison for
    abusing his power and lying under oath. Joe Mclaine is another
    individual who is on Dishon’s campaign staff the same person who was
    appointed by Mayor Ganim to the Zoning board of Appeals last year a
    coincidence, I think not. Maybe Dishon should ask Mr. Mclaine why he
    attends Democratic fundraisers and was at the Democratic convention
    the other night. Dishon should also question Ex con Valentino why he was
    repeatedly hired by the Ganim Law firm to serve papers and preform
    other tasks for them. Real Republicans know what’s going here. Charlie
    and Joe are doing this for The Democratic Machine and because
    Charlie Valentino wants those available Sheriffs positions so he resume
    ripping off innocent people, this man will do anything for money, he
    is pure evil. Please Dishon get a clue these people are using you,
    unfortunately, you’re too young and naive to recognize these facts.
    Perhaps you should let us fellow Republicans Know why we should vote for You and what makes you qualified to be Mayor. Mr. John Rodrigues
    Is an accomplished Business man a father who put four children through college and is President of the Bridge Academy. These are
    Just a few of his many accomplishments. I urge all registered
    Republicans not to sign any petitions that would support Charlie
    Valentino and Joseph McClaine. These men in no way shape or form
    Support the values of my Republican party.

    Anthony Feher

  8. Caz Mizera is a person of honesty and integrity unlike the status quo of the Bridgeport RTC. Caz serves as a Republican State Central Committee member representing a portion of Bridgeport. Caz replaced Linda Grace a long time Garrett minion and worshiper, which has raised the ire of Garrett . In the past Garrett had praised Caz, now he refers to him as a mortal enemy. Bridgeport Republicans for the first time in decades have at their disposal a local State Central member who has the talent, ability and willingness to help serious candidates for public office.
    I along with about 12 other Bridgeport Republicans had the honor of attending the May meeting of the Stratford RTC. What we saw was amazing! A large room packed with people with a real, attainable agenda, not a Bridgeport agenda consumed with the personal desires of Mike Garrett. And most importantly it was attended by the Stratford Republican Mayor. A Republican Mayor attending a BRTC meeting has not been the case in Bridgeport for the past 30 years.
    It did not take long to realize why Stratford Republicans are successful. They are organized and professional with a membership willing to work toward and agenda consistent with the success of the party, not one of personal interest. Then we have Bridgeport with a Chairman who is a pathological liar. His history of lies has helped him maintain control of the committee for reasons of personal interest at the expense of the party. While Garrett is personally responsible for the long time failures of the local party he neglects to mention his largest achievement. Garrett has done more by neglect and incompetence to build the Democrat Machine than any single Democrat in the city.
    On the subject of CEP money. I believe if you check you will find that Caz raised the required amount of small donations from within the district. He also has the ability to raise money from outside the district, which is not a violation of CEP rules. Caz has the ability and willingness to organize and raise money. Garrett and his minions do not. He is honest, capable and very likeable. He does not resort to lies and deception in attempting victory. For all of those reasons Garrett and his minions fear Caz Mizera.

    1. Caz is more like a Cash cow for the SRTC. , his campaign Treasurer , Lou Decilio is also the SRTC chairman and Stratford Republican Registrar. Decilio is under investigation for fraud by the SEEC case # 2017-087. A lot of the Stratford RTC operate like grifters working the budget to their advantage along with those east CEP grants their filing show how shameless they are with those funds but no one holds them accountable so why not have at it Decilio ran Caz for State Rep in 2010, State Senate in 2012 and 2018 they got over $150,000 with just those 3 campaigns and they go out and spend plenty on themselves. Mayor Hoydick in Stratford does nothing about the fraud involving Decilio and the Town Clerk, maybe because they are Republicans and Decilio was treasurer on some of her campaigns. In 2017 the Stratford Town Clerk and Town Attorney bypassed the SEEC and had a couple Bridgeport Democrats arrested for fraud but when it comes to Stratford Republicans they get a pass. Stratford DTC Phillips has no back bone to do anything about it and you would she would call out the Republican fraud and demand accountability. Back to Caz he is a useful joke to the SRTC but it is Decilio who uses lies and deception while Mayor Hoydick looks the other way.

      1. Joe
        Instead of “east ” I meant to write EASY CEP grants.

        If you are interested the Stratford fraud complaint it is here :

        The Democrats arrest is here :

        The Stratford police report case # is 17-30426, it’s interesting reading and it appears the cops were used by Stratford Republicans to score points against Phillips and the Stratford Democrats
        which is very wrong

    2. Joe McLaine says:

      July 25, 2019 at 11:17 am

      “Caz Mizera is a person of honesty and integrity “ old local paper no longer active online

      2012 SENATE RACE

      One of the Republicans at the headquarters on election night took his loss with a smile and a laugh. Caz Mizera was running against Democrat Andres Ayala for the 23rd Senate District. The seat primarily serves Bridgeport with a small section dipping into Stratford.
      “You know what, I don’t know what my numbers are and I don’t even care,” Mizera announced to the crowd with a laugh.
      He lost Stratford, 2,189 to 310

      Joe McLaine says On the subject of CEP money Caz has the ability and willingness to organize and raise money

      HIGHLIGHTS of how that 2012 CEP grant got spent

      Treasurer / Campain Mgr Decilio $5,000 Dep Treasure Alrich $1,500 Top 5 administators = $12,500

      Dep Mgr /Stfd Difederico $2,500 Dep Mgr/ Bpt Fredette $2,500

      Meeting Scheduler Barb Aldrich $1,000

      7 misc people at $575 each = $4025

      11 election day workers at $280 each = $3080 how many polling places in stratford cover the 23rd district??????

      3 election day workers at $210 each ( bpt rate?) =$630

      Robert Gonzalez Jr earned $2,772 over course of campaign

      Ale house got $4,600 Hilltop $875 Stephen’s pub $620

      Rally towels cost $2,446 Top t shirts $1,036

      American video production $29, 890 ( Caz tv commericals?????)

      Tech TV rental (?????) $2,637

      Sound system and flag pole $1,235

      Premier Graphics mailers and postage $6,025

      Connor printing mailers and postage $3,599 lots of mailings and also house to house drops was it all Caz material?

      That money would have been better spent on the people who live in the 23rd district that need assistance. Maybe they got a rally towel from the Amazing Stratford RTC members who pay themselves nicely to get 310 votes in 2012

  9. Anthony thank you for being clear that I do not support the values of your Republican party. You are a Garrett minion and part of the problem, and apparently not familiar with the political process. The mayor nominates all candidates regardless of political affiliation for city boards and commissions. I went online, downloaded an application, submitted it and was chosen. I was approved by the city council, after Garrett stood before them and recited a list of lies (nothing new for Garrett). Then undercover Republican Michelle Lyons attempted to try and build upon her mentor and moral leaders lies to have my appointment derailed. She failed and disappointed her friend and weekly dinner guest Mike Garrett. I do attend Democrat fundraisers, Michell’s daughter can provide you with pictures she took of myself and my wife, maybe Heather would like some pictures of my wife and I at Republican fundraisers to add to her collection for submission to Garrett and company. I was at Testo’s Madison Ave Tuesday night, in the bar having dinner with my wife. Sorry to disappoint you I was not in the other room participating in the political function. I am sure that undercover republicans Michelle and daughter filed a full report with Garrett. As for your plea to Republicans not to sign petitions, you are only showing your fears and weakness by making such a request. Your comments reinforce the need for change. Your label Valentino as a criminal, take a look at some of the members of the Republican town committee. Oh I forgot, they got a pass from chairman Garrett.

    1. Please, stop the madness and just disband the Republican Town Committee, you will never have any power except getting on each other well you can join the Democratic Town Committee and may gain a little power but as Republicans, forget it.

      1. When you arrived at an advanced fire, did you retreat to the station to make firehouse chili or did you do your best despite the dangerous conditions?
        The reason I ask is because the RTC faces the same conditions. Their choice is to continue. It couldn’t get worse and it might get better. The ink never dries on the future of history!

        1. Firefighters duty is life safety. The Republican Party in America today is basically in the South and it got that way with the passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Supreme Court decision on Brown v. The Board Of Education for desegregation of public schools in 1954. The South was mainly all Democrats but they became Dixiecrats and then Republicans.

  10. BREAKING NEWS (not surprising news) Garrett loyalist, minion and worshiper Republican Registrar of Voters Linda Dis-Grace misspelled several last names of Republicans seeking petitions challenging endorsed candidates. I guess it is overly burdensome for Linda Dis-Grace to proof read, check submitted paperwork or refer to the voters list for proper spelling of the petitioners name. Come on Linda one is possibly a mistake, but three. You are a shining example of a minion, I suspect that you were just following orders. But just like your former State Central seat, and your former ZBA seat, I am sure in 2020 that someone other than Linda Dis-Grace will be the Republican Registrar of Voters. Also no need to wait for Mondays undercover Republican report from Michelle Lyons, I will be attending the Monday evening fundraiser for Marcus Brown and Evette at Testo’s Pizza in Fairfield. I encourage all of my long time customers and friends from the Brooklawn district to attend. Marcus is young, talented and full of energy, Evette brings a wealth of experience and ability. They are the best Democrat candidates to face our Republican candidates in the general election. More important than a candidates political affiliation is providing the best choices to the electors of Bridgeport.

  11. Update. This morning my wife and I accompanied Charlie and Ashley to the Republican Registrars office to pick up the corrected petitions. I asked Linda if she was sure the latest version was correct, she replied would you like to do my job ( someone clearly needs too). Upon inspection it was discovered the newest edition was flawed. I asked Linda a couple questions and she was rude, stated it was not the registrars responsibility to make sure the petition is correct (even if true shouldn’t she make a good faith effort) then stated that I was not a candidate and would not answer any further questions. At that point it was clear that she has difficulty doing her job so not to distract her I waited in the reception area and had a very pleasant conversation with a receptionist named Wanda, what a lovely person. It was quite a while before everyone else came out. When they finally did exit the registrars office I asked what took so long. I was told Linda Dis-Grace had to redo the petitions several times without success. At that point the Deputy Registrar took over and to his credit after 4 or 5 attempts they finally got it . I had to wonder did this really happen or did I just see a bad Laurel and Hardy movie.

    1. Joe did you get a chance to go over the SEEC complaint in the posting? It’s clear to me both Decilio and Pawluk should at least be suspend with pay until Authorities decide how they will handle the matter. I even made a formal Ethics complaint to the Town and the Board which is chaired by the Norwalk Police Chief . who is a Stratford resident, stated it wasn’t an ethics violation but the alleged violations constitute a crime and then they took no action. I referred their findings to the Mayor And Town Attorney and they fail to address corruption in Town Hall. I keep trying to get the word out on this and I continue using the Kenny McCormick email because that’s how I started it when I wanted to be anonymous and just nudge people to do the right thing but that didn’t work. So I made the appropriate complaints and notifications using my actually name. I have read the investigation that I noted in a previous posting
      The Stratford police report case # is 17-30426 I know the police did a great job there but Town Hall prevents them for doing this one. It’s wrong so I speak out against it. Almost 2 years and in my opinion the Stratford Registrar office can not be trusted to run a fair election.

  12. David Mullane aka Kenny McCormick drop the alias and use your real name. As an experienced investigator you know better than the average person that a complaint is simply a complaint not a proven violation. I acknowledge when a complaint is properly filed, I also wait until a decision is made to determine if it is valid. If you really want to expose misdeeds possible criminal activity why not take a look into the activities of the Bridgeport Republican Registrar of Voters. In my opinion justice has no boundaries and I would welcome an experienced investigator such as yourself with no vested interest in Bridgeport to take an unofficial look into the operation of that office. There is also a complaint pending with the SEEC regarding the recent activities of that office. Again show pride and use your real name.

    1. Maybe when I complete Stratford you and I can team up and look into Bridgeport. My real name is on the official complaints I keep the McCormick because it has lots of correspondence with Town Officials .
      Here’s one from a former Town Councilwoman

      Marianne Antezzo

      Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 8:03 PM

      Ken, I would suggest that you pursue this on the state level. Find out what the voter registration laws are and who to talk to in the state government. I read the response to you from Lou Decilio and thought it was somewhat threatening…law suits, defamation of character, etc. Don’t bother sending emails to the locals, because either they can’t do anything about it or aren’t interested. Go to the state and get the laws covering this problem.
      Mitzi Antezzo

      1. here’s the email she reference:

        Lou Decilio

        Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 7:12 AM

        to mayor, bdaponte, Susan, sfarringtonposner, wkadeem, dharden, gcann, pyoung, Marianne, vchase, allewelyn, tmanus, mdaly, laura.hoydick, Tom, me

        Mr. McCormick,

        As I stated prior to the election, we could not investigate your allegations until we were complete with the election process. Since you were so hard pressed for answers, I took time over the weekend to investigate your allegations even though we are preparing for a recanvas of the vote for a land use seat.

        After a complete investigation into whether Mr. Malloy committed voter fraud, I’m happy to report your allegations are completely false. You allege Mr. Malloy voted in Stratford while being registered in another municipality, this accusation is false. You allege Mr. Malloy voted in another municipality while being registered in Stratford, this too is false. I hope this clears up any concern you may have with Mr. Malloy committing voter fraud. Again Mr. McCormick, you are wrong, Mr. Malloy never committed voter fraud. Mr. Malloy also requested he be notified of these findings so he can pursue any legal recourse against you for publicly accusing and defaming a non-elected official.

        Good luck, have a great day.


        Louis A. DeCilio
        Republican Registrar of Voters
        Town of Stratford
        (203) 385-4048 ext 3

  13. Why is it so hard to follow the rules and do the right thing ? Stratford can start an investigation into voter fraud involving Betty Jean Chappell the day before the mayoral election in 2017, the warrant is presented and signed in Dec 2017, Chappell was arrested in Jan 2018 and the case was done in April 2018. Amazing

    Yet in the same time frame Stratford shows no concern about the Registrar or Town Clerk activities

    Maybe Betty should’ve worked in Town Hall
    Defendant Information
    Represented By: 069521 ZANELLA B & A LL
    Birth Year: 1961

    Docket Information
    Docket No:
    Original Arresting Agency:
    Bridgeport GA 2

    $15.00 Paid
    Original Arrest Date:

    Sentenced Date:

    Overall Sentence Information
    Conditional Discharge

    Offense Date
    Verdict Finding
    Verdict Date

    Forgery 2nd Deg

    Sentenced: 5 Years Jail, Execution Suspended, Conditional Discharge 3 Years
    Fls Stmnt-Absentee Ballot

    Sentenced: Unconditional Discharge


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