UPDATE: Candidates are lining up to fill Chris Caruso’s state rep seat. The Big Wave has started his state economic development job working out of Hartford. Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa has scheduled a convention for Saturday morning to endorse a candidate. Town committee members from three districts covering portions of the North End and Upper East Side will announce their preference. Can the party settle on an endorsed candidate? And does it matter?
Challenge candidates can easily petition their way on the ballot with four dozen certified signatures from voters in Connecticut’s 126th Assembly District. Deadline for an endorsed candidate and signature submission is Tuesday.
Drum roll of potential Dem candidates:
Chanel Cathey has emerged as the possible favorite for the endorsement. She graduated from Notre Dame High School and Fordham University where she majored in communications. She’s 24 years old and is studying for her masters in public policy at New York University. City Councilman Warren Blunt has recommended her candidacy and she is seen as a breath of fresh air by several political activists including former State Senate candidate Marilyn Moore who would love new blood in city politics and government.
Other possible candidates include former State Rep. Bob Keeley, Shante Hanks, an aide to Congressman Jim Himes, Rev. Charlie Stallworth of East End Baptist Church, City Councilman Carlos Silva, Joe Giaquinto, a retired Bridgeport educator, Mark Trojanowski, a Democratic town committee member from the East Side and former City Councilman Keith Cougar Rodgerson. City Republicans have tapped James Keyser to run. The window is closing for others to get in.
Former State Senator Ernie Newton has been encouraged to get in this race, but has said no. Ernie’s contemplating bigger fish such as his former state senate seat (occupied by Ed Gomes) in 2012 and perhaps a mayoral run this year. Ernie’s still popular in his old senate district and much of the state rep district Caruso occupied for 20 years falls within that. Will Ernie endorse? Keeley and Ernie are old friends, but the Moses of his peeps would like a black candidate to serve the district. Ernie, isn’t Keeley the white shadow of his peeps? We’ll see.
One thing’s for sure, look for Ernie to be a big pain in the ass this mayoral cycle. He has a following and intends to use it.