Veteran campaign consultant and labor union organizer Marty Dunleavy has signed on to manage the campaign of State Senator Ed Gomes engaged in a tough reelection battle against party-endorsed Ernie Newton and State Rep. Andres Ayala in an Aug. 14 Democratic primary.
After a late start, the Gomes campaign appears to be getting its act together roughly five weeks from the primary. Dunleavy brings a wealth of experience organizing labor’s pull that matters in primaries. Gomes has sturdy labor credentials as a long-time union activist and organizer. Bodies on the ground, banging phones, providing rides, knocking on doors are key to primary success. The Gomes operation hopes the State Elections Enforcement Commission approves a grant on Thursday as part of the state’s public financing program. Qualifying primary candidates in the 23rd Senate District receive a grant check for $80,500 in addition to the $15,000 raised in small donations. Ayala has already received his grant. Newton hopes the commission will sign on off on his public money application next week.
A campaign forum sponsored by Bridgeport Votes, a coalition organized by the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office that includes the Bridgeport Area League of Women Voters, will take place July 24, 6 p.m. at the United Congregational Church, 877 Park Avenue, corner of State Street. That should be a hoot considering the three personalities involved in the race. Newton won Connecticut’s 23rd Senate District in a special election over Gomes in 2003, following the death of Alvin Penn. Gomes won the seat in a special election in 2005 after corruption charges forced Newton’s resignation. Newton is running on a message of redemption and opportunity. Gomes is running on Steady Eddie. Ayala’s running on fresh blood.
So it goes in city politics, where political blood transfusions come in many forms. Could the Red Cross be far behind?