Ed Gomes: I’m In For State Senate Special Election

Ed Gomes
Ed Gomes says he’s ready to rumble.

Sounding reinvigorated at a youthful 78 years young, Ed Gomes says he’ll seek a return to the State Senate seat he occupied when a special election is called in January after incumbent Andres Ayala presumably accepts appointment by Governor Dan Malloy as commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Gomes lost a 2012 Democratic primary to Ayala in Connecticut’s 23rd Senate District that covers about two-thirds of Bridgeport and a small piece of western Stratford.

Gomes has been making calls and meeting with a number of political operatives encouraging his candidacy.

Gomes says he’s feeling fit following triple bypass surgery in 2011. “The only thing detrimental to my health is sitting around and doing nothing,” says Gomes. “I’m feeling great and I’m ready to go.”

The Connecticut General Assembly session is scheduled to begin January 7, the date Ayala would receive the oath of office for a second term. Instead, he’s expected to accept the DMV appointment by Governor Malloy that will then trigger an official vacancy in his elected position and scheduling of a special election that presumably would take place sometime in late February.

Most political operatives view Gomes as a top-tier candidate in the special election, but a host of other potential candidates are working the political system. A retired union organizer, Gomes brings solid union support to the table that could matter in a low turnout.

A big question mark is whether Mayor Bill Finch’s political operation will advance a candidate. The mayor and Gomes are not the best of buds. Is it better for the mayor’s peeps to sit out the special election and let it play out as he enters 2015 seeking a third four-year term? Or do they have someone they could deliver–if not the endorsement–in a special election? Democratic and Republican delegates will endorse respective candidates for the special election. Challengers can petition onto the ballot.

The special election is a compressed six-week cycle in which candidates could participate in the state’s labor-intensive public financing program of elections. Special elections come with several public financing tier levels based on small money donations and signatures secured by the candidates that trigger a corresponding public grant.

Gomes appears to have political strength in the Upper East Side, East End and the portion of the North End and West Side included in the senate district. What will East Side and South End political districts do as other candidates position for support?

Another Gomes, John, who owns the popular Red Rooster Deli and for a time was a Democratic mayoral candidate in 2011, tells OIB he’s interested in the senate seat. John Gomes was part of a slate that lost a Democratic Town Committee primary in March to an East Side slate that included Chris Rosario who defeated incumbent Christina Ayala in a State House primary in August.

In November Marilyn Moore, Ed Gomes’ former administrative aide, won the other State Senate seat representing Bridgeport.



  1. Let’s Go, Ed! He will have Lennie’s much-talked-about M.O.M.!

    Ed has the already-built-in collegial relationships in the Senate. Looney would have to be Looney not to put on Public Safety.

  2. This could actually be a very telling election. If Gomes can pull it off, then Finch knows he is going to have the Marilyn Moore coalition against him in more ways than one. Bridgeport politics is always extreme. Either exciting or a big yawn. This could also make MJF more confident in a run.

  3. The powers that be up in Hartford a few years ago redrew the senatorial lines to strengthen Amthony Musto at the expense of Ed Gomes. Marilyn Moore knocked off Musto and Gomes is readying himself for a return performance.
    The two of them must be saying “ain’t that Just Us!”
    And senate leadership must be asking themselves what exactly were they thinking back then.

  4. You know … it’s very difficult to take you people seriously when day after day and year after year you folks just keep backing the same Democratic hacks who queered up the city in the first place. It’s just not getting any better. Worse, some would say.

    Perhaps it might be time for new blood with new ideas that do not involve other people’s money. Just a thought.

    1. Well Gabe, let’s hear it. Who is your new blood suggestion, who is capable of raising money, being supported, and ready and willing to run? It’s more than just having an idea or two and a fresh voice. We are speaking of the business of getting elected. Bring it on, I am all ears; well, eyes.

    1. BR, Steve Cassano from the 4th and Joe Crisco from the 17th Senate Districts are both of Ed’s generation and they seem to be serving their districts very well. I bet if you were to ask their constituents if they are too old to serve they would give you a resounding HELL NO!

      1. That’s great, Steve. Raising money will be problematic for John, if he tries to rely upon the support of district leaders and the Cape Verdean community, and runs against Ed Gomes? Really? Can you spell Rooster Parmesan?

      1. “Some people can’t handle the truth, time will pass them by.” Was there something deep and profound here I missed? It is not that I’m trying to relive Bridgeport’s darkest days by “reelecting past cappoliticians.” Knock yourself out. Seeing life through the rearview mirror.

        1. Steve–Sometimes before you can go forward, you have to put it in reverse. Ed Gomes already has his Senate relationships. We need someone who won’t need two years to get up to speed. Time is of the essence for Bridgeport. Go Go, ED GOMES!

          1. Up On Bridgeport. Following your thinking process, we should never have new blood. Mayor Finch will be elected based on his years of experience. And Bridgeport continues with the same politicians?

          2. Ron Mackey, waiting for a Musto comeback is not a desire of mine and Grin Ripper, there is no second coming. Though he tarry, we wait for the first and only coming of the Messiah.

  5. Now that the niceties are out of the way, let’s talk about the TRUTH.
    To begin, I know John Gomes. I agree with your assessment but what you said about him puts him as qualified as tens of thousands other Bridgeport residents but that doesn’t mean I would support them for state senate either.
    Here is the truth.
    1) John Gomes is out of the country and won’t be back for a couple of weeks.
    2) The process of selecting a candidate is not going to stop and wait for him to come back.
    3) John Gomes ran a town committee slate that was not successful in his own district.
    4) John Gomes did not have enough votes to even win a seat for himself.
    5) John Gomes has not displayed any staying power. He ran for mayor then folded his tent and disappeared from the political scene. I have not seen or heard a consistent message from him to indicate any reason why I should support him.
    6) When last seen John Gomes was hosting a meet and greet for the conservative Republican candidate for governor.

    So please Stevie, explain why John Gomes is an excellent candidate for state senate.

    1. Bob Walsh, everything you said is correct. I didn’t say he has the support or money to win. You are correct, there are hundreds of individuals who have his credentials and it really is too bad Bridgeport is incapable of attracting these folks to run. Bob Walsh, I am not going to attack John as I have a great deal of respect for him. I am just not feeling warm and fuzzy with your support for Ed Gomes. This was a perfect opportunity to give Scott Hughes a shot, but as usual you keep going back to the bad old days. I think having Moore in Hartford is a good thing. I think Moore and Ed Gomes is just a bad bad bad bad bad idea. Sorry Bob, it doesn’t take an idiot to figure out the attempt for a new coalition in Bridgeport. I am just not thrilled with all its members. It is a vain attempt to replace one machine with another. Now would have been the Opportunity for your new coalition to groom Scott Hughes. The time would be now. This would be your opportunity to show you want change, not the same old stuff. Bob, that’s all I care to say on this topic. Anything else would be regurgitating the same crap. So if you, Donald Day and Ron Mackey cannot look to the future with new blood, that’s fine. I however, am not interested in carrying on the way it was with Musto. I do wish all candidates the best of luck. I do not believe Ed Gomes’ age should be an issue. In many ways, he has served and lived through all of the corruption and dark days of Bridgeport. Change is sometimes a good thing. I am waiting to see who the Dems come up with. Question, is it just the district or full committee that endorses a candidate???

      1. Steve–there will be a Democratic Party nominating convention consisting of appointed members from that Senatorial district. It could be the same members from the 2014 endorsement convention.

  6. Steve–I’m all for new blood but am pragmatic and realistic. Elect Ed Gomes under a short political window opening and groom a successor. This is a longer legislative session that requires experience and relationships for Bridgeport.

  7. Well, I see where former Rep Don Clemons wants to run for this senate seat. Don, you were a zero as a state rep so please don’t run and stay home on the couch.

  8. Let’s get real here, Mayor Finch does not want Ed Gomes to be the senator and Mario Testa feels the same way, now what? There will be a get-together with other candidates to see who will come standing as the candidate but there’s one thing wrong, no matter what happens Ed Gomes will run and become the next State Senator from that district.

    1. Ron, I am never alone. I am certainly not a follower and for the most part you are speaking to the choir on this blog. It gives people like yourself the false sense everyone hates Finch and everyone supports Gomes. They do not. Moore is my Senator and I do not vote for Gomes. So do not concern yourself, my vote will not help or hurt Ed Gomes’ attempt. Ron, I have never in my life succumbed to peer pressure.

  9. Steve, Scott has pledged his support to Ed Gomes, and what makes you think Scott is not being groomed? He’s an honorable, intelligent professional man who will serve in the future. How does the first black mayor sound to you?

    1. Lisa, a black Mayor, a gay Jewish mayor, an Irish Catholic mayor. How about an honest, charismatic competent Mayor? I like Scott Hughes, but mayor? That won’t happen.

      But Lisa, if you felt you were throwing me a bone by suggesting it, I say thank you. Of course it is no surprise Scott Hughes is supporting Ed Gomes. It was only a few months ago he was fighting for this position himself. Let’s face it, you either have the fire or you do not. Scott could use a little charisma and a fire under his ass. He is also part of your select group representing the new political machine. So there you go.

  10. Mayor Finch and the DTC Chair need a black candidate for this senate seat, but not Ed Gomes. They are contacting candidates now because they need to show they are “supporting” a black candidate, someone who would owe them plus they don’t want a black candidate running for mayor.

  11. Mackey, I’m not so sure Mayor Finch and/or the DTC wants or desires a black candidate for this senatorial position. Think about how Ayala got the position in the first place. They gave Ernie the nomination so he could split the black vote and that would give Ayala free access to the Senate.

    They knew Ernie or Ed wouldn’t step down so the other would have a better chance to win. My question is what black person are they planning on using this time and will that person believe the end justifies the means.

Leave a Reply