Ed Gomes Primary Ballot Access In Jeopardy, Legal Battle Looms

Ed Gomes
Urban warrior Ed Gomes has lawyered up.

A paperwork gaffe has placed in jeopardy State Senator Ed Gomes’ ballot spot for the August 9 Democratic primary against party endorsed Dennis Bradley, chairman of the Board of Education. Connecticut Secretary of the State spokesperson Patrick Gallahue confirmed Wednesday night that Gomes’ name will not appear on the primary ballot.

Gomes has lawyered up with seasoned election attorney Bill Bloss. Senate Democrats as well in support of Gomes are also looking at this issue.

If this sounds like déjà vu all over again, last year then-Mayor Bill Finch was denied ballot access for November–following a primary loss to Joe Ganim–because of a paperwork snafu. So here we go again, except this time it’s for a primary, not general election.

Dennis Bradley
Dennis Bradley

What happened? The endorsement for Connecticut’s 23rd State Senate District took place May 23rd at Testo’s Restaurant. In a close contest Bradley swiped the endorsement from Gomes with Bradley supporter East End District Leader Ralph Ford chairing the convention. Gomes received plenty of delegate support to qualify for an August primary. According to the state election calendar, see here, the Gomes campaign had two weeks to submit the ‘15% candidate’ certificates filed by 14th day after close of convention.” That means paperwork on behalf of Gomes should have been submitted by 4 p.m. June 6.

The Democratic State Central Committee sets the calendar and chooses convention chairs for endorsements in multi-town districts. In an OIB moment Ralph Ford, who had supported Gomes last year in a successful special election for State Senate to fill the seat of Andres Ayala who was appointed by Governor Dan Malloy commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles, was named convention chair irrespective of his support for Bradley. Ford says the paperwork that Gomes was required to fill out was not included in his packet by the state party.

“I’m not responsible for running his campaign,” said Ford Wednesday night. “It’s the candidate’s responsibility to request the paperwork from the Secretary of States Office. It’s on him to get it right.”

It does raise the question, who in the Gomes’ camp was tasked with the due diligence to not take anything for granted?

In consecutive years Gomes has faced convention adversity. Last winter in a dog fight with then-City Councilman Ricky DeJesus for the Democratic endorsement for the special election to replace Ayala, the chairman of the convention, attorney Ed Farrow broke the tie handing the endorsement to DeJesus. After the vote Farrow revealed following questioning by OIB that he represented DeJesus in legal matters. So Farrow broke the tie on behalf of the candidate who was paying him.

The Gomes’ campaign cried foul, but Gomes had received the endorsement of the Working Families Party so he had a ballot spot in the special election. He defeated DeJesus and others handily to reclaim his old seat.

Gomes could end up on the ballot as a petitioning candidate in November or through an endorsement by the WFP whose banner he carries, but general election 2016 is a presidential cycle and a far different animal than a low-turnout special election.



  1. I was at the convention and felt it was inappropriate that Dr. Ford was named Chair. He is Dennis’ number one supporter.

    At a previous convention where State Central mailed us the agendas, Dr. Ford was Chair and he called for a nomination for a position which was not on the agenda. I called “point of order” and asked how he could request nominations for a position not identified on the agenda? He said “it was in his papers.” Lydia Martinez was nominated to fill the position.

    I don’t believe one word that comes out of Ralph Ford’s mouth.

  2. The Secretary of State’s office calendar clearly states any candidate who receives at least 15% of the delegates must submit the proper forms to the SoS, but it must be signed by the Chair of the convention or the Secretary. Dr. Ford should have had the forms at the convention because Ed had to have Dr. Ford or the Secretary sign the forms to make them official. Ed Gomes could not just make up a form and submit it to the SoS office without the required signature.

    This is incredibly suspicious.

  3. To hell with the snafu, the question is Ralph, why would you support anyone other than Ed Gomes? What in hell were you given or offered for your support for Dennis or is getting on the right side of white politicians what fuels your zest? I’ve known Ralph for decades and I love him like a Play Cousin, but Ralph has in the past done ONLY what’s in the best interest for Ralph and he will support anyone as long as he can get a job for a friend, a woman or some other political leverage. This isn’t anything new as everyone who knows Ralph knows he’s in it for Ralph. He’s like most every other black politician who has ever represented the 139th in the last 30 years without exception, WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? What troubles me most is the electorate of the 139th knows this about him and the other black politicians yet they continue to vote for these slaves. These black politicians will tell you they learned the Game from the white politicians, but they fail to understand even though the white politician will sell out their communities for the DTC, they are at least bringing something back to their communities that is substantial, but our black politicians aren’t bringing shit back to our communities, just taking.

    This isn’t the first time these SLAVES have let Ed down, like when he was being hospitalized you SLAVES let them cut up his district for the benefit of Anthony Musto and not one of you SLAVES said a damned thing. I defy Ralph to tell you one damned thing he has done for the 139th in the last decade to uplift the lives of the residents of this district to make it a better place to live, to work and to raise a family. Ernie, you profess to love the East End, born and raised there and the people of the East End love you to death, so why do you sit idly by and let this happen without so much as a whimper? How can you profess to love something and allow someone to use and abuse the thing you profess to love? Is it just me or does that sound like bullshit to you as well? The fact is, we are our Brothers’ keepers, well at least we used to be, but for blacks in Bridgeport to thrive we need our elected officials to love us as much as they love white politicians.

      1. Frank, they are friends and have a lot of history together, but I can tell you with absolute knowledge and conviction, Ernie has a heart, I’ve never know him to knowingly hurt anyone. How he puts up with the other one remains a mystery!

  4. Spoken as only you can, Donald. We have two experienced, genuine, hardworking State Senators and, because Ralph wants to groom the first black mayor, and Mario wants a spare in Hartford if and when G2 leaves, we are set back decades in the struggle and work it has taken to get to this point. We may not be completely there yet, but it’s a start. Shame on all the black supporters of G2 for being so self-absorbed, taking jobs for themselves or relatives in exchange for their silence and betrayal of their own. To watch these individuals vote and work against what took us so long to accomplish makes me sick. Two monsters–God please intervene.

  5. Lisa, while he may be grooming Dennis to be the Mayor he certainly can’t be grooming him to be the 1st Black Mayor because Dennis isn’t Black. Black isn’t a color it’s a state on mind, conscience state of being and the pigmentation of one skin doesn’t define ones Blackness. I was told that maybe I was a little too hard on Ralph, but no one in their right mind can think, feel or believe that Dennis Bradley would make a better Senator than Ed Gomes or can bring more to the city than Ed. I have for over 30 years respected, admired and love Ralph and totally respect Ralph as a person, more importantly as a man. Lisa, having said all that I sincerely believes that Ralph’s a better Brother than he is a politician.

    If we as a people can hold our white politicians to a higher standard of excellence then we must hold our Black politicians to that same standard of excellence. In fact we must hold them to a higher standard of excellence because they are the vanguards of the Black community, the catalyst for change in the Black community and the leaders in Black community and almost every Black politician from the 139th in the last 30 years has fallen woefully short. That’s a very sad commentary for Black politicians and the Black community as a whole.

    1. Don, let’s not forget the role DTC Chairman Mario Testa and Mayor Joe Ganim have in this whole thing. Bradley is Mario’s hand-picked puppet and Mayor Ganim didn’t have the courage to tell Bradley to stand down. Look, Ralph can’t hide behind anybody on this one. Ralph, what has Dennis Bradley done for you to support him against Ed Gomes?

      Don, maybe we put too much hope and trust in Ralph to do the right thing after knowing him for so long.

  6. Don and Lisa, well said, you know I have to ask Ralph Ford the same question I’ve been asking Marshall Marcus, what has Dennis Bradley done for the residents of Bridgeport that we need to vote for him? Unless Ed has said something about Ralph and his family then I don’t see any reason why Ralph wouldn’t support Ed unless it’s because of what you said, Don. The black community has been sleepwalking and they just let things happen and they think others will look after them. That mindset has given the East End no pharmacy, no supermarket, no gas station, no businesses that are hiring, no national chain franchise but they do have liquor stores, Chinese restaurants and small grocery stores. It’s against the law to own and buy a black man but you can still rent them. Blacks have put their hopes in Joe Ganim and what they get, they deserve.

  7. Dennis Bradley is Dominican (NOT PUERTO RICAN). Ed Gomes is Cape Verdean. My choice is Ed Gomes. Dennis Bradley needs to complete his four-year term on the BOE.

    Disappointed with Ralph Ford for turning his back on Ed, in spite of some type of disagreement or stepping on his toes (Ralph’s). And those who have stated the blacks and PR will never walk toe in toe, you are correct. Lydia and Ralph are now buddies! Ramon Larracuente has been the force behind Dennis B running for Senator. His boat is his domain.


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