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Enchanté! ‘Titanium Woman’ Hanks Gears Up For Stallworth Challenge

January 24th, 2018 · 23 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

Shanté Hanks

Shanté Hanks

The 2018 election cycle will be loaded with intriguing matchups including the one shaping up in the 126th State House District where incumbent Charlie Stallworth faces a Democratic primary challenge from Congressman Jim Himes’ former deputy district director Shanté Hanks who has formed a candidate committee.

Stallworth won the seat in a 2011 special election after long-time district representative Chris Caruso was appointed to a position in the State Labor Department by Governor Dan Malloy. Stallworth, a city minister, was an early supporter of Joe Ganim’s comeback for mayor in 2015. In Stallworth’s East End church, on January 1, 2015, Ganim issued his first public apology about his 2003 conviction on public corruption charges on his way to a historic comeback. Stallworth, a leader in the politically active Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, emerged as a high-profile Ganim campaign supporter. Ganim rewarded him with a $100,000-a-year job as special adviser to the mayor working out of the mayor’s office.

Stallworth Ganim event

Stallworth at Ganim event in 2015.

Last March, Stallworth resigned as director of the Small & Minority Business Resource Center after being demoted from the mayor’s office as part of an administrative shakeup by Ganim in December 2016. Stallworth had joined several black political leaders condemning the rank demotion of Lieutenant Lonnie Blackwell who was accused of fabricating a racial letter within the Police Department. Blackwell denies the charges. Stallworth speaking out was seen as a public swipe at Ganim.

Hanks has a compelling story to tell about her Bridgeport roots with a strong background in community organizing. She worked many years at Housatonic Community College where she connected students with community resources. She was also on the Beacon Hall Project Steering Committee that was responsible for securing funding for the college’s Downtown expansion. In 2009, she was appointed to the staff of Democratic Congressman Jim Himes who had defeated Republican incumbent Chris Shays in the 2008 general election. She also served on the Bridgeport Housing Authority.

Hanks has also stared down tragedy as the survivor of a near-fatal car accident caused by a drunken driver that inspired a book Titanium Woman. As the book notes “Shantè went from a lively graduate coed to a comatose patient, lying in a hospital bed where doctors rebuilt her crushed pelvis, broken wrists, ankles and femur with titanium metal.”

The 126th State House District includes the African American-rich Wilbur Cross and Hallen precincts in the North End and Whiskey Hill neighborhoods and cuts across the city to take in a portion of the Upper East Side. In 2016 school board member Maria Pereira waged a competitive primary challenge of Stallworth who was aided by an infusion of independent expenditures to keep his seat. Prior to that Stallworth had little competition for his seat. He says he is seeking reelection. The split State House district is represented by State Senators Marilyn Moore and Ed Gomes.

The Democratic Party endorsement for the seat will take place in May in advance of an expected August primary.

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23 Comments so far ↓

  • Bob Walsh

    Lets get someone who is TRULY independent to represent the district not the same old or new political wannabes looking for another paycheck.

  • Donald Day

    One must truly ask what has Shante` Hanks done for Bridgeport, but more importantly for the Black community during her six years as a staff member of Congressman Himes? The question is rhetorical because she hasn’t done anything for either in that capacity.

    Now she is asking the community to support her endeavor, please. Work for the community before you ask the community to work for you.

    • Eric Alicea

      You do know that Rep. Stallworth’s attendance record of abysmal. He has zero bills under his belt that he carried from sponsorship to seeing it through to become a state statute. Along with an atrocious attendance record he failed to be there for important votes concerning the city he represents.

      It seems that working for the community is not his strong suit either.

      • Ron Mackey

        Eric, that’s old campaign matreial from two years ago from Maria Pereira. Eric, again when did you move into the 139th district to run for the DTC because 2 years ago you ran on Maria’s​ slate for the 138th district DTC?

        • Maria Pereira

          That “campaign material” waa well researched, public record and factual.

          • Ron Mackey

            Even with Rep. Stallworth’s​ record the voters voted for Stallworth instead of you Maria. You have no idea of Stallworth’s ability to support for legislation back helps cities.

        • Eric Alicea

          The last two years have been the same old song. I moved when I did. Unless you want to become a benefactor to my family’s needs don’t you worry about where and when I moved. Just know I am legally a resident of the East End. Be well.

    • Maria Pereira

      Give us one thing Stallworth has done for his district/Bridgeport?

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      You’re expecting a Little too much from a Congressional assistant. Shanté Hanks worked FOR Jim Himes not the other way ’round. Looks to me that Ms. Hanks is an accomplished individual with an impressive résumé:

      “… She worked many years at Housatonic Community College where she connected students with community resources. She was also on the Beacon Hall Project Steering Committee that was responsible for securing funding for the college’s Downtown expansion. In 2009, she was appointed to the staff of Democratic Congressman Jim Himes who had defeated Republican incumbent Chris Shays in the 2008 general election. She also served on the Bridgeport Housing Authority.”

      I can appreciate your hyphenated-centric world view but you’re wrong here. This young woman is one of the good guys.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Great choices we have in the 138th &126th Stallworth who is an absolute do nothing and Hanks who used to work for the king of liberalism Himes I guess I sit this one out

  • Ron Mackey

    YEA, I cast my vote for Andrew Fardy.

  • Maria Pereira

    Shante serves on the Governing Council of Dr. Perry’s Capital Prepratory Harbor Charter School. She is a huge supporter of charter $chools.

    No thanks.

  • Donald Day

    Eric, Ron Mackey has asked three times in two different threads, ” Eric, again when did you move into the 139th district to run for the DTC because 2 years ago you ran on Maria’s​ slate for the 138th district DTC?

    Why are you being reticent about giving him an answer to this question? When did you move to the 139th or is your move on paper only?

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Maybe you answered your own question.

    • Eric Alicea

      The sad thing is it would have been more plausible that I was a paper resident on the East Side being that my family has lived in the same house in the East End for more than fifty years.

      I’ll say to you, like I said to him; unless you want to be a benefactor to my family’s needs don’t you worry about where and when I moved. Just know my Driver’s License, Pistol Permit, and Voter registration all list 912 Connecticut Avenue as my domicile.

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