Endorsements For Town Committee Seats

Jeanine Oburchay, chair of the political action group Better Bridgeport, announced endorsements in three Democratic Town Committee districts. Primaries will take place March 6 in 6 of 10 districts.

Today BETTER BRIDGEPORT, a non-partisan political action committee that seeks to support policymakers and policies that will improve the economic and cultural vitality of the City of Bridgeport, announced its endorsement for three (3) Slates of Candidates running for seats on the Democratic Town Committee as challengers to the incumbent slate of party regulars in the following Districts:

— 130th – Black Rock
— 132nd – Brooklawn
— 133rd – North End

We are one month away from Town Committee Election Day–March 6th–and we are concerned that most voters have no idea there is going to be a March election much less who is running and for what office.

Some elections seem practically designed to discourage voters and nowhere is that more true than in Bridgeport for the Democratic Town Committee election held in early March usually with little publicity and predictably abysmal voter turnout.

So why should voters care about this March election?

A lot is on the line for control of party leadership, especially for Mayor Joe Ganim and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa.

The Bridgeport DTC has 90 members covering 10 districts. Its membership endorses candidates for public office and selects officers including the chairman.
Testa wants two more years as chair to help guide the Bridgeport delegate selection to the state party convention this coming May where Mayor Ganim needs 15 percent delegate support to qualify for a Democratic primary for governor in August.

The challenge slates that Better Bridgeport is endorsing have the potential to change the conversation about who will become the next governor of our state. If voters don’t turn out for the DTC election–as is predicted–then the party regulars will keep their seats on the DTC and Mayor Ganim will have a strong delegation at the nominating convention.

It’s clear from the three slates that are challenging the status quo that voters in Bridgeport are ready for real change. Elevating our Mayor to the office of Governor while his political cronies remain in place in our city is NOT a recipe for change in Bridgeport or in Connecticut at large.

Better Bridgeport is heartened by the interest and activism of all the people who have entered the race with the intention of changing this outdated and destructive system of cronyism and patronage. We only endorse candidates that we believe are independent thinkers and declared free of conflicts of interest such as being employed in a patronage job or having a family member employed by the City. We are committed to open and transparent leadership in our City, and as such, we are endorsing 3 challenge slates to the DTC–those in the 130th district, the 132nd district and the 133rd district.

130 Challenge slate:
Shaurice Bacon
Greg Blake
Lynda Bluestein
Donna Curran
Dione Dwyer
JoAnn Kennedy
Michael Raleigh
Jenny Valencia
Diane Vulcano

132 Challenge slate:
Lilly Alves
Marcus Brown
Rosie A. Clarke-Jones
Robert F. Distasi
Braxton T. Gardner
Antoinette Giles
Robert Halstead
Eva J. McLeod
Lisa Parziale

133 Challenge slate:
Jessica Allen
Sandra Carolina
Vin DiPalma
Joe Goldberg
Gail Janensch
Robert Keeley
Claire Mastromonaco
Anne Phillips
Leighton Reynolds

We believe in these DTC candidates’ commitment to accountability and good governance and that their election on March 6 will continue the change we have been longing for in Bridgeport: an atmosphere of openness and fair play in City government. These candidates have less than a month to knock on doors and make phone calls to reach out to voters. Talk to them. Ask them the hard questions about why they are running and what they hope to change in Bridgeport.

If you are interested in helping to create change, but don’t live in one of these districts we’ve mentioned, there may be individuals running on a slate in your district that you can vote who share these values. Just remember: not every slate that calls itself “challenge” is actually challenging the status quo, so it’s incumbent upon each voter to find out if your DTC candidates are beholden to the Testa-Ganim agenda.

If you want to know more about your DTC members/candidates, please reach out to them. If your candidates are incumbents, ask them what they’ve done for you. Ask them if they work for the city. Ask them what real change they’ve initiated.

Get educated. Get involved. And get to the Polls on March 6th to VOTE FOR REAL CHANGE!



    1. Thank you! We are out working very hard to earn the votes of voters in our District. The biggest surprise I have had in knocking on doors almost every day is how welcoming people are! We are not an interruption as much as a breath of fresh air. Sometimes it’s hard to end a conversation and head to the next door because our neighbors just want to tell us how very frustrated they are,

  1. This group even talk to one candidate on either slate or is this just another irrelevant group that is anti Joe Ganim and anti Mario Testo? There will always be a machine. Always. The faces may change but the goal will always be the same. Being a Chairperson of 90 people from 10 districts is not an easy task. There are those on the challengers slate that have very questionable pasts and connections. To endorse blindly is pathetic at best. I’d be interested to hear how they endorsed? What was the criteria? How many voted and honestly who cares? Change gave us Trump!

    1. Actually I started attending Better Bridgeport meetings to get to know that organization. That’s how I met my fellow Slate-mates. We all attended meetings and the DTC Forum which was held at the Main Library. Over time we got to know one another and the leaders of Better Bridgeport Gen Now and other civic minded groups. I am the Campaign Manager for the 130th Challenge Slate and I will be happy to share with you how we got endorsed. It certainly wasn’t either pathetic or blind. And, where did you get the idea that we have “questionable pasts and connections”?


Leave a Reply