What a crazy week. I thought the momentum was with Dan Malloy heading into Tuesday and victory at hand with a low turnout, but never thought it would be a double-digit win. So much for Ned Lamont’s 10 million clams. No pearls in those shells.
The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for Mayor Bill Finch and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, especially with Ned making his concession speech in Mario’s restaurant. But with the primary over it makes things a little clearer about political life in Bridgeport. Ned will not be governor, so no state commissionership for Bill, and as a result no acting mayoralty for City Council President Tom McCarthy. Big Mac’s probably saying ain’t that a relief.
So time for hizzoner to think about the 2011 primary. Mario too. Mario’s still trying to figure out who can beat State Rep. Chris Caruso. Hey, maybe Mario can cut a deal with Malloy, if he becomes governor, to take Caruso off his hands. In exchange, Mario can serve as Malloy’s personal chef. (Dan, make sure you have a taste tester.) Ah, I get the feeling the Big Wave wants one more crack at the mayoralty.
It looks like Mario must make do with Finch as his candidate, unless something really screwy happens. Former Mayor John Fabrizi has been lurking. That’s right, Fabs fashions himself as the party stand-in, a sorta theatrical understudy, the drama king of city politics. Fabs is still a little achy from the way city pols forced him out of office in 2007 in favor of Finch. Polls showed Fabs could not defeat Caruso so they found someone (Finch) who could. But now they have a similar situation so Fabs is relying on serendipity to get him back in play, just in case the call comes.
Who else is out there for mayor? Former Finch administration official John Gomes, who had a falling out with the mayor and was dismissed, has announced, is raising money and making the rounds. Retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez was sure acting like a candidate one year ago taking Finch to task over a variety of issues, but Carmen has been quiet of late.
Bridgeport Bluefish co-founder Mary-Jane Foster, an executive at the University of Bridgeport, has some folks tugging on her earlobe. Maybe a little Foster care for the city?
Judge of Probate Paul Ganim? State Rep. Andres Ayala? City Councilman Bob Curwen? East End District Leader Ralph Ford and his pal former State Senator Ernie Newton will no doubt kick some names around. It all makes for a potential free-for-all next year. And maybe the mayor says come on in (yeah, let’s split up that anti vote), Long Island Sound is plenty deep for all of us! Now that would be some splash.
Debicella Versus Himes
The race to decide Connecticut’s Fourth Congressional District has heated up. Democrat Jim Himes has cut his first television spot which describes the freshman as New England’s most independent congressman and Republican opponent Dan Debicella as “reckless, radical and wrong” for voters. Debicella, a Shelton State Senator who was raised in Bridgeport, will frame Himes as a puppet of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Washington spending spree. Himes defeated Republican Chris Shays in 2008 with a large plurality from Bridgeport. No Barack on the ballot this year. The congressional district features heavy Republican suburban towns as well as Bridgeport.
From Tom Foley:
Foley for Governor Condemns Override Vote
Stamford, Conn., — Today the state legislature voted to override Governor Rell’s veto of their changes to the Citizens’ Election Program (CEP) and increased the amount of taxpayers’ money Dan Malloy can receive to $6 million. Tom Foley for Governor released the following statement regarding the vote:
“The vote by the Democrat-controlled legislature today is indicative of the game-playing that has been going on in Hartford for far too long. Today the legislature arbitrarily handed out an additional $3 million dollars to Dan Malloy – on top of the $5.25 million dollars they have already given to him – in an attempt to buy this year’s gubernatorial election for their party,” said Justin Clark, Campaign Manager for Tom Foley for Governor. “It is appalling that at a time of great need and sacrifice among the people of Connecticut that our public servants are willing to throw even more taxpayer money to win an election. Voters are concerned about this old school, machine-style politics being employed by the legislature and should be very concerned if Dan Malloy is the only person there to protect the people of Connecticut from it.
From Dem State Party Chair Nancy DiNardo:
Statement from Nancy DiNardo on Citizen’s Election Program
(HARTFORD, CT) – Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo issued the following statement today:
“Tom Foley and Chris Healy seem eager to drag Connecticut back to the old ways of doing things, when big-money ruled our elections.
“There’s a reason that we worked so hard to pass a clean elections law, a reason that the law has bipartisan support–including from Governor Rell–and there’s a reason that Connecticut residents overwhelmingly support the Citizens’ Election Program. They want candidates whose campaigns are based on ideas, not dollars.
“If Healy really feels so strongly about limiting the amount of money going into the Citizens’ Election Program, here’s an idea: if he can convince Tom Foley to abide by a $3 million spending limit in the general, I’m quite certain that I can get Dan Malloy to do the same. We’ll wait for his answer.”