Fabs Endorses Republican Herbst In Trumbull, Eyes Run For Old Job

Could Fabs and Finch face off in 2015?
Could Fabs and Finch face off in 2015? CT Post photo.

Leave it to former Mayor John Fabrizi to shake things up. Fabs, a Democrat, showed up at a fundraiser for Trumbull’s Republican First Selectman Tim Herbst on Thursday issuing a surprise endorsement. It certainly cranked up the GOP crowd. What’s Fabs up to? He would love to have his old job back and appealing to a cross section of voters might be in play for him if he’s thinking about an independent run in 2015. But more than that he’ll need campaign money. Herbst and Mayor Bill Finch aren’t exactly the best of buds. Fabs must move beyond the usual suspects who give to the incumbent mayor to raise money.

Trumbull is Bridgeport north. The vast majority of Trumbull residents have a connection to Bridgeport, whether born there, raised there, work there or family there. Fabs has indicated he plans to retire from his position as chief of Adult Education at the end of this school year. That will free him up to raise money and schmooze voters. And Trumbull contacts could be a source of campaign cash. So call this endorsement a crash for cash.

MariAn Gail Brown of the CT Post has more on Fabs’ endorsement crash:

What surprised Herbst, the town’s incumbent first selectman, and dozens of the party faithful was the appearance of former Bridgeport mayor John Fabrizi, a Democrat. Fabrizi accompanied State Marshal Thomas Foldy, another Bridgeport Democrat, to the GOP fundraiser, which benefited Herbst and the rest of Trumbull’s Republican ticket.

“Look, I’ve got friends and family in Trumbull and friends with businesses there. My wife is even from Trumbull,” Fabrizi said Friday. “And from what I’ve seen, what I’ve observed and what I hear from my family and friends, Herbst is doing a great job. I know what the job is like running a city–and what it takes to do it well.”

Read more here.



      1. I can see why the Democrats would not want WFP to win but why would the Republicans care? It would make more sense for the Republicans to support the WFP because enemies of my enemy are my friends. The WFP is good for the Republicans. The WFP splits the Democrat votes and WFP victories erode the lock the DTC has on Bridgeport. Every vote for the WFP is half a vote for the Republicans. Take Black Rock for example. You have 10 voters. Six vote Democrat, four vote Republican. If three irate Democrats vote WFP then you have 3 D, 3 WFP and 4 R votes.
        The WFP has made inroads by tearing down the DTC (good for the Republicans) but eventually they have to build something. They have no plan or organization for that. If the WFP has a total victory the minority seat would have to be Democrat or Republican. Then if the BOE goes to shambles, while bad for BPT, it would give the Republicans inroads.

        1. Except for the fact the GOP in Bridgeport supports Finch’s education policy. The GOP and the leaders of the machine running the local Democratic party were often on the same page when Chris Shays was congressman. The Democrats kept turnout low to benefit Shays as long as the GOP put up weak candidates.

          1. Maybe each party chose to fight the battle they thought they could win. Historically, voter turnout was always low whether the DTC wanted it that way or not.
            BTW–a lot of people support Finch’s education policy. Including, but not limited to, Malloy, Obama and a fair amount of the BPT population. Obama has not endorsed Finch-type reforms but he has not come out against them. The WFP (teachers union) doesn’t really have an education policy other than opposing Finch’s policy and that is not really a policy. They are the single largest, if not the only, opposition. They never opposed any of Finch’s other education policies regardless of how hard they failed; just this one and they opposed it before it was even rolled out. They did not even want to see how it was going to work.
            The only elected Republican in town is the registrar of voters. Not the kind of position that would craft an education policy or oppose one. Why shouldn’t the GOP support this policy? It has produced positive results since its inception.

    1. Fabrizi was doing what he had to do to keep his BOE job (not to mention his wife’s job). No love lost there–Fabrizi thinks he was unfairly shoved aside by Finch, has never gotten over it and wants his old job back. He’ll do whatever he has to do to get some attention and get the ball rolling. This is purely a “look at me” moment but it has the added benefit for Fabrizi of most certainly irritating Finch who can’t stand Herbst (not that the feeling isn’t mutual). Problem with Fabrizi is he is all about “look at me,” and so far that hasn’t worked so well for him. Like not at all.

  1. I think Tim Herbst is doing a great job in Trumbull. An endorsement from John Fabrizi is nice but really, was it necessary? Will even one vote change? I do not think so. Bridgeport is moving forward. There were reasons Fabrizi did not run and like Ganim some things are better left in the past, no? I like John Fabrizi but not so sure Finch should be replaced just yet. Anyone knows if they contribute anything to his campaign knows he will ultimately support Finch. This political posturing is ridiculous. Mario Testa may replace you at the BOE.

    1. Steve, Mario and Fabrizi are in the same place: Outside looking in. If you, as a non-city or BOE employee feel “… not so sure Finch should be replaced just yet,” what can make you believe the DTC members who work or have family members working for the city will ever feel it’s time to replace anyone in elected officea Only ignorance can meke one believe this will ever happen. What good would replacing Fabrizi do? He can retire any minute now.

  2. Kind of interesting where this event was held considering Fabrizi may want union support if he does run. One of the main owners of SBC is GOP state Rep Dave Rutigliano who opposes minimum wage and once threatened to lay off some of his kitchen staff if the state legislature increased the minimum wage. In cities like Bridgeport with large pockets of working poor while this issue is not decided on the local level it certainly is relevant. Of course Finch’s record on labor relations is pretty terrible for someone who claims to be a liberal.

  3. Fabrizi run as an independent? A vote-splitter may be another way to describe such an attempt. Next March is or should be the winners take all opportunity. If Fabrizi went across the aisle to endorse a Republican, will he show some real political backbone by supporting a Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee challenge slate before jumping into the political waters of independence?

    Before Johnny Fabs ventures any further, I strongly suggest Fabrizi takes a good look at the group of people he needs to support him, if he indeed is contemplating a run for mayor in 2015. Why not try taking on the Democratic Town Committee along with a coalition of willing Democrats? If Fabs is contemplating a 2015 mayoral run as an independent, then it’s logical for me to conclude he knows the majority on the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee will not risk losing their (and or family members’) jobs or overtime work opportunity. What does Fabrizi have to fear or lose? Could this be just another bluff to try negotiating with Finch from a position of perceived strength? Time will tell. BTW, where is JML?

    Depending on how he plays his cards or the strategy (assuming he has one), Fabrizi can be a real threat to Finch and other future challenging Democrats. The first thing he needs to do is state publicly he was wrong in endorsing Finch in 2012. Second, he needs to take a position against City Employees serving on the City Council. Above all, he needs to take a leading role with a coalition of challengers on the next Democratic Town Committee race. So far, Mary-Jane Foster has been the only one to do at least two of the must-do’s on my list. I bring up MJF because by all indications she is seriously contemplating a 2015 mayoral run. She has shown her political strength (fundraising and getting votes). It’s highly unlikely the Bridgeport DTC (if left the same with the current majority) would support either Fabrizi or Foster. So my question to anyone (Democrats) contemplating a future mayoral run is: What good are they to you? Why not take a chance at increasing your chances of getting the Democratic Party endorsement?

    It’s no secret the Bridgeport Democratic Party hasn’t done much if anything for the three Democratic winners of the BOE primary. Why is this? Who runs the DTC? He who controls the jobs.

    Anyone interested in a DTC challenge slate spot for the 130th and 131st districts? Take my advice: Start early, start now. The results of the September primary show it’s time for not a change or reform, but a rebirth. Give me a call at (h) 203-345-9597 (cell) 203-360-6094.

  4. Fabrizi must have a political strategy here, but what is it? Is he trying to distance himself from the Dems? No matter what he does, he will still be seen as part of the ol’ boy machine as far as I’m concerned.

    Fabs is extremely close to Mario. I wonder what Mario said about this? And what about Trumbull Dem chair (not to mention state party chair) Nancy DiNardo? I don’t think she’s too happy about this endorsement.

    The big question is: what’s Fabs up to? Inquiring minds want to know.


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