Fire Up The Absentee Ballots! Lydia Martinez Not Endorsed For Another Term

Lydia Martinez
No love for Lydia Martinez from East Side district pols.

If City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez is to win reelection to represent the East Side, it looks like she must wage a September primary. Lydia and her council partner Manny Ayala were not endorsed for another two-year term Wednesday afternoon by Democratic town committee members representing the 137th District. Instead they endorsed former council member Maria Valle and Aidee Nieves, both of whom are on the district town committee. Lydia, knowing the outcome was a foregone conclusion, did not attend the district caucus. This endorsement is not quite official just yet. That comes July 22 when the Democratic Town Committee meets at Testo’s Restaurant to endorse candidates for school board and City Council at the party convention.

Once official, Lydia must secure signatures from five percent of registered Democrats in the district to wage a primary. That should not be a problem assuming most of the signatures are legit. It’s unclear who will run with Lydia.

Seven of the nine-member town committee district were present for the endorsement caucus that took place Wednesday afternoon, according to District Leader Gil Hernandez. Voting to endorse Valle and Nieves were Gil Hernandez, Maria Rivera, Vidal Agosto, Nieves, Valle, Juan Hernandez and former town committee member Tito Ayala the proxy for Dimas Couto.

Lydia’s rejection for another two-year term was basically sealed last year when Tito Ayala and Gil Hernandez seized control of the district through a town committee primary. Maria Rivera and Vidal Agosto, two members who did not endorse Lydia, ran on her slate last year. But in East Side politics you just never know about the ever-shifting alliances.

Lydia’s not expected to give up the fight. She knows her district peeps as queen of city absentee ballots. She also directs community block grant funds to her district as co-chair of the council committee that distributes grants. But if Lydia’s to prevail, she’ll need to crank up her mighty absentee ballot operation that has gotten her into hot water with state elections officials in the past, including a fine a few years ago for helping a constituent fill out a ballot in violation of state law.



  1. Lydia Martinez should quit while she is ahead. If the SEEC or the FBI had any resources or teeth, she would be in jail. The passing references to her on this blog as well as the CT Post and other outlets as “Queen of the ABs” are offensive and embarrassing to the city of Bridgeport and its honest residents. Not to mention it diminishes the scope and depth of her offenses to the democratic process. There should be no place for her as an elected official anywhere ever.

    1. Something tells me Lydia will prevail or she will make some backroom deal with Tito … the machine is a loosely knit alliance of backstabbers and you need a program to tell the players even if you know them all.

    1. My mother and I attended a concert at the Klein a few years ago. Somebody up in front introduced Maria, and she got a loud and long standing ovation.
      Mom was impressed I knew somebody so important. 😉

  2. Once again Lydia throws Manny Ayala under the bus. She left him out in the town committee and she is doing it again. Her running mate is Milta Feliciano who does not live in the district. Works for the city.

  3. Wasn’t Milta thrown off the PR Parade Committee last year because of an anger management problem? Great choice of running mate, Lydia.

    I hope Milta, Lydia and Martha don’t try to run their AB operation out of the senior center again. Because that would be just wrong, wouldn’t it, ladies?

    Maria Valle has given back to her community for many years and NEVER asked for anything in return. She would restore some respect to the 137th.

  4. Candidates must live in the applicable Council District and should not be City employees. The City Charter should prevail. It represents the will of the people of Bridgeport.

  5. It really does seem the Calamarians are being challenged on many fronts so far. Still have to figure out how to get the brain-dead apathetic voters off the couch and into the polls.

  6. Come on, it’s the East Side … We’re lucky they didn’t offer up someone with a hit-and-run record or a recent domestic violence incident! hahaha

    1. The East Side is drifting as far as community development goes. The NRZ is a total farce. Vacant historic homes abound. Unemployment is having a bad effect. There is no significant intervention from the City. That is what is needed. Some kind of partnership between the private sector, lenders and City. A community grass-roots organization(s). These two will help with that.

      1. The East End is more in need of that than the East End … TO a certain extent the East Side though having a great deal of poverty is a vibrant lively neighborhood with a lot of small businesses, restaurants etc. Parts of the East End resemble Beirut during the ’80s and you can sense the people who live there feel downtrodden.

  7. While conceding East Side politics are screwy–no sense arguing since the people involved admit it too–The Fixer here presented one way to get behind some of the daffyness: understanding the Puerto Rican community.

    A lot of the conflict we Anglos see in a political setting such as a primary for alderman goes back to things like the Puerto Rican Day Parade, church groups, the baseball leagues–whatever.

    Some of the people involved have grudges that go back years. Some of them probably don’t even remember what really started the fights although they would have plenty of good stories to tell about who screwed who when that may or may not be exactly true or not.

    Being Irish, I tried never to let a stretcher or two get in the way of a good story. However, it makes it merry hell trying to figure out what exactly is going on if I wanted to write about it.

    Is it too early to set the over/under on the number of absentees to be filed? (NOT taken out, FILED.)

    1. Jim, I remember talking with you when I was canvassing during the Charter Revision campaign. I certainly enjoyed our talk. You could and should write a book.

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