Absentee ballots are officially available on Tuesday for voters participating in the March 6 battle for Democratic Town Committee seats in the 131st and 137th Districts. And judging by the more than 700 absentee ballot applications issued by the Town Clerk’s office that could circulate in the districts the two races could hinge on AB flex.
Bridgeport has a 90-member DTC spread out over 10 districts. Town committee members conduct party business, endorse candidates for public office and choose a party leader. Two of the 10 districts have primaries. The top 9 vote-getters among the 18 candidates in the respective primary challenge districts are elected.
The current 131 DTC is led by District Leader Mitchell Robles, Jose Negron, Jack Banta, Paul Boucher, Denese Taylor-Moye, Leticia Colon, Americo Santiago, Ashley Wacker and Milagrosa Seguinot. Robles is an elected city sheriff, Taylor-Moye and Colon represent the district on the City Council and Santiago represented the district years ago as a member of Connecticut’s State House.
The challenge slate of candidates is pledging not to serve in city positions if elected to the DTC, a point of contention for establishment critics who claim the relationship between the DTC and paid city positions is far too incestuous. The 131st District covers the South End, downtown and portions of the West End and the Hollow. A flyer from the challenge slate:
VOTE March 6th for the 131st District – Democratic Town Committee
‘Bridgeport First’ Slate Of Nine
OUR PROMISE TO YOU!
WE WILL NOT take a City or Board of Education job while serving on the Democratic Town Committee.
Unlike the current DTC members, our slate WILL NOT have a conflict of interest in serving you.
1. Rafael Mojica 109 Wordin Avenue: West Side; Owner – Former councilperson; Veteran; retired.
2. Mario ‘Andy’ Arango 221-223 Norman Street: West Side; Renter- resident of Bridgeport for 30 years; provides transportation for dental patients.
3. Mark Bush 154 Main Street: South End; Owner – born in Bridgeport and resident for over 30 years; construction union worker.
4. Rhonda Bush 200 Lyon Terrace: Downtown/Hollow; Owner – 40 year resident of Bridgeport; former insurance claim processor.
5. Charritin Escalera 204 Lyon Terrace; Downtown/Hollow; Owner – born and raised in Bridgeport; healthcare worker.
6. Christopher Foreman 881 Lafayette Blvd: Downtown; Owner- Finance/Insurance. Fairfield County native and lifelong resident; works in finance and insurance.
7. George Gholson Jr. 221-223 Norman Street: West Side; Renter – 27 year resident of Bridgeport; former employee of Lacy Manufacturing.
8. Glenn Pettway 494 Atlantic Street; South End; Renter – Associate Minister; born and raised in Bridgeport. Works in manufacturing. Volunteers at the Department of Corrections.
9. Eric Simmons 323 Fairfield Avenue: Downtown; Renter – born and raised in Bridgeport; Bridgeport Magnet School, Fairfield U. and Leadership Greater Bridgeport graduate.
• We live throughout the 131st District.
• We’re your neighbor in the Downtown/Hollow, West Side and South End.
• We will have open monthly meetings – no more secret meetings.
• We will do what is best for everyone in the 131st district.
• We will work to defeat the 120-bed proposed halfway house on Norman/Railroad Ave.
• We will help nominate the best people to serve you as elected officials and to serve on the City’s boards and commissions.
Over on the heavily Latino 137th East Side District, City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez, the irrepressible queen of absentee ballots, has signed out 100 absentee ballot applications. Her slate of candidates so far is circulating the lion’s share of applications. The applications are returned to the Town Clerk’s Office which then mail the actual absentee ballot to the voter.
Alberto “Tito” Ayala, who is among the nine-member opposition slate, knows what he’s up against when it comes to Lydia’s absentee ballot operation. Lydia has a mighty list of voters she can count on to vote for her by AB. This places a premium on the opposition slate to win on the machines.