For John Gomes, The Cigar That Almost Wasn’t

John Gomes in advance of victory.

Little things mean a lot in city politics, including celebrations.

Tuesday evening Deputy Chief Administrative Officer John Gomes, who’s been through a number of political wars, posed for an OIB photo in the parking lot of Testo’s Restaurant. Brimming a cigar after a long, long day on the campaign trail providing rides he was ready to marinate in the results, and party, in advance of an expected victory.

“We are celebrating tonight,” he declared.

Shortly after the polls closed the results trickled into the ballroom of Testo’s that poised ominous for Mayor Joe Ganim. His primary opponent State Senator Marilyn Moore had piled up an impressive series of precinct wins.

The air inside Testo’s was like a call into a casket. Hello, anyone in there?

As the night progressed, despite Ganim being down by a few hundred votes, Gomes did not despair.

“We will win,” Gomes said. “We have it covered.”

His reference was to absentee ballots.

He called it correctly.

“Remember that cigar?” he echoed playfully.

Time to light up. And he did … for the cigar that almost wasn’t.




      1. It seemed like a lot of people split there vote voting for Moore on line b then going up to line A for the rest of the candidates on that line. Is ganim really this unpopular people really did this?

  1. Lenny is a better historian of ‘things Bridgeport political’ than most folks around today. He got into the scene early enough with the newspaper scene and has transitioned successfully into the interactive news business that a blog may perhaps fill today.
    Seeing John Gomes reminds me of a time perhaps ten years ago when Gomes, Bob Keeley, Dave Daniels, Howard Gardner, Charlie Coviello and even John Fabrizi (for one session) were active in forming something we ended up calling THE MOVEMENT. I was drafted (actually the only person with writing skills and no political background, to record, promote, and have some public sessions, mostly in Bridgeport libraries, where folks could come out, ask questions, get answers and learn. It was fun for the most part and colorful incidents happened.
    Roll call…..Gomes left private business for a Ganim position. When we meet we, greet, but info sharing about his work, his beliefs and values are incomplete. Charlie Coviello saw the death of a global thinking partner since that time, also secured a position recently with Ganim2 and his health condition deteriorated rapidly and died this year. (But he did touch the “returning citizen” Tony Barr to carry on Mayoral aspirations and East End and Side connections.) Howard Gardner ran for BOE and served honorably while taking a shot at Mayor….Daniels has served in a consulting role for the Ganim administration, still wearing great footwear and that wonderful smile……and Bob Keeley is working for some of Bridgeport’s youth in a role with Boy’s Club. Saw him this week with a smile on his face when we crossed paths at South on Bostwick at breakfast time.
    Politics and politicians are part of the community fabric. Some start young and learn some lessons about MOM. Some get a taste and run away while others follow that scent and run forever after.
    I still think that personal values are important because ultimately the voter wants to and must ultimately trust the man or woman once in office. But, like the founding fathers, limits to time on stage serving and oversight mechanisms, were set up to encourage sticking to good values. Sometimes hope is lost for a while. It is said that it is “darkest before the dawn”. Look for that moment….look for those who hold themselves up to values to live by. Time will tell.

  2. Maria, now that you and your partner has 18,000 (I think) in stipend funds, and we know you are not going to use is like the others you aforementioned without losing your credibility. I suggest using it for community event celebration for your district, like the tree-lighting, Halloween party for the kids, Easter Egg hunt, and BBQ picnic. An event for each season for your district. JS 🙂

  3. “the state and national Democratic Party, Governor Ned Lamont and state and federal authorities (to) conduct a full investigation of absentee ballots cast in the primary election.”

    1. Expected, and AB’s determining the winner is common and par-for-the-course for the Port’s primaries. What’s going to be interesting is the outcome. Or should I say, “the waited for anticipation for what has been a predetermined outcome”. Because there is no way in hell Moore’s camp can not turn in 200 + signatures to secure a place on the November ballot while simultaneously submitting 2500 + signatures to secure a place on September’s primary ballot. But AB’s are the problem for her not being on the November ballot. I suppose being a write-in candidate will undercut her campaign. So the question is Why? I await the predetermined outcome. 🙂 Me too, son, me too, back to my ESL, people. 🙂

  4. donj, about a year ago, someone filed a SEEC complaint agains then State Senate candidate Dennis Bradley. I believe we’re close to the 1 year mark since the complaint was filed. Does anyone know what was the outcome of the SEEC investigation? Where am I going with this? Months before the complaint was filed, the Connecticut legislature passed a number of laws bearing new SEEC rules. Marilyn Moore was one of the State Senators who voted for the changes. Before, SEEC investigators or investigations took a long as they took to reach a ruling. Now, with the new rules, SEEC investigations are limited to one (1) year. If SEEC investigators do not conclude their investigations within a year, the complaint/investigation is closed.
    I bet that the Bradley complaint will be allowed to expire if it hasn’t been settled. The complaint was simple and straight out. Shouldn’t be hard to investigate and rule on in less than a year. If Moore files a SEEC complaint in regards to the primary ABs, her camp better make a strong case. She should expect the case to drag for over a year and then hopefully remember that she voted to limit the time period of SEEC complaint investigations.

  5. Gomes’s comment “ we got it covered” when realizing Joe was losing at the machines Tuesday evening was a big middle finger to the people of Bpt.Basically mocking the election process.


Leave a Reply