Gomes Sues For Ballot Access In State Senate Primary Against Bradley, Court Hearing Next Week

Ed Gomes
Gomes seeks court relief.

UPDATE: State Senator Ed Gomes on Wednesday filed a complaint in Bridgeport Superior Court asking a state judge to place his name on the August 9 Democratic primary ballot after his candidacy application was rejected by the Office of the Connecticut Secretary of State following a campaign paperwork glitch. Gomes wants to challenge party endorsed Dennis Bradley, chair of the Board of Education. The complaint was filed against Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. See complaint here.

Gomes has lawyered up with seasoned election attorney Bill Bloss who filed the complaint on Gomes’ behalf. A hearing is scheduled June 30 before Judge Barbara Bellis who is no stranger to resolving ballot complaints. In 2011 she ordered that Mary-Jane Foster’s name be placed on the Democratic primary ballot for mayor after local election officials denied her application.

The endorsement for Connecticut’s 23rd State Senate District took place May 23rd at Testo’s Restaurant. In a close contest Bradley won the endorsement over Gomes with Bradley supporter East End District Leader Ralph Ford chairing the convention. Gomes received plenty of delegate support to qualify for an August primary. According to the state election calendar, see here, the Gomes campaign had two weeks to submit the “15% candidate certificates filed by 14th day after close of convention.” That means paperwork on behalf of Gomes should have been submitted by 4 p.m. June 6.

As a procedural matter to set up a court challenge the Gomes campaign filed the paperwork after the fact. It was rejected by the state a few days ago. That action provides legal standing to run into court to seek relief.

The Democratic State Central Committee sets the calendar and chooses temporary convention chairs for endorsements in multi-town districts. Ford, who had supported Gomes last year in a successful special election for State Senate to fill the seat of Andres Ayala who was appointed by Governor Dan Malloy commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles, was named convention chair by delegates irrespective of his support for Bradley.

Ford says the paperwork that Gomes was required to fill out was not included in his packet by the state party. A source within the state party says it was included.

“I’m not responsible for running his campaign,” said Ford last week. “It’s the candidate’s responsibility to request the paperwork from the Secretary of States Office. It’s on him to get it right.”

Courts generally expedite these judicial challenges to accommodate the election calendar.

In the complaint Bloss asserts that as convention chair that Ford had failed to follow state party rules in executing paperwork for a candidate who received enough delegate support to qualify for the ballot.

He cited state party rules. “… This list shall be certified by the permanent chairperson and secretary of the convention and shall be delivered to the Secretary of the State by the chairperson of the convention not later than forty-eight (48) hours after the close  of the convention … Copies of such lists shall be delivered to the Secretary of the State Central Committee.

From the court complaint:

On information and belief the chair and the secretary of the convention failed to certify the list described above, failed to deliver it to the Secretary of the State, and failed to deliver a copy of the list to the Secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee.

Ford has publicly stated that he supported Gomes’ opponent and has publicly stated that he had no responsibility for any filings with the Secretary of the State, despite the clear language of party rules set forth above and the applicability of the party rules to the convention under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-382.

The secretary of the convention also publicly supported Gomes’ opponent.

Ford has stated publicly that the convention packet of information and materials conveyed by the Connecticut Democratic Party to him, directly or indirectly through the temporary chair of the convention, included a form to be filed by the endorsed candidate, but did not include the Certificate of Eligibility Form ED-634gl[DJ to be filed to allow a candidate receiving 15 percent of the convention delegate votes to qualify for a primary.

Ford caused the Certificate of Eligibility for the endorsed candidate to be provided to the endorsed candidate Dennis Bradley. On the night of the convention it was not reasonably possible for Gomes to have obtained the  executed Certificate of Eligibility Form ED-634gl[D].

The complaint also asserts that “the Secretary has the authority to allow a late filing in the case of a candidate qualifying for a primary by virtue of obtaining 15 percent of delegate votes by virtue of differences in statutory language between Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-388 (regarding endorsed candidates) and Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-400(b)(l) (regarding candidates who qualify by virtue of obtaining 15 percent of delegates).

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31 comments

  1. Go get ’em, Ed! I talk to every voter I speak with about voting for Senator Ed Gomes and myself on Row B on Tuesday, August 9th.

    I haven’t skipped a beat.

  2. Ralph Ford, you can go to hell.
    I have lost all respect I ever had for you as a man.
    Ralph will tell anyone who will listen to him he is going to make Dennis Bradley the next mayor of the city of Bridgeport and he obviously has no qualms about stabbing a former friend in the back in the process.
    You go, Ed. You kick ass and take no prisoners.

  3. The last thing you want to do is wake a sleeping bear.
    Now Ralph and the powers that be in the city of Bridgeport have gone and pissed off the sleeping bear.
    Get out of the way because here he comes, meaner and ornerier and hungrier than ever before.

    1. Yes he did, Andy! His firing from his State job amounted to nothing less than stealing, and yet nothing was said, it didn’t even make the paper. That means either someone was doing him a favor or he’s doesn’t mean enough to bear mentioning. Talk about second chances! And still he goes around hurting people while he lines his pockets with a perceived sense of leadership. Intimidating whomever may be in office to get what he wants for whom he wants and the jerks keep giving. Someone has to tell him to go pound sand and bring it on if he has it. I’d like to step on his gout-ridden toe.

  4. Let me tell you about Ralph Ford.

    Nessah Smith and his dear friend James Morton had to have another Primary to break a tie for City Council last year.

    He put his people in Joe Ganim’s Stratford Ave. headquarters, utilized his phones and location rent free. He went into the database where I had stored all my top voters and their phone numbers. He had his people call all my voters to tell them Joe Ganim wanted them to vote for James Morton who ran with Bill Finch.

    I was calling my voters and one after one told me they got a call telling them to vote for Morton from Joe Ganim’s campaign. I actually went to voter’s homes and looked at their caller ID and it clearly said “Ganim for Bridgeport.”

    I called the number and sure enough it was Joe Ganim’s Stratford headquarters.

    A meeting was organized with the leadership of Joe’s campaign. The information regarding what transpired was laid out, pictures of the caller IDs were provided.

    Ralph Ford was slouched in his seat and responded with “And so what. So what.” His loyal disciple Tom Coble claimed although he managed the Stratford headquarters he did not know Ralph was doing this for days. LOL.

    We went around in circles for another 15 minutes. I could see it was going nowhere so I politely excused myself, walked out and never came back.

    Joe Ganim did not do one thing about this outrageous conduct.

    Joe Ganim, Ralph Ford, Tom Coble, etc. are all cut from the same cloth and it isn’t silk. They are all unethical, slimy, dishonest, untrustworthy, etc.

    Every single one of them.

  5. As I am speaking with black voters about what Ralph Ford did to Ed Gomes, not one person has defended him and many clearly know what he is all about.

    I have been knocking on doors in my neighborhood for over a week now, really locking down my ones and twos. I start with if you can tell me who our state rep. has been for the last six years I will give you $5. Let’s just say I haven’t had to pay up once.

    I spoke with a lovely black couple that is very involved and informed. After we talked about what Ralph did to Ed, I said “now I want to talk to you about Stallworth.” The husband said “I don’t need to hear one thing about Stallworth. Give me your card. We will definitely be voting for you and Ed.”

    I can honestly say some of his harshest critics have been black. No kidding.

  6. While we castigate Ralph and rightfully so, let’s not forget the litany of white politicians who jumped on the McCarthy bandwagon. Everyone knows how he left his city employment and the gratuities that were bestowed on a bunch of worthless, backdoor deal parasites who knew even though what they did might not have been illegal, it was certainly unethical.

    Now he’s running for the State Senate, these same white politicians who professed to loving Bridgeport are now supporting the architect of that unethical behavior. He goes in with dirty hands as would a lot of people agree, yet Senator Marilyn Moore has never done anything but serve the City of Bridgeport with honor and dignity and brought back the resources that will help move our city forward. Yet McCarthy is a better choice by those white politicians and it leaves one to question, is their animosity directed at the City of Bridgeport or at blacks in Bridgeport?

    So when you start to spew your venom at Ralph, save some for those white politicians you know aren’t any different than Ralph Ford. In Bridgeport with respect to politics, ethnicity doesn’t dictate scandalous behavior, the only thing that matters is how much your integrity is worth and will you take payment in small favors.

    Let’s not forget Ralph ain’t calling no shots about this process or about Bradley running, that’s being done by white Bridgeport politicians who hate Ed Gomes more than they love Bridgeport.

  7. Donald, there’s not enough room for me to describe white politicians. There are maybe two or three in the whole City I would even dignify. Starting with Mario, G2 a close second and all the rest should go to hell as far as I’m concerned. There’s an election cycle happening and Ed and MM are the only two I’d go near. Sorry, forgot Maria! I’ve spent my entire political tenure trusting and working with the blacks and some Hispanics. My experience on the CC as President was given to me by a black man, and supported by blacks and Hispanics. The whites would have stuck the knife in my back and twisted it if they could. I know you don’t know me as well as some, and in particular my friend Ron M., but I have no respect for most white politicians, never did and never will. That doesn’t mean I have no respect for white people, just the politicians in Bridgeport. For me to say what and how I feel about Ford, please know he pushed me to it and I’ll wait for the opportunity to let him feel and know how so many he hurt felt and feel. I tell anyone who will listen it’s time for new leadership in the 139th. He’s a bully and a disgrace to all the black mentors I had in 40 years. He wouldn’t last a minute if they were still with us.

    1. Thank you, Lisa.
      After reading your comments, one thought came to my mind. What would George Pipkin think about Ralph Ford today? Talk about a real leader in the African American community and the Democratic Party in this city.

      What would Margaret Morton think of Ralph Ford? Another true leader among the minorities in Bridgeport.

      They would have never even considered placing their personal agenda ahead of someone like Ed Gomes who has given his all to the city and his constituents. They were true leaders.

  8. Integrity in a person, whether a politician or a plain voter, whether female or male, does not reside in race, religion or color. So some folks in politics stay far away from telling you their priorities or plans. That way you can never say to them about certain subjects: “You did not walk your talk!” Integrity needs to be found before you support a candidate. Later facts may cause you to rue the day you decided to support them, but we are human beings and not perfect. Seek integrity from members of the Town Committee who are extraordinarily quiet about many subjects including the fair funding of over 20,000 Bridgeport youth. Where is the voice of the DTC on any critical subject? Time will tell.

    1. John Marshall Lee, you asked, “Seek integrity from members of the Town Committee who are extraordinarily quiet about many subjects including the fair funding of over 20,000 Bridgeport youth. Where is the voice of the DTC on any critical subject? Time will tell.” JML, trust me, that is not even a issue and that topic would never ever come up at a DTC meeting, never.

  9. What a difference a year makes. Last year one candidate was a prominent Ganim supporter. So much so, when Ed supported Foster, she implied she would campaign against him this year. Twelve months later she is no longer a Ganim-ite and she is working hard on the campaign trail and willing to also ride Gomes supporters to victory. No one is saying she is not putting in the work for herself and this is a very strategic move.

  10. *** OIB readers and bloggers, just who do you think dropped the ball on this paperwork glitch for Gomes’ primary Senate run? Ford, Gomes’ campaign workers, or the Sec. of the State’s office? If Ford or the State is at fault, then Gomes should be granted the primary stay! If Gomes’ people messed up, then it’s time to flip a coin to be fair, no? *** WHOOP ***

  11. It is so troubling when individuals post uninformed comments that have no basis in reality.

    The top three schools in the 126th State Rep District are as follows:
    1) Wilbur Cross – Senator Moore
    2) Thomas Hooker – Senator Gomes
    3) Park City Magnet – Senator Moore

    I think it is pretty clear Ed will not be the one delivering Thomas Hooker School.

    But I am sure anonymous posters would never want to let facts get in the way.

    1. Lisa, Ed himself has acknowledged he will win Thomas Hooker School because of my efforts, therefore having a coward who hides behind a handle imply I am attempting to ride Ed Gomes’ coattails is just ridiculous.

      1. Maria, everyone knows you will help Ed and have been helping Ed since he announced he was running again. Together you make a good team, your strength is organization and the willingness to spend hours speaking with people. Ed’s reputation is legend in this City and his reputation as an advocate and honest politician go nicely together. In my opinion, it is this perfect match that scared the hell out of Ford. He sold Ed for one piece of silver, because he knows he can’t match your skills and determination. You know that, any thinking person knows that, so just ignore any distractions and go get them.

  12. WOW!
    I have to say I saw Marilyn Moore and Ed Gomes at Bridgeport’s waterfront planning meeting yesterday. I was very impressed how they were concerned about Bridgeport’s developments and the need to not rush. A Starbucks and Chipotle are severe under-developments considering the sacrifice of hundreds of homes and business taken by the city in the goal to transform it. Unless you think Starbucks or Chipotles are transformative. For those who see Bass Pro unfit for Bridgeport, if any CT resident wants to go to a Bass Pro store, they have to come to Bridgeport. It’s their only store in Connecticut. I think Bridgeport needs to build on that. It will take time and planning. How much time? I will channel JML–Time will tell.

  13. Lisa, that’s a very nice fairy tale about why Ralph sold out Ed, but you know as well as I it had nothing to do with his ability to match Maria’s skills and determination. Ralph sold out Ed because white politicians Mayor Ganim and Mario, told him to because they couldn’t afford to do it themselves for fear of further alienating the black community.

    It seems as if no one wants to acknowledge the role of white politicians in this snub of Ed Gomes when in reality we all know Ralph was just a pawn for the White Political Leadership. It’s like I said before, White Politicians in Bridgeport hate Ed more than they love Bridgeport.

    1. Donald, I think I’ve stated Mario et al. started this. You’re implying Ford is so gullible he went along with them? He didn’t Donald, he has his own agenda as do they. Stupid me, I gave Ford more credit than he deserved. He’s just as bad as the white politicians, he’ll go after his own if it fits his agenda. Personally, I think he’s flexing muscles he no longer has and is yearning for his glory years. The sooner this man is gone, the faster progress will be made in the black community. I won’t go into his ineptitude in the Ganim campaign. Smoke and mirrors, remember I witnessed it and I have no reason to lie or embellish. I managed every district in the City, he had a healthy budget and a small army of women doing his work, and he still came up short. I know, I have the numbers. He’s a phony and doesn’t deserve the credit you give him.

      1. Ralph Ford and Tom Coble ran Dunbar, JFK and Harding out of the Stratford Ave. headquarters. They spent a fortune on canvassers and phonebankers, and Tom was being paid $500 per week according to the campaign filings.

        Dunbar was the second highest plurality for Joe, but he won Harding by one vote and JFK by 48 votes.

        Joe did not spend one dollar in T Hooker for canvassing, phonebankers, or poll standers. Nessah and I walked it all by ourselves for free. Joe won THOOKER by 150 votes and it was the third largest plurality in the entire city.

        They spent a ton of money.

    2. Again, WOW!
      Day, I don’t know if your post was misogynous, racist, or race baiting. To undercut a white politician woman’s (Maria) skills and determination who’s helping a black politician (Ed) by insinuating the actions of a black politician (Ford) against Ed was because of other white politicians (Ganim, Mario). Can Ford say no to Ganim and Mario? Does Maria love Bridgeport more than she does white politicians by help helping and supporting Ed? We are a one-hit wonder.
      www .youtube.com/watch?v=YRvWtCYTaCU

  14. Lisa, you say I give Ralph more credit than he deserves, what? I said, “I’ve known Ralph for decades and I love him like a Play Cousin, but Ralph has in the past done ONLY what’s in the best interest for Ralph and he will support anyone as long as he can get a job for a friend, a woman or some other political leverage. This isn’t anything new as everyone who knows Ralph knows he’s in it for Ralph. He’s like most every other black politician who has ever represented the 139th in the last 30 years without exception, WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?”

    Lest we forget I made these statements long before you and others challenged Ralph on any front. Like I said, when we start throwing Ralph’s name around as a sellout, let’s throw out the names of white district leaders, council people and DTC committee members who are also sellouts because Ralph isn’t in that ship alone and he sure as hell ain’t the Captain of that ship.

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