Grab A Calculator! The East Side’s Washboard Abs

Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinez, the absentee ballot queen.

Is the queen of absentee ballots City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez at it again? Or is the absentee ballot activity on the East Side the result of some hotly contested races?

Town Clerk Alma Maya reports that her office has all it can handle meeting requests for absentee ballots. As of Friday afternoon more than 1000 requested absentee ballots had been mailed citywide for the September 27 Democratic primary. Of those ballots 376 have been returned which means there’s a pretty good chance with 11 days left until the primary that party operatives supporting Mayor Bill Finch will reach their goal of approaching 1000 absentee ballots returned to the Town Clerk. Roughly 500 Democrats voted by absentee ballot in the mayoral primary of 2007 won by Bill Finch over Chris Caruso.

Martinez, a Finch supporter, represents the heavily Latino 137th District on the East Side where a disproportionate amount of absentee ballot requests have come in to the Town Clerk’s Office. Lydia has amazing endurance to find “my peoples” who want to vote by absentee ballot. Lydia has about six ex husbands. Could they all be filling out ABs? She gives washboard ABs a whole new meaning.

The Town Clerk’s office actually ran out of absentee ballots one day and has had to return to the printer several times to accommodate requests. The 137th voting district has two precincts, Luis Muñoz Marin School on Helen Street and The Bridge Academy on Kossuth Street. Aidee Nieves and David DeJesus, on the mayoral slate of Mary-Jane Foster, are opposing incumbents Martinez and Manny Ayala. The Foster camp sees Nieves and DeJesus as two strong candidates.

Alberto “Tito” Ayala, the town clerk candidate on Foster’s slate, also comes from the East Side district. He is the ex husband of Democratic Registrar Santa Ayala. The district is also home to Tito’s nephew State Rep. Andres Ayala, a popular figure there, who so far appears to be sitting on the sidelines in the primary. Tito and Andres have had their own political battles over there through the years. Studying East Side politics could cause a large psychiatric bill. They break up and get back together, break up and get back together. Smooch one day, curse the next.

Former City Councilwoman Maria Valle, who’s supporting Foster, knows what it’s like to face a Martinez absentee ballot operation.

In 2007 Finch won Marin School handily. The turnout there was among the lowest in the city at 15 percent. The overall citywide turnout for that primary was 25 percent.

Strap in for 11 days of madness leading up to primary day.



  1. When I voted ab I voted there on the spot. Filled out a form, a lady gave me the ballot then I voted, sealed it in an envelope and gave it back to her. I think they printed the ballot there for me on the spot, not sure.

  2. Just got off the phone with Mary-Jane headquarters to confirm to them I voted ab so hopefully they will check to make sure it gets counted … if you vote by ab call and make sure someone has a record of it. Thanks OIB poster Zena Lu for the number.

    1. All of this activity seems to be occurring on the East Side, not Black Rock. That fact leads me to believe there will be new faces representing the 130th.

      Vote Jim Fox and Jill Dugas Hughes for City Council. We need fresh blood on the City Council.

  3. Thanks for making the connection with my good friend Maria–co-chair of butterfly gardens and fashion shows (and maker of the best fruit/marshmallow salad in Bridgeport).

    I took my mother to a Hispanic concert at the Klein auditorium once, and when Maria came onstage she got a five-minute standing ovation from a full crowd.

    My mom couldn’t believe I knew someone so important. Neither did I.

    Maria was had.

  4. “The district is also home to Tito’s nephew State Rep. Andres Ayala, a popular figure there, who so far appears to be sitting on the sidelines in the primary.”

    Lennie, where you got this from? Rep. Ayala lives in the 137th, since when? Sitting on the sidelines? You want a good clue as to who he is supporting? Go to Hancock Avenue between Fairfield Avenue and State Street and you will see the only house with the two Finch signs on the fence. That’s the home of Andre’s in-laws–his girlfriend’s (or boss as some describe her)– parents.

    1. Rumor has it the girlfriend’s son is the newest hire at CitiStat and Mario is footing the bill for Ayala’s state senate run against Ed Gomes. There is no doubt who Ayala’s supporting.

  5. The lawn signs are out in front of his girlfriend’s parents’ place, not in front of his house.

    I have a feeling at least a few rank-and-file DTC members are going to place their bets with Mary-Jane Foster. Mario Testa couldn’t pick a winner in a one-horse race.

  6. I was at the HCC debate and caught Lydia come over and tell John Stafstrom that Charlie Coviello was taking pictures of him from behind as John was texting to Finch, I could see this because as John finished Finch started reading.

  7. Lydia Martinez is one of 16 reasons this city is in so much trouble. She and her cohorts on the council just do not understand the harm they are doing by blindly following the Finch/Wood mantra. They all suffer from Terminal Dumb Ass.


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