Great Caesar’s Ghost! Two More Years For Testa–Will Chairman Cut Desperate Delegate Deal With AG Candidate Tong Whose Treasurer Is Casino Bill Killer?

Testa Perez
Police Chief AJ Perez, Testa, city employee Danny Pizarro and 135th District Leader Steve Nelson Thursday night.

Testa in Italian means head. Thursday night, at his Madison Avenue restaurant, Mario Testa received the votes by acclamation (less one) to once again head the Democratic Town Committee for two more years. He had no opposition. On this Ides of March, the party leader who has been described occasionally by political opponents “little Caesar” experienced no such dagger fate. Last week, primaries in six districts largely went Testa’s way for political control leading up to the party chairmanship vote.

Testa’s name was placed into nomination by East Side town committee member Wanda Geter-Pataky who addressed the 90-member political organization. “He has earned respect and confidence to be our chairman.” Several other members seconded the nomination. With no opposition a vote was called by the temporary chair, former City Council President Tom McCarthy. The vote followed by acclamation (except Black Rock committee member Donna Curran), to enthusiastic applause. Winning another two years Testa took to the lectern to finish out nominations for other party officers and district leaders.

Testa, after thanking the party insiders for another two years, addressed a question that has been posed to him a number of times. Why do town committee meetings take place at his restaurant? The chairman noted other venues charge a $250 fee for hall usage. His restaurant does not charge a fee. “We are here to save money.” Mario, of course, is a businessman. Many of the party faithful prior to, or after, events at his restaurant hang out for food and drink at respectable pricing.

The loudest roar of the night, however, was on behalf of the irrepressible Geter-Pataky  who’s well liked within the party for her warrior-like effort on the campaign trail. While an East Side committee member Geter-Pataky knows the West End as well as anyone and the performance showed in the 130th District where a slate led by District Leader Danny Roach took 8 of 9 seats in a hotly contested race. Former City Councilwoman Curran, who attended Thursday night, was the lone member of the challenge slate to win a seat. She was a quiet no vote against Testa even though he had no opposition.

State Rep. Chris Rosario, who had served as leader in the 136th District, placed Geter-Pataky’s name into nomination to replace him, an act seen as rewarding her hard work on behalf of winning districts in last week’s primaries. The room exploded into applause with half the members rising in ovation.

Video of 138th District leader vote

What’s next for Testa? Compiling a list of Bridgeport party delegates and leveraging the 90-plus members to facilitate 15 percent support at the state party convention in May that would land Mayor Joe Ganim an August primary spot for governor. Without that Ganim’s only chance to become a primary player is an intensive petition signature campaign. Testa announced Thursday night he will call a meeting of the DTC to approve his delegate selection.

Testa is jawboning various delegation leaders around the state, particularly cities with larger voting blocs, to free up delegate support for Ganim in exchange for Bridgeport delegation backing. After New Haven, Bridgeport has the largest bloc of votes. A wide open field both for governor and other constitutional offices provides Testa greater flexibility to cut deals. You want our support for attorney general? We want your support for Ganim. So Testa is shopping around for pols who can give him some votes in exchange for Bridgeport’s delegate backing, as noted by CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart.

For example, Testa confirmed that state Rep. William Tong, D-Stamford, who is exploring a run for attorney general, just so happened to stop by Bridgeport following last week’s primaries to say hello.

“I’m in the business right now of being a peacemaker,” Testa said. “They need our votes, we need their votes. That’s the bottom line.”

Testa wants a casino for Bridgeport. Ironic, however, that Testa may cut a delegate deal with candidate Tong whose treasurer, State Senator Tim Larson, wants to kill the bill before the state legislature. Is Mario that desperate for Ganim delegates?

Afterwards, a number of town committee members sojourned to Dolphins Cove in the East End where school board member Dennis Bradley announced his run for state senate. Aaron Turner and Carolyn Vermont are also eyeing the seat of a retiring Ed Gomes.

Party officers elected:
Testa, chairman
Johanna Dorgan, secretary
Maria Heller, treasurer
Vice chairs, Elaine Pivirotto, Jim Holloway, Aidee Nieves
SGT. At Arms, Anthony Paoletto, Wanda Geter Pataky, Steve Nelson

District leaders elected:
130th, Danny Roach
131st, Scott Hughes
132nd, Mike Freddino
133rd, Tom McCarthy
134th, Dennis Scinto
135th, Steve Nelson
136th, Wanda Geter-Pataky
137th, Lydia Martinez
138th, Martha Santiago
139th, Ralph Ford



  1. Congatulations to Mario Testa. I am only disappointed tat we didn’t do a roll call. The support was so overwhelming and satisfying to see even among the handful of challengers that won. They all voted for Mario.

    Thank you Mario for allowing the Town Committee to meet at your facility t save us money from renting another place to hold our meetings.

    Congratulations to my friend and partner in crime. The hardest working woman in Bridgeport whose name I sall not mention because she is very shy. Thank you Christopher Rosario for giving her a much deserved moment.

    Bridgeport Kid. There was not even a peanut served. 80 percent of the Town Committe e was out by 6:30 and headed to Dolphins Cove for a party that was outrageous. The D.J was amazing the Band was amazing- One of my favorite Principals of Black Rock school was awesome. I left a little deaf. The food and alcohol was flowing the music was infectious and everybody had a great time. Pictures will be on Faceook tomorrow. Some will not- I do not want to incriminate anyone. Dolphins cove was packed and Dennis Bradley announced he was running for State Senate. His speech was just short of amazing. I think everyone that was there would agree. Those that were not there missed a fantastic time. So glad so many friends were there. Too bad we could not talk at all!! lololololol I am still deaf!

    Lennie, You missed a great party. So much more exciting than the DTC meeting. Everyone was in rare form!

    1. Steve, please, stop drinking the Mario Kool-Aid, “Thank you Mario for allowing the Town Committee to meet at your facility t save us money from renting another place to hold our meetings,” really? Mario is doing what 45 does when he goes to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Nothing is done for free.

      1. Ron Mackey STOP– Everything you hoped for is done – The only thing that happened for you was Scott Hughes is your district leader and Mary Bruce is in the game again- I respect both. You want change? Get involved. Run for DTC – work the room be part of the change you want to see. Bitching and moaning on OIB with your anti Testa rants were fruitless. He won overwhelmingly and even addressing the fact the the DTC doesn’t pay rent because nothing is free? Seriously- not one person on your list could do what Mario could do and BTW- I hate Kool-Aide Testo’s is no Mar a lago and Mario is no Trump! We should be grateful for that!!!

        1. Steve, tell us about Mario Testa’s inspiring speech to the DTC members, and his goal and vision for the DTC? There was no challenge because Mario and Ganim control the jobs that many DTC have and also their families have. In fact, that’s why Police Chief Perez was there so that he can secure his position as the Acting Police Chief and to get Mayor Ganim from calling for a nationwide search for a new Police Chief? What directions did Mario give about education, crime, taxes or any other problems that Bridgeport has?

    2. Glad to see Marios PT Barnum bag lady is moving up in the most crooked organization since organized crime. Chief Perez stand up at least or buy knee pads

  2. Over the years I have seen sincere efforts to address the problems of Bridgeport. The DTC controls Bridgeport government. All except the highly-principled Donna Curran was willing to provide their vote to support a disgraced mayor’s bid for redemption. Let the good times roll.

    1. Maybe if the Republican Party got their act together , they could have a chance to run the city. They have done nothing to attract young voters and now you have Donald Trump, not exactly helping the Republican Party. Mary Moran was the last Republican Mayor and Charlie valentino , a real class act , was the leadership. Young people

      1. Young people are not flocking to the Republican Party and that should be no surprise Tom. The overall ideas get lost in their antiquated belifs and condescending attitude to woman and minorities. the tent is limited to older white religious fantatics. Everything else is lost among the fanatisism.

          1. There weren’t any Norweigens running on the opposition party. They moved to Fairfield.

        1. Steve
          I agree with everything you said. When I became the outspoken voice to include people of color the chairman told me the he will make sure that I become a party outcast. You personally witnessed his public behavior at Winthrop school. None of what you said is a surprise to anyone. And FYI the BRTC can not do anything for me that I can not do for myself if I put my mind to it. They are lazy and do not have a leader capable of motivating members. The day we were at Winthrop School during a Presidential election I was the lone Republican Bridgeport and I was working for Rosa Correa.

      2. Charlie Valentino a “class act”? The same Charlie Valentino sentenced to a year in prison for defrauding delinquent taxpayers of thousands of dollars? Is your head still spinning from the outrageous party at Dolphins Cove?

        1. Charlie Valentino exemplifies everything that’s wrong with Bridgeport politics. He took advantage of a punitive tax collection system to enrich hisself at the expense of poor people struggling to keep their heads above the water line. (When told of the automobile seizures then mayor Bill Finch laughed. He found it musing.) Russell Liskov of the city’s legl department helped Judah Epstein do the same to homeowners that had fallen behind in paying sewer usage fees. The lot of them should be imprisoned and then deported to the island of Borneo to live as wild men.

          1. Derek, what the hell is Police Chief AJ Perez doing there and taking pictures with Mario Testa, the Police Chief?

        2. Flubadub- I think it was clear to everyone except yourself that I was mocking the Republican Party ad Charlie Valentino -a nice guy was anything but a class act!!!

          1. Acting Chief Perez has become an extension of the corrupt Democratic Machine in the hopes of securing the permanent position of Chief of Police.

            You either have integrity or you don’t. I think it is obvious where Acting Chief Perez has landed on this particular attribute.


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