Halstead Joins State House Race, ‘Not Running As Spoiler’–GOP Endorses Torres

Bob Halstead
Bob Halstead

West Side City Councilman Bob Halstead has jumped into the February 24 special election for State House joining a growing field of candidates including Republican City Councilman Enrique Torres, former City Councilman Steve Stafstrom, former State House members Bob Keeley and Hector Diaz and newcomer Toshirea Jackson.

“These opportunities don’t come along too often,” Halstead says. Is he concerned with so many Democrats in the field splitting up a vote, it will hand Torres a win?

“I’ve made my decision. I want to make it clear it’s not my intention to be a spoiler.”

Halstead represents the 132nd City Council District that includes the West Side. Stafstrom and Torres both share Black Rock and West End voter bases. Keeley’s strength, presuming he stays in the race, is also the West Side and lower North End. So there is the potential for a Democratic split on the West Side providing a toehold for Torres running competitively there, particularly the Central precinct serving the Brooklawn area with enough Republicans and like-minded unaffiliated voters there to make a difference.

But these special elections are really about identifying your friends and dragging them out on a winter’s day and night. The campaign operation that does that the best will win.

Torres received the Republican endorsement Monday night at his Harborview Market in Black Rock. Stafstrom is expected to win the Democratic endorsement Thursday night at Testo’s Restaurant.

The special election will fill the seat vacated by Auden Grogins who’s been nominated to the state bench.

Statement from Torres:

“I am extremely delighted with the support I have received and I am humbled by the prospect of representing the great people of the 129th District as their State Representative. My campaign is going to be one of ideas; goals for the future of our community and the State of Connecticut. As a lifelong resident of Bridgeport and an owner of a small business in the City, I believe the revitalization of the City and State begins at the community level. People thrive when they have the means and the ability to provide for themselves and their family. Bridgeport residents must no longer bear the brunt of the nation’s highest tax burden.

“Senior citizens are having a tough time remaining in the community they helped build. We need to eliminate Connecticut’s income tax on Social Security and pensions allowing seniors to continue living in their own homes. Furthermore, we need to eliminate the property tax on cars that so unfairly impacts Bridgeport residents.

“In regards to the current underfunding of the ECS (Education Cost Sharing) grant provided by the State of Connecticut, we need state officials to honor their commitment to providing resources to the Bridgeport school system so all children can receive the education they deserve. Lastly, we need to eliminate conflicts of interest in State and Local government which results in fraud and abuse.

“I will be working around the clock from today until Election Day on February 24th to share with you my vision for the City of Bridgeport and the State of Connecticut.”



    1. donj, if you vote for Torres that’s up to you but tell me, have you had a conversation with Rick Torres about his beliefs about blacks and views? Also ask him about his tattoo and knowing you are a young black man, tell us afterwards what you think.

    2. donj, I’d like the opportunity to earn your vote and assistance, feel free to contact me at your convenience (203) 666-9361. I’ve followed your posts for a couple of years and understand your concerns. There is a place for you at our table.

  1. Will be hard though to get 800 to the polls but it will be interesting. About 1,476 voted on the machines last time at Black Rock and probably more than half will not this time.

  2. Torres sounds like he is onto something. Issues like these are felt across the spectrum and he will get some notice if he stays on point. Plus, with only a short time to polling, he has an advantage. Go, Enrique.

  3. Torres would be outstanding. Rick is many things but the one undeniable fact is he is a Bridgeporter through and through. The only “boss” or “machine” he would be beholden to are those who live here. I just can’t possibly think of anyone who truly “gets” what it’s like to live and breathe here than him. So why not? Go, Enrique!

  4. Did you see Bob H. on Bridgeport Now last night? He could barely muster a yawn when discussing the house race. Seemed he is totally not interested in it at all. But when his friend and political ally Rick Torres got on the phone, Bob seemed to perk up.

      1. I am in it for the long haul. As much as I admire and support Black Rock, this District 129, most of it is not in Black Rock but where I actually live. I focus on the issues, not the “he said/she said” gossip that pervades Bridgeport politics. From 35 years fighting for this city, successfully, as an outsider, I realize real change has to come in the elections. I can do a lot more from the inside. I have the experience, passion and commitment to do this!
        There are a lot of people who have to be served in my district who don’t seem to be on anybody’s radar screen. All that Education money for Black Rock School–fine. But what happened to the roof at Bassick HS? Just one example.
        I have shown I am serious about the Ethics Bill in this past week. That’s what we need in Hartford!
        I am also passionate about regional, transportation, environmental and educational issues. So this is an opportunity to send someone to Hartford who can focus on these issues.
        OK, now it’s back to the campaign trail!

  5. Agree, PCtoo. Both excellent candidates, both are interested in the PEOPLE of Bridgeport, and not the bond counsel or Testo’s restaurant. Bepo is one of the most childish and divisive bloggers I have ever read, and most often it is she and her husband who are complimenting each other on their FB page. Entertaining? Yeah, sort of. Integrity? None at all.


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