Democratic Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala confirms the challenge slate for Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee in the 131st District has qualified to appear on the ballot for the March 6 primary setting up a showdown of young energetic challengers against a seasoned crew of party regulars. Voting precincts are Roosevelt School and City Hall. The district includes the South End, downtown, West End and a portion of the Hollow.
Democratic primaries for town committee seats will take place in the 131st and 137th Districts. A challenge slate in the 130th District failed to qualify for the ballot. Certified petition signatures from five percent of registered Dems in each district are required for ballot placement.
The challenge slate candidates are Rafael A. Mojica, Glenn I. Pettway, Eric M. Simmons, Christopher G. Foreman, Charritin Escalera, Mario Arango, George A. Gholson Jr., Mark J. Bush and Rhonda D. Bush.
Big Mojo Ralph Mojica, a regular OIB poster, represented the 131st District on the City Council during the John Fabrizi mayoral years. He’s the veteran on the challenge slate that includes an interesting mix of young activists who helped Mary-Jane Foster perform well in the district in her mayoral run last September, aided by a student turnout at the University of Bridgeport where Foster works as an executive. The slates includes Pettway, a minister; Simmons, a young banker who lives downtown and the Bushes who were active Foster supporters.
The current 131 DTC is led by District Leader Mitchell Robles, Jose Negron, Jack Banta, Paul Boucher, Denese Taylor-Moye, Leticia Colon, Americo Santiago, Ashley Wacker and Milagrosa Seguinot. Robles is an elected city sheriff, Taylor-Moye and Colon represent the district on the City Council and Santiago represented the district years ago as a member of Connecticut’s State House.
The district has roughly 4,300 registered Dems. The top 9 vote-getters among the 18 candidates are elected. Town committee members conduct party business, endorse candidates for public office and choose a party leader to serve the 90-member DTC. The challenge slate is running on the theme of putting Bridgeport First. The challenge slate of candidates is pledging not to serve in city positions if elected to the DTC, a point of contention for establishment critics who claim the relationship between the DTC and paid city positions is far too incestuous.
This will be a fun battle to watch in the next month. As Mojo writes often, “Here we go!”