Here We Go! Nine On Nine–Town Committee Fight Is On

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!”



  1. Lennie,
    As you have framed the responsibilities of the DTC, it is pitiful how far DTC current members have strayed from these obligations of service.
    The current DTC chair admitted in a CT Post article recently that DTC members “used to focus on Bridgeport, now they only focus on themselves and jobs with the City.”
    This is more of an indictment of the DTC Chair and his willingness to accept and encourage this corruption of principles … and of moral values!

  2. Our competing slate for the 130th district Democratic Town Committee was not qualified because we did not have enough signatures. There was not enough time to meet the deadline. I think there should be information on the city site indicating dates forms become available, and also information on how the process works.

    1. Robert, you can help out in the 131st district–they endorse the same way the 130th does. I guarantee you it will be a tremendous learning experience as to how the process works.

  3. Bridgeport Now // Feb 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm
    To your posting

    Bridgeport Now,
    You are foolish to think this Finch/Wood administration is going to post any information on the city web site that could give rise to their removal.
    If you are truly serious about reform, you have to be dogged about asking your questions and addressing them to the city department or state department that has the answers.
    And then when you get your answers, trust but verify.
    Not knowing is not an excuse. This is what half the problem is in Bridgeport … citizens are deliberately kept in the dark about matters of importance to them. And they are NOT going to find out unless there is dogged pursuit of the truth.
    I hope if you are truly committed to reform, you will help out in the 131st or the 137th where challengers got the required number of signatures in by the deadline.

  4. *** Sorry things didn’t work out (Bpt now), however we at the 131st, “Bpt First” (slate-9) could use your unqualified slate’s help in getting the word out to the public. You’re right about there “not” being enough info out there in general concerning DTC challenges, etc. If your new slate’s political agenda was concerned about putting Bpt first before personal interest then I’m sure our slates have many things in common. We’re fighting an uphill battle with little time, money and political support not to mention unpredictable “old man winter!” The local DTC’s are the foundation of what makes up the entire existing political system we have now. From the bottom up, district by district a small spark can help ignite the voter interest needed towards change to the present status quo! So a “shout-out” to all Bpt parties, Red, Blue and White, etc., help us help ourselves by getting involved in putting Bpt first once again. Contact C. Curry to volunteer your services in helping the 131st district take a small step towards sending a giant message! *** HERE WE GO! ***

  5. What is needed now is to get voters to the polls on March 6, 2012 to vote for the “Challenge Slate,” so if you know someone who votes in the South End in the 131st district, ask them to vote for the “Challenge Slate,” we need your support. Thanks.

  6. Carolanne,
    I agree with Bridgeport Now, there should be more information made available to all those outside the in crowd of Finch and Testa. It could start right here on this blog as people could be kinder about sharing what they know about how the system works, right here. The Connecticut Post should also be petitioned to do a primer series on how to get involved.

  7. The CT Post should inform the public about the AB fine imposed on Lydia Martinez. This information should’ve hit the front page of the paper, but it didn’t or did I miss it? Thanks to OIB for putting it out there.

  8. Bridgeporteur,
    tc, a frequent blogger on OIB, was on the TC (Town Committee) for ages and recently qualified with a running mate for a City Council primary in the 138th District that would require more signatures than the 130th. I don’t recall seeing anyone on this blog asking him for help.

    If you need information on elections, go to SOTS, Secretary Of The State. They are always willing to help.

    If you want advice on Town Committee elections make sure you have 9 people who are ready, willing and able to work. Nine candidates at 25 signatures each = 225. That should just about qualify you in most districts. 25 signatures can be had on any weekend but it may take several hours of door-knocking each day in cold winter weather. In the 130th it might even take knocking on doors in PT. But don’t blame the city of Bridgeport for not making it too easy. If you want power you have to be willing to fight for it.

    1. Grin makes a good point. However, there’s no need to rip another one on Bridgeport Now. I give him credit for trying–the failures are in the 7 districts that didn’t try. Robert Foley called me Sunday morning (what a rude awakening!) and we met around 1 pm. We took a ride around my side of the district to show him the conditions that exist. We all knew the short timing was a big problem due to commitments we all had–I still signed on!
      In December, I spoke with Danny Roach and informed him I was interested in a TC seat and he said other members of his TC had issues with me being vocal on OIB. Sounds like Hector Diaz is afraid of real leadership. I give Danny Roach credit for returning my call and putting his cards on the table–It’s more than I can say for so many others. Hector Diaz has time to look around for petition circulators, but doesn’t have the time to see what’s going on in the district–the conditions which says a lot about the people he chooses to endorse. When Hector has some time, I suggest he comes–with a few other TC members–to Maplewood Avenue, between Poplar St. and Howard Avenue. Make sure you bring Mulligan with you; take a good look at the lot across the street from Bryant School; ask Mulligan as well as your two Council Members why that lot is in such condition since Mulligan was on the City Council. The only explanation I can give is because Hector Diaz endorsed them and fails to keep track of their progress–or lack thereof. Go ahead Hector and pat yourself on the back.

      1. As a taxpayer who lives in one of the “seven districts that did not try,” for the record, I will state not every single member of the TC drinks the fraud cocktail. Some of the current members actually think battles are won through the employment of strategy instead of the deployment of deadly force. Who says there is no plan for change?

        1. Point well made and acceptable, Zena Lu.
          “… the deployment of deadly force …?”
          You mean some are willing to start a revolution? In such event, there’d be a need for the “speedy” deployment of deadly force.

      2. Joel aka “loser” you state Mr. Foley hadn’t ridden through your area until you accompanied him, instead of riding you should have been walking and knocking on doors like I did (that’s how you get the REQUIRED number of Registered signatures, next time I charge you for advice). Getting them at Stop ‘n’ Shop, Goodwill etc. may be easier.

        1. Hector, I said: “pat yourself on the back”–not kick yourself in the ass.
          “… walking and knocking on doors like I did (that’s how you get the REQUIRED number of Registered signatures, next time I charge you for advice) …”
          You’re so full of shit or simply a dumb ass. Only the challenging slate needs to get signatures or circulate the petition. You walked in, without having to walk. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

          Sec. 9-417. No-contest nominations; municipal office and town committee members. If within the time specified in section 9-405, no candidacy for nomination by a political party to a municipal office has been filed by or on behalf of a person other than a party-endorsed candidate or, in the case of election as member of the town committee of such party, by persons other than party-endorsed candidates numbering at least twenty-five per cent of the number of town committee members to be elected by such party either in the municipality or in the political subdivision, as the case may be, in conformity with the provisions of sections 9-405 to 9-412, inclusive, and 9-414, no primary shall be held by such party for such office or for town committee members, as the case may be, and the party-endorsed candidate or candidates for such office shall be deemed to have been lawfully chosen as the nominee or nominees of such party to such office, or, as the case may be, and the party-endorsed candidates for election as members of the town committee shall be deemed to have been lawfully elected to such positions at the times specified in section 9-392.

          1. Joel, that is how one person, the chairman of the Democratic Town Committee controls the entire Democrat Party in Bridgeport.

            If someone is already a member of the DTC they don’t have to do anything but attend three meetings a year, pass out palm cards for an hour every two years for primary elections because the general election is a given for Democrats.

            DTC members are basicly lazy because they do nothing but follow what the chairman of the DTC tells the ten district leaders. They say nothing, they see nothing and they do nothing because don’t want to lose their job or their family member’s job. Just go along to get along.

  9. The email address is for useful purposes. Anytime you have a chance to expand your network in the state’s largest city is worthwhile. I didn’t move here to fit in, I moved here to stand out.


    1. That’s what I like about Local Eyes–always looking for opportunities to earn money. Despite being made fun of and ridiculed for his ‘OPIC’ concept, he hammers away. Keep your eyes on the road to success!

  10. Joel,
    Hector is right.
    A town committee seat is not a municipal office. So the law you stated does not apply.
    Many, many years ago, CT put an end to the self-endorsed self-elected Town Committees and by law all town committee seats must be filled by caucus or open primary.
    The caucus process would require a meeting in the district where any registered Democrat could attend and run or vote for town committee members.
    Your former party, the Bridgeport Republican party, uses this process.
    An open primary requires all slates circulate petitions and obtain 5% of the signatures of the registered Dems in the district. There is no “endorsed” slate. And even though there may be an incumbent slate, that holds no weight in the process.
    First slate to submit the required number of signatures gets the top line.
    Maybe if John from Black Rock had held a number of forums or workshops in the library at the beginning of the year there would not have been so much confusion this late in the game.
    Knowledge is power; experience the best teacher.

  11. Christopher Shays is unafraid of Linda McMahon’s millions. From a political standpoint, I like his style and conviction. He wants more debates than she does. Conclusion: he’s prepared to outperform her in the ring. Game On.


Leave a Reply