Is Rosario Part Of CAO Sweepstakes?

Rosario, Ganim
State Rep. Chris Rosario chats with Mayor Joe Ganim in state capitol in 2018. CT Post photo Neil Vigdor.

You must marvel at political relationships in Connecticut’s largest city. Friends today, fight tomorrow, knife in the back, a salve and make up. It’s the Park City’s version of Billions. It takes a shrink to sort it all out. Pull up a couch, please.

Last November Kimberly Staley announced her resignation as the city’s chief administrative officer to become CEO of Capital Workforce Partners in Hartford. The position has not yet been filled. Assistant CAO John Gomes has picked up the slack in that department until Mayor Joe Ganim fills the position.

Under the city’s chain-of-command structure the department heads report to the CAO who reports to the mayor. Ganim wants a person in that role he can trust to balance governmental nuts and bolts with political realities.

In recent days a name has emerged as a possible candidate: State Rep. Chris Rosario who’s growing influence in Hartford combined with future mayoral aspirations places him at the intersection of power and politics. Rosario represents the 128th State House District covering the East Side and Hollow neighborhoods with the mightiest bloc of Hispanic voters in the city.

The Ganim-Rosario relationship has undergone the tug-and-pull of Billions. In 2015 they were not buds. Rosario, then blight director for the city, was a loyal disciple of Mayor Bill Finch. Ganim defeated Finch in the September primary on his way to his historic return to the mayoralty. Finch supported petitioning candidate for mayor Mary-Jane Foster in the general election. Rosario remained loyal to Finch.

Ganim won the general election and lo and behold Rosario lost his city job. It’s rarely good to bleach a state legislator who has relationships in Hartford. To Ganim’s way of thinking hey, he supported Finch and company let him go and we’ll make peace if we must. Meanwhile, Rosario took a position with the administration of Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti.

Since that time the pragmatic part of Ganim has kicked in and he’s been reaching out to Rosario on things he needs for the city from the state. Rosario has strong relationships with legislative leadership. Add to the mix Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa’s fondness for Rosario and now Ganim and Rosario are doing much much better.

Unclear if Rosario will become CAO or even wants the job but one thing is clear his relationship with Ganim is stronger.

Politically, has this been a missed opportunity for State Senator Marilyn Moore, Ganim’s chief opponent? A guy like Rosario is a good political catch.

Remember that Chi-lites song from the early 1970s Have You Seen Her?

Rosario has not seen Moore.



    1. Rosario is a relationship builder. He is a statewide influencer. CAO would be a great training ground to become Mayor. Next mayoral election after this one will be in 2023.

          1. Somewhere in Transylvania, the ghost of Boris Karloff laughs at the humor of Jimfox. Noteworthy: Getting Boris Karloff to laugh is like getting Mona Lisa to grin

  1. Personally I think Mr Rosario would be crazy to get mixed up with Mario&Joe.They will lead him down the wrong path at this point.With all the backroom deals,coverups,absentee fixing etc, etc. Mr Rosario would end up getting sucked in to Mario & Joe’s world, a fatal mistake for someone with a future as bright as his.
    Chris, don’t let Mario&Joe use you like this, it’s trouble waiting to happen.

    1. Mr. Weintraub,

      Chris Rosario is closely aligned with Mario Testo. Chris Rosario does exactly what Mario Testa tells him to do. I have seen it with my own eyes.

      1. Local observers think Chris Rosario is simply running the gauntlet established by the DTC. When it comes to politics, maybe Mario wants his pasta overcooked and over tested. After all, he was fired by Ganim, but he’s still in the game.
        Being a DTC member frequently requires a binary decision. Otherwise, he’s his own man with a district, a vote and another campaign around the corner.

  2. Is Marilyn Moore still running for Mayor? If she is, she might want to start campaigning a bit, maybe buy a few lawn signs or

  3. You know Moore is not going to win the DTC endorsement. She is either going to force a primary or run on another ticket in the general. She will be weaker in the general if she is on another ticket. But also going to have a hard time winning the primary considering the low turnout and pattern of Bridgeport voters. Ganim has some issues regarding public perception, nothing like Finch had. As well as a second chance massage. Not completely sure of Moore’s message. Harvey’s right, is Moore still running? With four black candidates the race element has been offset. Ganim’s not as weak as Moore and her people would him to be. Christ has a lot of leverage considering the Latinos are the highest voting block that has grown exponentially in the last few decades and is the Bridgeport’s most exposed politican in the political circle. Bradley is in his own world and on a different level.
    Since the State likes baby steps, a cheap casino in the Port with the eye on Pleasure Beach into a real casino resort. Tolls need to be for tucks, commercial, vehicles. “Iceman” got on this. Think about it.

    1. PS Wasn’t Christ a guest of Mario’s at one of Joe’s fundraiser? With Brooks nipping at Christ. he, should know to watch is back, moves. Considering Joe “comeback” #Portpolitics 🙂 JS

  4. Ned and the Tribes have cut a deal to play Bridgeport long enough to trick a YES vote out of our delegation for NED-TOLL$… The Tribes and Ned have agreed that the Tribes will get exclusive rights for sports betting in CT in return for pretending to be poised for a Ned-blessed casino-location in Bridgeport… Joe and Chris finally caught on to this a couple of months ago and tried to out-flank Ned with their suggestion that the tribes make a Bridgeport casino contingent upon getting exclusivity on both sports betting AND Internet gaming in CT — thinking that the latter one-ups-man-ship on Ned would trip him up with the tribes and give real momentum (from the Tribe side) to the pseudo-negotiations about the Bridgeport casino that Ned handed off to Speaker Aresimowicz in order for Ned and the Speaker to placate Bridgeport long-enough to get through session without any negative noise or legislative obstruction from Bridgeport. Of course, it didn’t work, because Internet gambling is a messy proposition that the Tribes don’t want to own, and they’ve already been promised the CT sports-betting monopoly by Ned and the AG (the later being from Stamford and determined to block a Bridgeport casino, per expectations…) So, with the session being over and attention being turned to local, municipal races, it can be pronounced that Ned and Aresmiowicz successfully conspired, with the Tribes, to play Bridgeport and assure that the Bridgeport casino issue would die for at least one more Intercession…

    The special NED-TOLL$ session is expected to be fast and easy, with the toll gantries being placed in locations that won’t upset the Gold Coasters or resistant suburbs, such that only a couple of resistant urban areas — which can be easily bought-off and overridden with $ and political carrot-and-stick promises — will need to be dealt with…

    Now; with Chris Rosario having a measure of respect and influence in Hartford with the major urban areas, Joe is probably trying to put some wind under his wings to turn the casino tables on Ned during the special NED-TOLL$ session. Shrewd. It could work…

    Ned has painted himself into a corner with the Tribes, with respect to their needing his influence to secure sport-betting exclusivity, and needs them to present legal resistance to MGM’s Bridgeport’s designs… But MGM has deep pockets and sees gold in Bridgeport… Expect MGM to pop up any time now, working with the anti-toll movement and offering a few sweet, casino-related deals to politically-critical urban centers that the state continues to neglect (Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury). Joe is pissed; Chris Rosario is pissed (at Ned and Aresimowicz, et al.), as well they should be, and MGM, always waiting in the wings, waiting for Joe’s wink, is coming to their rescue, with deep pockets and political wherewithal.

    So; while Ned and Aresimowicz, and their Tribal allies, won the regular-session round, they’re probably going to be in for a long, hot, TOLL-LESS summer and very rough take-off in the next GA session…

    Joe, while he really doesn’t deserve it, will walk back into the Mayor’s Office Bridgeport… Maybe he’ll take a cushy, lucrative job with MGM after they wrangle the Bridgeport casino deal, and hand-off City Hall to Chris(?)…

    In any event, Ned and the Oligarchy/Lackey-Brigade (Aresimowicz), need a spanking for playing Bridgeport and the urban centers, per usual, in this session, and they could get it from a united urban front led by Chris Rosario and the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus… And Bridgeport could get a big, MGM waterfront casino in the process, with the Tribes having chosen the wrong alliances once again, and at the worst possible time…

    1. Maybe the delegation can come up with a legitimate amendment they could tack on to the toll Bill. If the toll bill passes so goes the casino Bill and vice versa

  5. The tolls have the backing of the Dems in the Port, always did. A casino deal is irrelevant. The smaller hotel casino makes sense for a couple of reasons (be it the tribe or MGM) Like all investment there are risks. The Port has a lot of improvements to do to re-brand it from a drug and crime infested city. Pleasure Beach is where any real resort entertainment destination can be, with ferry up and down the Sound. A smaller casino up and running quickly that jump starts other investment to enhance the city as an entertainment destination, with little investment risk for a casino, that can be converted in to some other venue when Pleasure Beach gets developed. It’s the will and the power behind it that will bring the Port City to a truly entertainment destination. Make no distinction, people have put in a lot of time and effort, for whatever reason. #Bert&Ernie Bam I’m out. 🙂

  6. I don’t understand this at all. Why would Rosario give up his State Rep seat to become CAO and a minion for GanimTesta. Or,as Bob Walsh says,do both jobs.

    1. If there’s going to be a casino deal it should be with MGM. Their commitment is with private dollars. The plan announced with the tribes says that a third of the money is public dollars, and they’re not guaranteed to build anything.

      In the just agreed upon budget car sales tax has been shifted to the general fund. Tolls will come in to make up the difference left by the shift.

      Also, the legislature just kicked our children right in the nads by financing pension obligations.


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