Keeley Seeks Court Relief Following 1 Vote Primary Loss

Judge Barbara Bellis
Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis has become familiar with city politics. CT Post file photo.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis, no stranger to sorting out thorny city election issues, will decide if former State Rep. Bob Keeley is worthy of a mulligan against incumbent Jeanette Herron who bested him by a walloping 1 vote in the September 12 Democratic primary for City Council in the 133rd District. Keeley is asking for court relief be it an outright reversal or a new vote to settle matters. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. See Keeley complaint here.

After polls closed on primary night Keeley and Herron were deadlocked at 170 votes in the North End District. One week later a recount produced a 1 vote victory for Herron coming from an absentee ballot.

Timing is critical in this process with judges generally loathe to overturning a vote of the people, be it primary or general election.

Bob Keeley
Bob Keeley

Ballot access denied is a different animal.

For instance, last year Bellis ordered state elections officials to place State Senator Ed Gomes’ name on the August 9 primary ballot ruling that “roadblocks” were set against the incumbent state senator when his candidacy was invalidated by the Office of the Connecticut Secretary of the State because he had not submitted a consent form within two weeks of the endorsement session that took place at Testo’s Restaurant.

In that case Gomes was represented by former federal prosecutor Christopher Mattei who spent years prosecuting public corruption cases, including a federal campaign finance case against former Governor John Rowland. Mattei, a Democrat, is exploring a run for governor.

State law election calendars come into play when judges ponder a vote challenge heading into the November general election. Absentee ballots featuring all certified candidates must be available three weeks prior to election day.

So Bellis must factor in if Keeley musters standing for a new vote how it collides with general election mandates.

For Keeley, who served more than two decades in the state legislature, this latest loss represents the fourth since Auden Grogins, now a Superior Court judge, ended his State House run in 2008. Keeley failed in two State House runs since and then came up short in the September 12 City Council primary.



  1. I thought the point of a recount was to see if they could break the tie.. One vote is one vote. Imagine one vote. Glad I stopped by Blackham to say hello. Not that I do not think that Bob Keely would have been a great councilmen. It just that Jeanette Herron has been working her ass off in her community and she deserved another term and electoral victory without Tom McCarthy. Maybe candidates need to scrutinize who their volunteers are standing in front of a school. There are those that engage voters and others that go after them. I commend Bob Keely. I went after nearly every voter. That was a no brainer.

    1. Sorry , Not I – I meant Bob Keely went after every vote! I went after that one vote that won the race–lololol 🙂 You can not have helpers standing there with palm cards — just standing there- Keely knows that!!!

      1. Ron – People are fickle. The turn out was beyond pathetic at Blackham school and it was an off cycle election. People in Bridgeport are very apathetic. The fact that the turnout was low is not surprising. Bob Keely has a loooooooog history in Bridgeprt. He has been part of the machine and the political make-up for as long as I can remember. His signs have been on people lawns on Park and Main st. for 2 years. He is a genuinely a nice guy. Time to move on!.

  2. One vote is one vote. The judiciary is loathe to overturn the people’s decision unless there is clear evidence if fraud.

    Bob Keeley is a has been. I recall a debate between him and Auden Grogins. She was fast on her feet and responsive to the issues. In response to a question about his qualifications to serve in Hartford Keeley gave a long-winded story about being a Boy Scout.

    He needs to go back to the travel agency.

  3. Kid
    Why don’t you go to the registrar’s office.
    I hear they have a one day special. If you go today they will back date your registration so you can vote in the special run off election.

  4. The Miracle Ballot sent down by the Big Guy?

    At first it was a dead heat Bob Keeley had 170 votes,Jeanette Herron had 170 votes.
    That called for an automatic recount, under 20 votes from September 12th Democratic primary for City Council in the 133rd District.

    After week of planning and waiting for the recount, it soon became obvious that something was wrong. From a Flucking tie vote on September 12th to a one vote lead a week later?!

    Ballot Busters quickly sprung into actions, with a few $20 bills in our pocket, we bribed our way into the Registrars office, “the place was a flucking mess”. ( D. Trump).
    It took us a while to get into the Registrars office, she had these Black bags full of every district Absentee Ballots, at first we couldn’t find the 133rd bag so we looked in her desk and sure as God made little green apples there it was!

    We quickly turned the lights off, ran a few blocks to the Ballot Buster office and started putting each Ballot all 341 of them under the light of the Spectrograph machine.

    ( A spectrograph splits light into its component wavelengths. First, light travels from a telescope through a small opening in the spectrograph to a collimating mirror that lines up all entering rays of light parallel to one another before they reach a finely scored plate of glass known as a diffraction grating. When light passes through or bounces off this glass grating, its many constituent wavelengths each change speed and direction according to their spectral color. The grating bends red light in a different way from orange light, which bends a little differently from yellow light and so on, spreading the many wavelengths into a rainbow spectrum. Rotating the diffraction grating controls which wavelengths of light reach another mirror, which in turn focuses these wavelengths onto a photodetector, such as a charge-coupled device. The detector converts photons into electrical signals that a computer interprets to measure the strength of different wavelengths. )

    After a few hours we hit pay dirt the Spectrograph came up with one Bogus Ballot, we call the
    ( Miracle Ballot)!
    The light particles from the Spectrograph on the Miracle Ballot showed micro traces of( Antimo Caputo Flour) and (Monica Vaecarella) Extra Virgin Olive Oil and some cheap Plum Tomato.

    1.When we say that the Miracle Ballot was sent down by the Big Guy. The Spectrograph indicates it’s not from a heavenly body .

    2.We could not divulge at this time who, was marked on the Miracle Ballot while this is still in litigation .

    3.Ballot Busters quickly returned the Black Bag and Ballots to the Registrars office.

  5. Yes, Jim. Good idea… An electric-arc combustion/photo-spectrograph of the ballot samples would allow determination of the presence of certain, tell-tale elements of Bridgeport/Connecticut politics. Specifically, we would be searching for the two essential elements of the politics of this geographic area — sulfur and phosphorous — both of which are plentiful in Bridgeport/Fairfield County politics (oh, yes; I forgot the gold…). In the case of the sulfur and phosphorous, they would have been detectible by olfactory inspection during the electric-arc combustion of the ballot sample, even before examination of the spectral photo-negative record of the burn… (On election days in the past, I remember the old timers commenting about the strong smell of sulfur and phosphorous in the air — used to make the old vets nervous… It reminded them of the war… But then they would blame it on a dump fire and calm down… Now we know where it really came from, since there are no longer any dump fires (since the multi-municipality material deposited on the Bridgeport dump-site is already carbonized…).

    Judge Bellis might accept spectro-photographic ballot-burn evidence as admissible in her court for a Bridgeport-election case. I’m sure that the strong presence of sulfur in a ballot sample would help in her decision-making process…

    1. Bob is Keely a newcomer? Defilippo is a popular guy. Obviously Bob, a newcomer kicked a recycled candidate that has been around forever. Maybe if Caruso was at the polls it would have been different. Bob Walsh- you wanted all newcomers, Now you want a an old timer?

  6. DB, you don’t think it’s rather ominous that one AB magically appears out of nowhere and here’s the caper, it’s for the DTC endorsed, head up the ass of Mario candidate?


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