Disqualified from the August 11 primary ballot by Democratic Registrar of Voters Patricia Howard because they reside outside the State House districts where they seek public office, Bob Keeley and Wanda Simmons have retained a lawyer to make their case for ballot access, according to this commentary by Rev. D Stanley Lord, President of Greater Bridgeport Branch NAACP.
The NAACP and its Branches, Greater Bridgeport Branch NAACP, has a long history of fighting for voting and citizens’ rights to vote or be a candidate for public office. Hats are being thrown into the ring for the upcoming Democratic Primary contests. The governance of many City departments has been uninspired and uncommunicative while under the reign of DTC chair, so challenge in a Democratic primary, if successful, likely means change in officeholders.
Two such challenges are for the 127th & 128th District State Rep. positions where Wanda Simmons and Robert Keeley, currently City registered Democrat voters. have filed petitions to get on the ballot. It seems that they provided more than the necessary 257 signatures with a 20% surplus, in a manner acceptable to the Bridgeport Registrar of Voter office in a timely manner. But they have been turned down by Patricia Howard, Democrat Registrar of Voters based on her reading and interpretation of CT General Statute 9-406 where it calls for a candidate to appear on the enrollment list of the district where they will run.
Simmons & Keeley have countered with CT Statute Sec 9-453b with the interpretation that this rule allows a candidate to run in a primary from outside the State Rep District where they currently reside, but when office is won, must move into that District. They have retained counsel, Alexander T. Taubes and a motion challenging the current ruling goes to Bridgeport Registrar of Voters today.
The Greater Bridgeport Branch NAACP stands with them. The spirit of challenge is active in this community. To be ready upon reflection to represent all Bridgeport people, to observe that some in our current State delegation are not exercising their talents as is their responsibility for “all the people,” and to secure more positive attention to and results for the 25,000 youth in Bridgeport are motivation for Simmons and Keeley. Interesting to observe that a tag saying beneath Patricia Howard signature says, “Obedience Brings Success.” What Wanda Simmons is doing is to challenge the situation when Obedience by the Many Has Brought Multiple Failures.
We cannot continue to operate in the City of Bridgeport without stated policies or purpose in City Hall or the Bridgeport Registrar of Voter office. Let’s get this right; instead of encouraging citizens to participate more fully in the process, Bridgeport Registrar of Voter is doing the opposite. What will the Court say on Friday?