March Madness Means Primaries–East Side Challenge Slate Qualifies

UPDATE: The Democratic Town Committee challenge slate in the 137th East Side District has qualified to oppose the slate led by City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez, according to Democratic Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala.

And you thought March madness meant college hoops! Three district primaries for Democratic Town Committee seats could take place March 6th, assuming necessary petition signatures by challenge slates are approved by Democratic Registrar Santa Ayala. Town committee members conduct party business and endorse candidates for office.

In the 130th District which includes Black Rock and the West End, a challenge slate led by Robert Foley, host of the weekly cable access show Bridgeport Now, former City Councilman Joel “Speedy” Gonzalez and Jim “Sonny” Fox are trying to pick up seats against a seasoned crew of vote producers including District Leader Dan Roach, former City Councilman Pat Crossin, former State Rep. Hector Diaz and former City Clerk Tom Mulligan.

The city’s DTC has 90 members, 9 for each of 10 districts. The 130th District challenge slate managed to field 7 of the 9 spots available, assuming the Registrar’s Office approves the necessary signatures from 5 percent of registered Dems in the district. The top 9 voter producers among all the candidates end up on the town committee.

In the 137th District that covers the heavily Latino East Side, City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez, the city’s irrepressible queen of absentee ballots, will have her hands full (and we don’t mean just with absentee ballots) from a challenge slate that includes former City Council members Tito Ayala and Gil Hernandez, both of whom were knocked off the district town committee by Lydia. Former City Councilwoman Maria Valle has also joined the challenge slate.

In the 131st District, the South End and downtown, a 9-member challenge slate that includes former City Councilman big “Mojo” Ralph Mojica submitted signatures before today’s (Wednesday) 4 p.m. deadline. In the September 2011 Democratic primary for mayor Mary-Jane Foster surprised veteran political operatives in the 131st including District Leader Mitch Robles by winning Roosevelt School on the machine count and ran close at the City Hall precinct, with aid of students at the University of Bridgeport where Foster works as an executive, and a new voters downtown.

If you think turnouts are low in higher profile elections it’s doubtful the turnout for a district battle like this will hit 10 percent. It’s not about quantity, however, but quality. Identify your friends and drag them to the polling places. Or in the case of Lydia Martinez, who recently admitted to absentee ballot fraud and was fined $500 by the state, perhaps a majority of her votes will come via an absentee. She wouldn’t want it any other way.



  1. Will Lydia try once again to garner the attention of the State Election Enforcement Commission with her absentee ballot dance of deception? This kind of Martinez March madness is the reflected legacy of the Finch/Wood administration … Do it–no matter how wrong–if you can get away with it!

  2. Please, Carolanne. Show some respect: The mention of the poor mayor only diffuses the light shining on Our Holy Mother of the Pequonnock Fields. It is unfair to both the mayor and Lydia. This is the queen’s stage to show just how the governor’s Lydia Martinez Voting Mayhem Act will be implemented.

  3. Back to Charter Revision for a moment. From Tim Loh’s article:
    “I’m looking forward to going through that charter,” Simpson said. “I’m coming in neutral, taking this as independent.”

    I am looking forward to going through that charter???

    Here is an attorney who was appointed chair and apparently did not feel the need to thoroughly read the charter prior to the first public hearing.

    Maybe there should have been a quiz before the start of the meeting. Ten simple questions about the charter. If you don’t score a passing grade then you are off.

  4. *** Looks like a done deal for the challenge petition slate in the 131st. Should have final word of ROV’s acceptance by tomorrow. Uphill battle no doubt but one that needs to happen to keep the local momentum moving toward some change from the bottom up! Wish more districts joined in the local slate challenge to really send a message and shake things up but it seems like it’s easier pulling teeth, no? *** HERE WE GO! ***

  5. Funny, but no mention from the posters on how John Gomes stood up at the charter revision meeting for the people. Oh wait, only NINE showed up to question the committee. Pathetic how the bloggers talk the cyber talk but don’t show up to walk the walk.

    Kudos to the ” Troll ” and Maria Pereira for being there.

    1. Are you not a poster? Are you not mentioning how John Gomes stood up at the charter revision meeting? What’s wrong with “NINE,” it’s a good number. Remember the nine questions from the judge in the Mary-Jane Foster case for example?

      You may not have read that I spoke–let alone what I said. But I was there and allowed to speak.

    2. Chosen 1, while you were posting at 7:00 PM last evening, several of us were once again at the Charter Review Commission meeting on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012 at City Hall (not Council Chambers as announced but Wheeler Room). By adjournment five members of the public were present: Angel DePara, Maria Pereira, Carol Ann Curry, David ? (a City sheriff) and myself, John Marshall Lee.
      The group has scheduled itself to meet regularly most Tuesday and Thursday evenings through the end of April and started the reading and redlining of the current Charter. Attorney Mednick, Maley and Anastasi had numerous comments that demonstrate their grasp of State Law and current Code in Bridgeport (and some other CT municipalities). “Recall” recommendations from the Tuesday public hearing are ‘dead on arrival’ since such provisions appear to be specific to a Town or City and are otherwise not allowed. (But there may be other ways to handle the public behavior of elected parties.) I can’t say anything material was debated last evening, but the process is underway and all members were present!!!
      Get your own copy of the Charter. Keep track of the minutes and agendas that should be on-line. The Commission seems concerned about being open to the public and gave signs of having more meetings than required (2), at different community locations in following weeks. They are ready to schedule administration officials, outside professionals or experts, and others who can contribute to intelligent and thoughtful commentary on governance and structure. The work of this group bears watching, certainly, as it is not only necessary for clarity and currency, but will likely guide the City for the next two decades. Time will tell.

  6. Someone needs to shadow Lydia Martinez, document her activities either by photos or videos, and be able to produce her illegal behavior, and turn it over to the Election Enforcement people and have her not only fined, but jailed.


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