McCarthy Wins Democratic Endorsement Over Moore For State Senate, Primary Looms

Moore, McCarthy
Marilyn Moore and Tom McCarthy share a moment before endorsement vote.

Bridgeport City Council President Tom McCarthy Monday night won the Democratic endorsement for Connecticut’s 22nd State Senate seat at the party convention over freshman incumbent Marilyn Moore who received enough support to qualify for an August primary. The delegate count was 34-12 at Testo’s Restaurant.

Musto, McCarthy, Testa
McCarthy, center, was nominated by Anthony Musto, Trumbull town treasurer, left. At right, Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, a McCarthy ally.

“I’m excited to have the support of a cross section of leaders from Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe,” said McCarthy after the vote. McCarthy’s first major fundraiser will be Tuesday, 6 p.m. at Vazzy’s 19th Hole at the Fairchild Wheeler golf course.

Moore has a fundraising start over McCarthy in their quest to qualify for Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races.

Endorsed candidates have not done well in city primaries in recent years as insurgents have succeeded against the party establishment candidates. Moore defeated incumbent Anthony Musto in a 2014 primary.

Connecticut’s 22nd State Senate District covers one-third of Bridgeport, all of Trumbull and a portion of Monroe.

Traditionally it’s considered a swing district, although Democrats have occupied the seat since Bill Finch defeated Republican incumbent Lee Scarpett in 2000, with the exception of 10 months when Republican Rob Russo won a 2008 special election over Tom Mulligan after Finch vacated the seat following his 2007 election as mayor.

Democrat Musto defeated Russo in Barack Obama’s 2008 electoral tsunami. Moore knocked off Musto in a 2014 primary on her way to a general election win. She is the only African American female in the State Senate.



  1. I attended the D22 Convention not having made up my mind (I was just slightly preoccupied with my wife in St. V’s all week). I was warmly greeted by both Sen. Moore and Chairman McCarthy as I entered the room. I listened to my fellow town delegates and was free to vote as I chose, in fact the delegation did not all go for one candidate. What put me over the edge for McCarthy and against Sen. Moore were the seconding speeches of her nomination. All I heard from her seconds was what she’d do for Bridgeport, not one mention of the fact the entire Town of Trumbull and part of Monroe are in D22.
    Sorry guys, you may be Only in Bridgeport, but D22 is in three municipalities and the Senator has to work for all of us. Had she won the nomination, I’d be supporting her candidacy. If she should win the primary, I’ll support her in November, BUT for now I’m going with the candidate whose support is not so exclusively Bridgeport.

  2. Lame excuse. You based your selection on State Senator based on the seconding speeches. Pull-ease.
    I guess you didn’t bother to look at Marilyn’s record for her two years.
    Action doesn’t mean anything. Just seconding speeches. Great logic.

  3. And a big shout-out to Mayor Joe. You have shown the true leadership I have come to expect out of you. Maybe this too was part of the generous severance package.

        1. Pete Spain, as one of the brightest bloggers on OIB, you will be a lot brighter when you understand what Mario and Joe Ganim wants is to get Tom McCarthy out of the City Council as soon as possible. If I had to guess, the next council president will come out of Black Rock or Anthony Paoletto of the 138.

      1. Hi Hector, I never thought of using that logic since that respect hasn’t existing for a couple of decades, but McCarthy didn’t support Ganim, Bradley didn’t show until the end of the primary, Rosario didn’t support Ganim, Baker didn’t support Ganim, as for Maria and Stallworth, they both supported Ganim. So that rationale doesn’t apply.

    1. You think? It absolutely was part of the deal. He needs a job so why not go be the State Senator and get a paycheck from the State? What else is McCarthy qualified to do?

  4. Bob, like you, it defies credulity to think or believe a decision on who represents your community and your residents being based on a seconding speech for nomination. C’mon man, it’s certainly your right to vote for whom you want to, but don’t think, feel or believe anyone on this forum is buying that garbage you espoused. Pull-ease.

  5. Bob, I said it was the deciding factor as I was not committed walking into the room. Sometimes those associated with a candidate can cost the candidate votes by their words or actions.

    1. What’s your problem with Bridgeport, Marshall (Law) Marcus? You do know all the non-profits, social agencies, mass transit, court houses, sewage and garbage handling facilities, Bridgeport Hospital and of course St. Vincent’s Hospital are located in Bridgeport.

      1. Joel,
        You forgot the jails, both adult and juvenile because we know the ‘burbs and the state believe all the criminals live in the urban centers.
        You also forgot drug rehab centers except for the very expensive, celebrity catering ones, are located in urban areas because the ‘burbs and the state believe all the druggies live in the urban centers and they want to make it easy for families to visit. That was the line the DiNardos (Trumbullites) used when Sal and his sister tried to stick one in the West Side near Went Field.
        And don’t forget the drug dealers themselves. Let’s make it convenient for the children of the suburbanites to drive into B’port, get their fix and get out quickly.
        Marshall must believe this is Bridgeport’s problem and how dare a State Senator representing Trumbull feel an obligation to deal with these social ills?

  6. *** It’s a damned shame how voters who should be aware of the work Senator Moore has done up in the capitol during her short stay as a fill-in Senator could just ignore that and vote for McCarthy the ex-City Council President who’s known for Rubber Stamping the city government’s admin. on whatever project they and the Mayor were pushing! The “YES” man who’s got no spine of his own as long as he gets his down the line sooner or later. A nice guy mind you and very likable but lacks “moral fiber!” *** WHOOP ***

  7. *** Also, I hate to bring this up without any real concrete evidence concerning this political endorsement but it’s not the first nor the last time issues like this have come up in voters’ minds in Bpt politics! Make or don’t make what you want out of it but the ugly issue I’m speaking about is race; Black and White. Let’s say they’re both on even terms in ability to do the job, one filled in on a short-term vacancy in the State capitol and has been there before in the past and has done a good job for the most part, past and present and is Black American. The other has been on the Bpt City Council for over 12 years-plus and has also been the Council President and still is at present with no State experience to speak of but is considered a devoted Democrat and city district representative who has the political baggage nametag of being a Mayor and city government’s YES MAN; administration after administration and is White American! *** Make of it what you will if anything at all, no? *** WHOOP ***

    1. Mojo, of course it’s about race for both Senate position. Mario Testa has NO respect for blacks and especially these two candidates. Those blacks on the Democratic Town Committee should be ashamed of themselves to allow Mario to pimp them and the same for those DTC district leaders, payback is a bit cheaper and your time is near.

  8. Gee; I heard Senator Moore saying loud and clear months ahead of the convention she’s thinking in terms of the regional sewer authority, something that’s great for Trumbull and Monroe but at best a s&##$y deal for Bridgeport. And then, at the convention a couple of Bridgeporters exhibit some optimism the Senator from Bridgeport might actually do something for Bridgeport, and the Trumbull folks get their entitled noses out of joint over it. Oh, poor Trumbull!!! BOO HOO! All the other municipalities in the state get their ECS $ very significantly reduced in the state budget, while Trumbull gets an extra $1 million, and they’re still whining. EPH U, Trumbull! I was at the convention, and it was obvious to this D from Bridgeport the McCarthy-Moore support split along racial lines.

    Now Senator Moore, do you think there is any way to treat Bridgeport fairly while giving in to Trumbull’s entitlement tantrums? Of course not.

    Now you must tell them, Senator Moore: “No sewers for you!”

    After what I saw tonight, I want to support Senator Moore. And I sure as hell don’t want Sacred Heart’s man-on-the-inside going to Hartford. (I think we know Trumbull can count on him too!)

  9. What a photo! Is McCarthy reading off names written on his hand or about to take his meds?

    Flunkies first, with a side of meatballs.

    State Senator Moore will win.

  10. This is turning out to be a political race rooted in personal pet peeves, racial bullshit, power grabs, and urban vs suburban tugs of war. There are many delegates who should be ashamed of themselves from all the municipalities in the 22nd. All of them.

  11. Jeff Kohut,
    The split was not based on race in the Trumbull delegation, it was based on who we thought would be best for Trumbull. Our entire Town is in this district. Our vote was overwhelmingly for McCarthy, but not 100%. At least two of us delegates are from inter-racial families and I can personally say race was not a factor.

    Being a minority member/shareholder of a regional wastewater treatment authority is not something that would make me happy. The authority would have the word Regional in the name, but Bridgeport would still control the voting majority. Every announced deal has fallen through and the latest is not ratified by Bridgeport and held secret from citizens in both municipalities.

    Remember, delegates represent the party members of the district, not themselves. I made a decision which candidate could do more for my constituency, not for me personally.

    As for an increase in ECS, Trumbull is getting $331K, NOT $1 million.

  12. Of course race isn’t an issue or at least that’s what those who say race isn’t an issue will say. It’s absolutely obvious race played a part in this nomination meeting especially when one looks to see every black running for State Senator and State Representative was challenged and not one white or Latino was challenged.

    1. Donald,
      I am only speaking to D22, and the votes made by the Trumbull delegates. Maybe race is an issue in the Bpt delegation, not being a member I wouldn’t know. As for the other contested nominations, they have nothing to do with Trumbull or its delegates. We voted on who we thought would get the most for our constituents.
      My State Rep district is entirely within Trumbull and both candidates are male Italo-Americans.

  13. Mario did not contact me or anyone I know before the vote. I am not sure why anyone would think that. Maybe I wasn’t worth the call from Mario. I do not think that was the case. I voted for Tom McCarthy. No surprise.

    Last time I supported Anthony Musto. When he lost the Primary I had Marilyn Moore signs on my lawn. I voted for Moore as well as everyone I spoke to after the primary. Her full of herself attitude was just too much. Never a Thank you, perhaps thanks to Ron Mackey, Donald Day and Bob Walsh. I am not a fan of Marilyn Moore. I do believe she is a most eloquent speaker. It is like Karma. It seems most of the people with Moore are just not a good fit for me. I do like her mentor Ed Gomes. I think Ed Gomes is a warrior and a great candidate. I think Ed Gomes has done a great job over the years and know he has a lot of support, but he is not in my district. I will not waste my time responding to Moore supporters. I am supporting Tom McCarthy. I have always respected Tom McCarthy. I know he is a bridge builder and unlike Moore and her attitude I think he can get a lot more done and bring the big bucks to Bridgeport. Tom McCarthy asked me for my support. He is educated and eloquent and a seasoned politician. Mario Testa may like him but did not individually ask people to support him. I received a Dear Constituent letter from Moore, it was too much to say Steve. Let Mary-Jane Foster deliver for Marilyn the way Marilyn delivered for Foster and I think it will be a landslide for McCarthy. Trying to paint Mario as a racist to get Marilyn elected will not work. McCarthy, Finch and Ganim have strong support in the African American Community. This is not about race. This is about the best candidate for the job. That candidate is Tom McCarthy. I love this city and I voted accordingly. I was not alone!

    1. Steve, you just don’t get it but that’s nothing new with you. You were such a loser with Musto, Finch and McCarthy. McCarthy was the lead person with the city being twenty million dollars in the red, as the President of the City Council he knew what was going and he said nothing and did nothing. You said, “He is educated and eloquent and a seasoned politician,” okay eloquent Tom, thanks for being so eloquent in costing the taxpayers all that money to get you out of your City job and how Steve did that cost the taxpayers. As for the subject of race, well you’ll never get it, keep those rose-colored glasses on.

      1. Ron, my rose-colored glasses are off. With you and Donald Day it will always be about race. The fact in 2016 Marilyn Moore is the only African American in the state senate does not qualify her for re-election. It means the Black Community needs to get busy. I know many black members in the community in Bridgeport who are much more qualified than Marilyn Moore. I am not a fan, get over it. If anyone voted against Marilyn Moore because of race I was not one of them. I voted for Tom McCarthy, not against Moore.

        1. Steve, as usual you refuse to address the points I gave you about the boy wonder, it’s about entitlement some whites have, like how dare this black woman want their position. Steve, answer the questions I asked you about McCarthy.

        2. Ron, I do not think any white person is pondering the question “how dare this black woman want their position?” I will not be a surrogate for McCarthy. You have a question, you may ask him yourself. If Moore were an effective bridgebuilder she would have communicated with the delegation months before the nomination. Maybe she thinks she is a black woman of privilege who just thinks she deserves the nomination. Well, the voters will decide. I think Tom will be on the same line with Clinton.

  14. Tommy Mac received around $1,000,000 in taxpayers’ money in salary, benefits, stipends and other perks while serving as council president and in a job in which you don’t need to have a college degree let alone be an attorney.
    He oversaw Finch’s last budget that left the taxpayers with a $20 million deficit.
    He sat on the Airport Commission that found nothing wrong with city taxpayers having to pay $600,000 for a politically connected individual’s driveway.
    He was Council President when he failed to advise the council tabling a contract would give him and others tens of thousands of dollars in retro pay raises.
    When Ganim finally said enough is enough, Tommy Mac said no it isn’t. I need more. I need severance. I need 18 months city-paid insurance. And I need a part-time job as State Senator.
    So Marshall, you think Trumbull Democrats will welcome Tommy with open arms.
    Dream on, Marshall.
    Bring it on!!!

    1. Bob Walsh–Trumbull Democrats will welcome McCarthy with open arms. They already have!
      I think you will need to get off your ass and knock on doors in Trumbull. Take Mary-Jane with you. Tom is already doing that.

      1. Steve Auerbach,
        You are to Bridgeport political campaigns what vultures were to westward wagon trains: a sign of impending demise!

        Whatever candidate you cheerlead for has an ignominious ending, no?

        So thanks for blessing Tom McCarthy’s campaign.

        I feel relieved.

        1. Pete Spain, I do not think we ever met. You would be incorrect to think every candidate I supported lost. Sometimes we help a candidate simply because we are friends. In this case you should feel uncomfortable. I will make sure Marilyn Moore is not re-elected. You, Bob, Ron and Don are my motivating force.
          Maybe you know of a huge support system for Moore? They do not exist! if you were at Tom McCarthy’s fundraiser tonight you would understand. It was packed and you could feel the excitement. PACKED! DO NOT CONCERN YOURSELF WITH MY RECORD MR. SPAIN. I KNOW THE CAMPAIGNS YOU HAVE WORKED ON AND I DO NOT THINK YOU HAVE A RECORD TO BRAG ABOUT! SERIOUSLY!

          1. This will be my absolute last post concerning Ms. Moore. I will not have to badmouth her on the campaign trail. I will be talking about Tom McCarthy.

          2. Geeez Ron, I do not count blacks at functions I attend. But there were at least wo sitting at my table who I spent most of the evening talking to. I almost forgot they were black. My problem is I do not see people as colors. You AND Donald Day have that wonderful ability to reduce people to their genetic makeup and judge them accordingly.

          3. Steven Auerbach, Tom McCarthy was the City Council President along with Mayor Finch and it was their leadership that has the City of Bridgeport in the hole for 20 million dollars and you are telling us that’s the type of leadership in Hartford?

          4. Why? You are doing such a good job of doing an extreme disservice to your candidate with the crass rants. Maybe this is why Mario did not reach out to you. Testa may be supporting McCarthy but he is also a man of tact. It is clear you have no regard for such things.

    2. Bob,
      Trumbull Democrats will vote for whomever the party’s nominee is, especially since our horrific R Board of Finance Chair Elaine Hammers is running for the office.

  15. Steven Auerbach, McCarthy was the lead person with the city being 20 million dollars in the red, as the President of the City Council he knew what was going on and he said nothing and did nothing. You said, “He is educated and eloquent and a seasoned politician,” okay eloquent Tom. thanks for being so eloquent in costing the taxpayers all that money to get you out of your City job and how much Steve did that cost the taxpayers?

  16. *** If you honestly believe color of skin and gender is “not” somehow an underlying factor in the State Senate race between Moore and McCarthy, then you’re probably under the same impression Trump is “not” a racist and womanizer. Especially in the towns of Trumbull and Monroe, where there have been multiple minority candidates who have run for political offices and won in the past, present and near future! It just does not make any sense to think Mr. McCarthy “isn’t” the better choice here between him and Ms. Moore for the job of State Senator in CT. After all, look at all the political experience and interest Tom has shown in the past for Trumbull and Monroe, let alone Bpt as well, no? *** WHOOP ***

  17. *** Wonder what’s the reason the DTC did not endorse the incumbent, Mr.Gomes for State Senate? Could it be “karma payback” from past anti-DTC or anti-Testa sentiments over political or personal issues in the past? Or is it because Mr. Gomes has a little darker skin color than Mr. Bradley? Who has the overall better political experience working for Bpt in general between the two, past, present and possible future? It’s hands-down “GOMES,” no? Then why give the political endorsement to someone who’s obviously given up so quickly while on the board of the Bpt BOE? *** WHOOP ***

  18. Marshall: I take you at your word you’re just a suburbanite looking out for the ‘burbs and you voted for McCarthy because you know he’ll take care of the ‘burbs at Bridgeport’s expense. That is, no doubt, an accurate assessment on your part and your vote for McCarthy makes sense in that context. Okay. Yours was not a racist vote. But when I saw who was voting Moore and who was voting McCarthy in that room, there was no doubt but my eyes were watching a vote going according to racial lines. And, for folks from Bridgeport voting for McCarthy after his wholesale betrayal of the interests of the North End/City of Bridgeport in favor of the evil, parasitic SHU, one can only conclude the rationale for the vote was other than the fitness of the candidate. It would appear there had to be a very strong racial motivation involved, especially for Trumbull D’s who purportedly have a problem with the Bridgeport Democratic establishment and should have wanted the less-establishment Moore over McCarthy.

    As far as Mario Testa being the prime mover of the McCarthy candidacy, I would look much more toward Hartford/Greenwich. Tom has had his lips fused to Hartford/Greenwich political asses for his whole political life, and we can assume they have enjoyed the sensation and are supporting the continuation of that relationship with an eye to the future. Mario is not a racist. Mario is a pragmatist who probably would have sought to cultivate a better relationship with Bridgeport’s minority community were it not for the real racists from the Gold Coast/’burbs holding the Bridgeport Democratic Party hostage on the threat of a wholesale diversion of Hartford/Washington $ aid to Bridgeport if their boy were rejected by the party. Mario took the only real choice he had and allowed the process to evolve on its own.

    And really, that is the story of modern Bridgeport politics. Very little is actually decided in Bridgeport, and it is approved by Hartford/Greenwich beforehand. Joe Ganim’s election was an exceptional case and wouldn’t have happened had Bill Finch not been so completely insufferable to so many Bridgeport Dems. (And his petulance and instability were making him a liability for Hartford/Greenwich. Proof for this thesis is provided by the seamlessness of the economic development agenda between administrations, with Stamford’s agenda being the prime mover of our development agenda, or more accurately, our lack of a Bridgeport development agenda. Also note the powerful allies of the Bridgeport Diocesan institutional offspring, SHU, with the former based in Stamford-Greenwich and comprising the elite of the Bridgeport Catholic Diocese.) Connect the dots.

  19. Jeff, if Mario is silent to the real racists of the Gold Coast then isn’t his silence acceptance of those racist polices? MLK said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

  20. Race has absolutely nothing to do with this. Marilyn Moore got 40% of the vote in Trumbull in 2014 and Trumbull Democrats were proud of that performance when our sitting First Selectman was on the Republican ticket. We worked for Marilyn against a Trumbull Republican, and I think 40% is a great performance. I certainly voted for her in 2014. And I will vote for her again if she wins the primary.


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