Ah, it was another love fest for Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa who was reelected by acclamation for another two-year term by the 90-member Democratic Town Committee Monday night at Mario’s Madison Avenue restaurant, the epicenter of city politics. Will someone please step up and start a good fight?
Dottie Guman, the Mother Goose of the party, signed up for another two years as vice chair. Someone’s gotta keep Mario from straying to the dark side, eh? Actually we’re seeing a mellow Mario, now in his mid 60s, these days. He doesn’t seem to be involved in every detail of government like the old days. But Mario is Mario and still the man pols must meet over a mountain of macaroni or if they rise early enough a cup of giuseppe slipping in the back door of the kitchen greeted by Mario’s bloody apron after pounding out the veal for the day.
Mario has a decision to make soon if he hasn’t already. Does he support former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz for the U.S. Senate seat of a retiring Joe Lieberman or Congressman Chris Murphy. A majority of the party seems to be gravitating toward Murphy, but pockets of good will exist for SuBy who’s worked the Bridgeport political establishment relentlessly for years. Black Rock District Leader Danny Roach, who represents the highest-turnout area of the city, is supporting SuBy. Word is SuBy’s scheduled to see Mario this week. Mario has a whole bunch of delegates to select for the May party convention to endorse federal candidates. Two other candidates for U.S. Senate, State Rep. William Tong and drug-reform crusader Sylvester Salcedo are saying hey, don’t forget about us.
Monday night Gilberto Hernandez was elected district leader in the East Side’s 137th District after a morning recount upheld the results of the hard-fought DTC primary last week in which City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez, the city’s queen of absentee ballots, lost control of the district. Gilberto, no fan of Lydia, ran with former City Council members Tito Ayala and Maria Valle to claim five of the nine district seats. Lydia’s entire slate lost on the machines, but she managed to keep her seat courtesy of her unique absentee ballot operation. But the opposition slate proved that her crew can be defeated even with her AB magic act.
Former State Senator Ernie Newton, the Moses of his peeps, stopped in to the DTC meeting. Newton is running for his old seat occupied by Ed Gomes who also stopped in. Gomes hasn’t officially declared his candidacy for another two-year term but it sounds like he’s running. State Rep. Andres Ayala has formed an exploratory committee for a possible State Senate run. Democratic primaries will take place in August.