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Moore Versus Costantini In General Election For State Senate

August 13th, 2014 · 18 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

Marilyn Moore’s primary win over incumbent State Senator Anthony Musto places her against Republican Town Councilman Rick Costantini, an attorney with roots in Bridgeport, in the November general election. While the candidates bring party support bases to the table, the city-suburban district includes roughly 20,000 unaffiliated voters who can swing the difference.

Connecticut’s 22nd Senate District has a history of swinging back and forth from Republican to Democrat. Thirty years ago the seat was occupied by Democrat Howard Owens who was defeated by Republican Lee Scarpetti in 1984. Owens came back to best her two years later. Two years later in 1988, Scarpetti defeated Owens and she retained the seat until Bill Finch defeated her in 2000, a seat Finch relinquished after he was elected mayor in 2007. Republican Rob Russo won a special election in March 2008. He was defeated by Musto in the Barack Obama landslide in Bridgeport in November 2008.

Whether facing Musto or Moore in the general election, Costantini should wage a competitive challenge if he qualifies for Connecticut’s public financing program, given the dynamics of the race. The Democratic candidate historically has been rescued by turnouts in Bridgeport. But there is a question about an enthusiasm gap regarding city voters in the upcoming general election. Moore’s campaign operation certainly will bring out more Democrats in Bridgeport, but she is largely unknown to Trumbull unaffiliated voters, the largest voting bloc in town. Costantini as well must introduce himself to district voters.

In addition, there’s the specter of blogger Jonathan Pelto’s possible presence as a petitioning candidate in November. He has a number of followers in Bridgeport opposed to Governor Dan Malloy’s education policies that could poach votes from Malloy. Also, Republican Tom Foley claims he will have an urban agenda to share this November that could also attract some unaffiliated voters in the city. Will it be more than lip service?

Statement from Costantini:

I want to congratulate Marilyn on her victory in the Democratic Primary. She ran a tough race against an established incumbent and now we can focus on the general election and the issues facing Connecticut.

As someone who has lived in this District my entire life, and has roots in all three communities, I was surprised to read Marilyn’s comments upon winning the primary that she has crossed “the biggest hurdle” and that she is “going to take back what belongs to Bridgeport.” The 22nd State Senate seat belongs to the people of Bridgeport in addition to the people of Monroe and Trumbull. This approach of setting Connecticut’s towns against each other has gone on for far too long. The municipalities of the 22nd Senate District must work together to ensure that ALL of its residents thrive and prosper. Your State Senator should be a bridge between these communities.

As a product of all three communities, I understand the specific challenges facing residents here. Every year more and more families are struggling to stay in Connecticut and make ends meet. From a failing economy to roads rated worst in the country, Connecticut is broken. The biggest hurdle is solving these problems. The solution is not to pit Bridgeport against Monroe and Trumbull, but rather to foster relationships that will allow these communities to succeed.

The time to rebuild Connecticut starts now.

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • donj

    I voted for Moore yesterday, not sure if I will in the general. Not pleased with the Democrat party and it starts with our do-nothing president who I had high hopes for.

  • Bond Girl

    I am sure Ms. Moore is not in the habit of diminishing anyone. This was a big hurdle for her because she lost this primary once before. As for “taking back what belongs to Bridgeport,” I would urge folks to look at the demographics. Within our City, we do share the same demographics that make up Trumbull and Monroe, but they do NOT share ours, not in any significant way that is. So I am in agreement, the 22nd district constituency is more accurately represented by a Bridgeport Candidate.

  • just the facts

    This would be a good lesson for Mr. Herbst who is pitting Bridgeport against Trumbull regarding sewer fees. Mr. Costantini only need look into his own backyard for that attitude, and the fact Trumbull has most of its commercial development on its town borders.

  • John Marshall Lee

    jtf, what if Tim Herbst feels the sewage deal “stinks?” What if he sees the rate paid in Trumbull by his residents shows they are paying the full rate to Bridgeport plus 100% of all sewage capital expense within that town? Does that look fair? Several years ago the City had retained outside legal representation to push for a new regional plan that would purchase Bridgeport’s sewer infrastructure, such as it is, in exchange for $40 Million. Sounds good. Where would it go with our ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT fiscal system? And what do we get for our 35% increase in WPCA rates this year? Heard anything? What is the schedule for replacing rather than maintaining the 100-year-old unitary sewer system? Anybody? Dirty business? Necessary for quality of life and out of mind until something breaks down or there’s a big storm, like earlier today maybe? Going fishing tomorrow? Time will tell.

    • just the facts

      I’m missing your point–and I think you missed mine. Notwithstanding your critique of the WPCA (and I don’t disagree), the WPCA costs including replacement of old infrastructure should be spread across all users like the water company and gas company. The utility does not charge the direct customer when a water main is replaced, it goes into the rate base. You can’t get Trumbull’s sewage to the East Side or West Side of Bpt without going through some of these old pipes.

      So separate the “pitting” issue from the WPCA management/mismanagement issue.

      • John Marshall Lee

        If Trumbull taxpayers are paying for Bridgeport infrastructure as part of the rate base (not just the pipes directly carrying sewage to treatment plants) as well as their own infrastructure, wouldn’t you raise such an issue? Forget about pitting one town or personality against another. And how are ratepayers represented within the WPCA? Isn’t that an issue worth discussing? It’s about serious issues I suggest, that leaders turn into Punch and Judy shows to keep the rubes out of the decision making. Who profits? Time will tell.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Congrats to Marilyn Moore. Good job by my old friend Ed Gomes. Now the hard work begins and that is to get Trumbull independents to vote for a Bridgeport candidate over a Trumbull lawyer/Republican. Good Luck in November, I wish I could vote for you.

  • Local Eyes

    The campaign lamp is ON, right? Here’s today’s cool statistic: Bridgeport is part of my Digital DNA and I’ve got a copyright to prove it.

  • Tom White

    Lennie, are you keeping track of ‘Local Eyes” riddles? Maybe you could help him publish them. It would be amusing to hear his interpretation of this drivel.

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