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Moore Wins Tight Race Over Musto, Incumbent State Senator Concedes

August 13th, 2014 · 36 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

Foster, Moore

Mary-Jane Foster, left, 2011 Democratic mayoral candidate, campaigns with Marilyn Moore outside of Blackham School. Anthony Musto in background with Mayor Bill Finch and Senate Leader Martin Looney.

In Connecticut’s 22nd State Senate District, challenger Marilyn Moore has defeated three-term Democratic incumbent Anthony Musto by 82 votes in Tuesday’s primary, according to unofficial returns that includes absentee ballots. Unofficially Moore has won the machine count by more than 200 votes and held off Musto’s absentee ballot count in the city suburban district that covers Trumbull and portions of Bridgeport and Monroe. Moore told OIB Musto called her to concede shortly after 9 p.m. “It was a team effort,” says Moore.

District wide the unofficial result, Moore 1612 to Musto’s 1530.

Former State Senator Ed Gomes happily cracked his crocodile smile Tuesday night when the machine count was announced at Wilbur Cross School giving Moore a blowout win there that helped carry her to an unofficial win. Two years ago Gomes lost his 23rd Senate District seat to Andres Ayala in a primary. Three years ago, while Gomes was recovering from heart surgery, Senate leaders in Hartford had carved his home base Wilbur Cross precinct into Musto’s district as part of a redistricting maneuver to save Musto from a difficult general election against a Republican. Ironically, the move came back to bite Musto in a primary. Gomes vowed to work his home base on behalf of Moore like never before, sweet revenge for the former senator.

Moore ran up large pluralities across the Bridgeport portion of the district winning every city precinct. She came up short in a 2008 primary against Musto who blew out his home town of Trumbull that year. This time around Musto once again won Trumbull handily but not nearly the margin from six years ago. In this primary campaign Moore drew a sharp contrast against Musto, hitting him on his voting record that included his opposition to a government reform bill in the state legislature to uphold the City Charter’s prohibition of city employees serving on the City Council.

Musto opposed the bill on behalf of Bridgeport City Council President Tom McCarthy, deputy director of Labor Relations. Moore argued how can members of the legislative branch serve as a check on the executive branch signing their paychecks. McCarthy campaigned for Musto, but Moore won McCarthy’s North End area.

During the campaign Moore also pledged to support full reimbursement from the state to the city for Bridgeport’s tax-exempt properties as well as serving as a bridge between the three communities of the district for creation of a regional water pollution control authority to address sewage treatment infrastructure and development needs.

Moore’s primary ground operation was also assisted by an endorsement from Connecticut’s Working Families Party. Moore will also appear on the WFP line in the general election.

Moore will face Republican Town Councilman Rick Costantini in the general election.

Unofficial machine totals:

St. Ann’s: Moore 206, Musto 137

Central: Moore 127, Musto 68

Aquaculture: Moore 72, Musto 35

Bassick: Moore 44, Musto 5

Park City Magnet: Moore 158, Musto 41

Wilbur Cross: Moore 313, Musto 35

Blackham: Moore 208, Musto 169

Winthrop: Moore 168, Musto 123

Trumbull combined precincts: Musto 568, Moore 146

Monroe: Musto 70, Moore 36

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36 Comments so far ↓

  • donj

    Any sample precincts in the Republican primary in Bridgeport?

  • Joel Gonzalez

    You want some Moore of this? Congratulations to Marilyn Moore. That picture of Bob Walsh on the mail piece scared a few voters away. Great job!

  • BptPorter

    Nice ass-whupping, Senator Moore. As for the hit-and-run basket case Ayala, Bridgeport is much better without that clown. A one-hit wonder. She is as good as last month’s Connecticut Post no one reads. As for Newton, Bridgeport is better without him. too. The Moses of his people but his people just chose another god because they no longer worship false idols.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Congratulations to Marilyn Moore. Sorry the Mayor and the “machine” could not help Musto. LIP service is a sad thing. Mayor Finch, you are in deep shit! Good things you are surrounded by friends … Not.

    Anthony Musto, a low turnout should have been beneficial to you. You had very little local politicians working the polls more than an hour working for you in Bridgeport. Good thing Mayor Finch and Mario Testa showed up. The Moore team was obviously more professional. Just the two young people who knocked on my door were energized. It is now Marilyn Moore’s turn. I wish her great success as I am not the loser who spends a moment lamenting and criticizing.

    I hope Marilyn Moore’s eloquence brings the money to Bridgeport and want to congratulate you on a very well-run campaign. Although I was beaten up daily on the blog for supporting Musto, I have to wonder if the Mayor and Mr. Musto are so out of touch they didn’t realize months ago they needed to get busy. Well Anthony Musto, the people have decided and now it seems Mayor Finch has to deal with a new reality. It is my hope at least Moore can work with Finch until the next election. Good luck to all. Anthony Musto, thank you for serving.

    Marilyn, my wish for you is to make your presence known. Use your eloquence to build bridges in Hartford. Bring home the money, jobs and development if you are fortunate enough to win the election in November. As I told you earlier, a Moore sign on my lawn is fine with me. :-) Good Luck!

  • Pete Spain

    Congratulations to Marilyn and her outstanding campaign team -including Parisi, Walsh and Foster–for this upset victory.

    Great photo!

    Note how poor Marty Looney is glued to his cell … anything to avoid having to listen to Finch.

    Big shout-out to Nance! Heckuva a job!
    ctdems.org/about/meet-the-chair/

    • Ron Mackey

      Pete Spain, good points and I’m glad you mentioned Mary-Jane Foster being out there helping Ms. Moore and that’s a great photo! Ms. Foster got a bad rap during the last election when she challenge Mayor Finch, lies and more lies were said about Mary-Jane Foster and a number of those lies were said in black churches. I had no problem in supporting her in the last election and I hope she seeks to run for some elected position in the near future.

  • Baffled in Bridgeport

    A good win for Moore. Tough race and hard fought. Ultimately, the Moore campaign work ethic won out. It was helped mightily by the arrogance of the Finch and Musto folks who just don’t believe they can lose–despite a number of elections to the contrary. Let’s hope they stay dumb long enough for us to restructure a few more offices!

  • donj

    Glad to know my vote counted at St. Ann’s today. I was voter 438 around 7:15 pm today. Saw a few Republicans also. Lennie should really provide Republican numbers for us. Btw Walker ran really close statewide.

  • John from Black Rock

    Congratulations Marilyn and congratulations Ed for the job you did at Wilbur Cross.

  • Jim Callahan

    Wilbur Cross!

  • Jimfox

    Great job by the C.E.P.P. members!

    Next up, Bill Finch and friends.

  • Local Eyes

    Congratulations to yesterday’s winners and leave it to Lennie to find a way to put Musto in the background. Now we know why he never came here.

    • Pete Spain

      Yes, Paul aka Local Eyes, the photo hints at the way it was (from my perspective, at least): Musto turning his back on us and expecting his big friends in high places to ride him through the storm.

      But the situation, to borrow words from Musto in 2013 (below*), was “rectified by voters” yesterday.

      Will State Senator Ayala stand in the way of HB 5724, or a bill like it, from getting to the State Senate floor for a vote?

      * From a 2013 e-mail from Senator Musto to me:

      “Thank you for your letter regarding HB 5724 An Act Prohibiting Municipal Employees From Serving on Certain Municipal legislative bodies …

      “I was not in favor of this proposal as I don’t believe the solution to the City’s struggles will be found by barring people from public service. While there is a certain potential for a conflict of interest, members should recuse themselves when appropriate and if this is a problem it should be rectified by the voters, not by arbitrarily denying someone the ability to run for a chance to serve in their local government. At the local level, barring people from serving seems unfair as there are many issues facing the City Council that have nothing to do with the budget.”

    • Steven Auerbach

      Local Eyes, this blog did not win the election for Moore or lose the election for Musto.
      This was definitely in the hands of Anthony Musto, Mayor Finch, Mario Testa and all the local politicians who gave lip service. When you think of the margin Musto lost by in just Wilbur Cross, you have to wonder if anyone came out to support him. Honestly, they have to be banging their heads and rightfully so. There was definitely no Musto campaign happening in Bridgeport. Zero. What could they have been thinking? When I stopped in Ayala’s headquarters yesterday, well, that was an operation!!! I still have no idea where Musto headquarters was and now it doesn’t matter. Yesterday’s news.

      • LennieGrimaldi

        Steve, Musto is a three-term Democratic senator who performed poorly in Bridgeport. The Finch folks tried to save him from himself. Musto’s poor performance was about Musto. And credit to Moore as well for her hard work.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Lennie, when you say the Finch people tried to save him from himself, what do you mean? Finch didn’t have any people, only himself, Mario, AmyMarie, Tom McCarthy and his dad. In total I’d say they put in 4 hours collectively. I certainly acknowledged the hard work on the part of the Moore camp.

          • LennieGrimaldi

            Steve, when you represent a district for six years and take a beating like that in Bridgeport it means voters have repudiated the candidate. Musto did nothing to build up prestige in city voters’ minds to alter a change message from a primary opponent. He lost every city precinct covering a cross section of voters. In a primary race like this one the candidates must relentlessly touch voters through door knocks and phone calls. Moore did a much better job of that. In addition, although you don’t think it’s a relevant issue, the government reform bill Musto derailed in the legislature hurt him at the polls on Tuesday. It was more important for him to protect a political few over the wishes of city constituents. His opposition to the bill created an opening for Moore to run as a political reformer galvanizing a voting bloc to build a campaign against him. Had Musto supported that bill he might not have had a primary. If he had supported that one issue to uphold the city charter he’d be heading to the general election instead of Moore.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Lennie, I agree. Musto knew he had a battle to fight and so did Mario and Finch. They did absolutely nothing for him in Bridgeport and in the end Marilyn won. I will support her as I have stated on the blog. This is a crushing blow to the Mayor. I guess everything is playing out the way it should. I am glad I am not political. :-)

          • Pete Spain

            Steve,
            Adam Wood was out in front of St. Ann’s around 7:15 AM putting out “Musto” signs (faded orange with a ’70s font … looked like an ad for a Tijuana car wash–no offense to Tijuana).

      • Local Eyes

        Steven Auerbach–stop acting like you know more about Bridgeport politics than I do. You’re qualified to be my dinner guest but you are not qualified to give me political advice.

  • Phil Blagys

    Speaking from the other side of the aisle–congratulations Marilyn! It is absolutely great to see Musto gone and a principled woman leading the Democratic charge. On to November!

  • Mustang Sally

    Shout out to Wilbur Cross Moore operatives! Gomes and Nelson–you ROCKED that school!

  • Local Eyes

    Politicians wait one day a year for elections. Never have I seen so much credit given for 313 votes–I get more “votes” than that from total strangers on an almost daily basis!

    • Joel Gonzalez

      I just voted for you–OIB’s biggest fool–as I do every day. After all these days voting for you, I’m a “total stranger?”

      Godiva2011 has my vote from now on.

  • Grin Ripper

    Congratulations to all! Musto’s not a bad guy but he was tone-deaf to most of the issues. He was also the victim of his own petard by throwing Ed Gomes under the bus in the redistricting issue.

  • Donald Day

    Paul (aka Local Eyes), 313 votes is 255 votes less than the whole town of Trumbull and three times more that the whole town of Monroe. What a great job Ed, in using the same district Musto used to steal your election.

    • Up On Bridgeport

      Musto was a victim of his own circumcision.

    • Ron Mackey

      Donald Day, great point, the leadership of the state Democrats changed Ed Gomes’ old district to protect Musto while Ed was sick and that action cause Ayala to win the state senate seat but look at what happenned, Ed Gomes’ top aide when he was the state senator Marilyn Moore, defeats Musto in the district the state Democrat leaders changed for Musto backfired. Mayor Finch will also pay a price from that district when he runs again.

  • Local Eyes

    I understand margin of victory and I also understand scale.
    www .twitter.com/door24

  • Local Eyes

    I have a Global cousin. Here’s how he scales:
    paper.li/door24/1406384106

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Good riddance to a self-interested quack.

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