Newton Claims He Has Enough Support To Wage State Senate Primary–See List Of Delegate Decision Makers

Newton maroon
City Councilman Ernie Newton ponders State Senate options.

If he wants his former State Senate seat back, City Councilman Ernie Newton will have to primary for it and asserts he has the insider backing to get there.

Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Herron Gaston is tracking for the Democratic endorsement to represent Connecticut’s 23rd Senate District occupied by Dennis Bradley whose federal trial for alleged connivance of Connecticut’s system of publicly funded races is scheduled for jury selection late May.

Weeks prior to that, 58 delegates, 52 from Bridgeport, 6 from Stratford, will convene a convention to endorse a candidate. In multi-community districts opponents to endorsed candidates need 15 percent support, or in this case nine votes, to qualify for a primary.

The 23rd Senate District covers roughly two-thirds of Bridgeport and a portion of western Stratford. Delegates are accorded based on the turnout in the last presidential election.

The other way to primary is the rigorous process to hustle petition signatures. Irrespective of his cloudy political future, Bradley is telling pols he’s running for reelection. Will he have enough delegate support to bypass signatures? Potential subplot, will Newton receive delegate support that could be Bradley’s?

Unclear if Newton is serious about a run or miffed at party leaders who’ve not exactly warmed to him returning to the State Senate. Nearly 20 years ago Newton resigned his seat following conviction on public corruption charges. He nearly reclaimed the seat in 2012, losing a tight primary to Andres Ayala. Newton staged a comeback to the City Council several years ago.

In his youth Newton became the city’s first black City Council president prior to winning state office.

Newton feels disrespected by Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa and recently showed his displeasure calling for a town committee roll call vote for the chairman’s reelection even though he had no opposition.

Both Newton and Bradley, due to their law enforcement issues, cannot participate in the state’s public financing system. They’d have to raise money the old-fashioned way and perhaps in Bradley’s case self-fund if he’s determined to move ahead with his political career in limbo.

So much of this depends on timing. At the earliest Bradley’s not likely to know his fate until mid June. And what if his trial is delayed again in advance of a potential August primary? He’s eyeing an independent candidacy in November if the trial goes his way.

Bridgeport delegates for 23rd State Senate District convention.



  1. Run Ernie, run, my brother I glad to see how you how you have fought back against self-inflicted errors and those that you had to fight from the system that you have overcome. Ernie, you have the ground and experience of a city council member, a State Representative and as a State Senator. Run Ernie run, this is time.

    Maria Pereira should run for the State Senator for the 23rd, she demonstrated that she doesn’t have the ability to be a team player who has the ability to form a coalition of others, she couldn’t do it on the Bridgeport Board Of Education and on the City Council. Maria Pereira is a one trick pony in her 138th district where she is the queen.

  2. Ernie I’ve seen the growth in you over the years with your experience in understanding the issues concerning the city and how to work with others to come to a successful resolution. Ernie, you have a lifetime record on caring about Bridgeport from the time you graduated from college then working the streets to help the late Margaret Morton become Connecticut first African American woman to serve in General Assembly in the early 1980’s.

    I have a problem with a carpetbagger dropping into Bridgeport from Florida to use the city as their personal launching pad into electoral politics while being paid over $130,000 a year with taxpayers’ money. Ernie, thanks for your lifetime of serving the taxpayers of this city.


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