Newton Weighs Run: “Don’t Count Out The Moses Of His People”

Moses parts the Red Sea
Can Newton part political waters?

Former Democratic State Senator Ernie Newton, awaiting word from the court this month on his lawyer’s motion to dismiss criminal charges for alleged campaign finance law infractions, is preening over Tuesday’s Democratic Town Committee results he says continues his coalition-building in neighborhoods.

Newton has a strong base of support in the city’s East End, but he says he’s built alliances on the Upper East Side that helped a challenge slate in the 138th District win six of nine seats at the Hooker School and JFK voting precincts. Newton has a decision to make in a few weeks when a superior court judge is expected to rule on his court motion he did not falsify $500 in campaign contributions to trigger an $80,000 grant under Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly financed races for his State Senate run two years ago.

Newton supporters
Newton with his campaign peeps in 2012

If the judge rules against Newton, she will likely set a trial date for later this year. Either way, Newton says, he’ll likely be a candidate for office this election cycle. The self-proclaimed Moses of his peeps is in the process of trying to part political waters. Will it be a challenge against State Senator Andres Ayala who defeated him in a close contest two years ago? Or will Newton challenge State Rep. Don Clemons who occupies the seat located in Newton’s East End political base?

The path to knock off Clemons in a primary is certainly easier given the demographics of Newton’s base of support. Newton would be favored to win that contest.

But when you talk to Newton, something is definitely tugging at him to challenge Ayala. Newton is adamant he did not win in 2012 for two reasons: incumbent State Senator Ed Gomes, who finished third, poached African American votes that would have been his, and a decision by Democratic state party leaders to redistrict the African American-rich Wilbur Cross precinct to protect State Senator Anthony Musto from a Republican challenger in the multi-town senate seat, denied him a deciding precinct he’d have won.

Ironically, says Newton, that redistricting decision could work against Musto who faces a primary challenge from Marilyn Moore in August. Wilbur Cross is an area where Moore is expected to do well.

In discussing a political future with Newton the other day, he said he’s weighing his options. He did make one thing clear, however: “Don’t count out the Moses of his people.”



  1. Ernie, good luck with whatever you do but let me say this. You had nothing to do with the candidates and their victory in the 138th. Believe it or not, Maria P was active in putting that slate together along with Hughes and Coble. That slate reflected the makeup of the city. Ernie, we never saw your face, heard your rhetoric or anything else. Your weasel Charlie C had nothing to do with it, either.

        1. BTW, Pat and Barney would be on the DTC today, but your big mouth flucked that up! BTW I’ll be moving into the 138th soon. Maybe I can get your vote next time. Ask your friend Finch if it’s okay.

          1. Jim, you still can’t stop being an asshole, can you. You think you’re being a wiseass but you are being a punk. Move up here, we have ways of dealing with jerks like you. BTW write all you want, I won’t answer your dumb ass anymore. You no longer exist.

  2. Andy, I don’t know if Ernie said that to Lennie or its just another rumor like Mario bankrolling the 130th challenge slate. Coble and Coviello showed up for a bit. This coalition doesn’t exist, it was a Teachers Union-funded effort. The teachers got their nice raises in a three-year contract. They pretty much made it clear to the status quo they get their contract or else risk another defeat in the town committee. Notice that WFP and BEA stayed away (retreated) just when we were eye to eye with the hungry, scared and vulnerable enemy troops with their generals. Dave Hennessey of all people was approached about joining our slate and his response to Hector Diaz served as just another hint to the truth I stated above. This is the man who despite having an African American godchild living in PT Barnum was afraid to go there to knock on her door–I did it for him–and when the time came for him as a candidate to campaign in PT with his two African American running mates, he tells me, “I’m not leaving my truck here (PT), I’m afraid they’ll vandalize my truck, break my windows. Thank God the Stop and Shop parking lot was nearby. I got him to at least spend 15 minutes in PT.

  3. Slightly off topic–
    Lennie–Any idea when the CT Post is going to decide to run maybe a paragraph or so about the primary? I saw one thing about the 136th, but nothing else.

  4. Len, you’re head and shoulders over the CT Post when it comes to letting everyone know about the goings on in the Park City. Knowing this fact I salute you and your commitment to Bridgeport. Keep up the very good work.
    Bob Barnes


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