State representatives supply voter bases and in the race to win support for her State Senate run against Democratic incumbent Anthony Musto, Marilyn Moore has picked up the backing of Jack Hennessy and Charlie Stallworth, two State House members representing the city’s North End. Moore is on the verge of raising $15,000 that will trigger an $83,000 grant under the state’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races for her August primary against Musto.
Musto is expected to receive the endorsement at the district party convention May 19 at 7 p.m. at the Helen Plumb building, 571 Church Hill Road, Trumbull. Endorsements for registrar of voters, probate judge and State House will take place May 21 at Testo’s Restaurant. Moore will need support from 15 percent of the delegates to qualify for a primary. She appears to have enough support, but if not can petition her way onto the ballot.
Hennessy has had a scratchy relationship with Musto–”He’s no friend of mine”–that includes Musto last year killing Hennessy’s government reform bill to enforce the City Charter that prohibits city employees from serving on the City Council. A loophole in state law Hennessy wants to close allows it. Supporters of Hennessy’s bill, including State Rep. Auden Grogins who co-signed, did not seek passage this year with a condensed timeline as a result of a short legislative session that’s about to come to a close. Most members of the city’s state legislative delegation now support the bill. State Rep. Christina Ayala who faces a challenge from the city’s anti-blight chief Chris Rosario and potentially two others, tells OIB she supports the bill and will vote in favor if she’s reelected.
Ernie Newton who’s trying to reclaim his old State House seat also supports the bill. “You can’t serve two masters,” says Newton, referring to city employee council members who cannot serve as a check on the executive branch that controls their paychecks.
“My support is with Marilyn Moore,” says Stallworth, a city minister. “She is a strong candidate and I’m sure will make a great senator.” Stallworth’s State House district includes the African American-rich Wilbur Cross precinct that redistricting leaders in Hartford strategically carved into Musto’s senate district a few years ago to rescue him from a difficult general election against a Republican. It could now become a pivotal precinct for Moore in the August primary. The redistricting decision blindsided an inflamed former State Senator Ed Gomes who was in a hospital bed recovering from surgery when the decision was made for the 2012 election cycle when Andres Ayala defeated Gomes and Newton in a primary. Gomes is backing Moore.
Musto has the support of most of the city’s political establishment. He’s expected to perform well in his hometown Trumbull. In politics, winning is relative. How close can Moore stay in Trumbull and how close can Musto stay in Bridgeport? A portion of Monroe is also included in the 22nd Senatorial. The Bridgeport piece covers the North End, West Side and Black Rock.
Andres Ayala, the other state senator representing Bridgeport, faces a potential Democratic primary from City Librarian Scott Hughes.
Map for 22nd Senatorial District here.
Map for 23rd Senatorial District here.