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North End State Reps Back Moore Over Incumbent Musto

May 1st, 2014 · 16 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

Jack Hennessy

Jack Hennessy’s government reform bill will be a campaign issue in State Senate race.

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.

Charlie Stallworth

State Rep. Charlie Stallworth, a city minister, supports Marilyn Moore.

“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.


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16 Comments so far ↓

  • Jimfox

    Let’s see how hard Finch, Testa and McCarthy work to secure Musto’s nomination for his State Senate seat. When he loses Bridgeport, Nancy may have a very hard time selling Musto to Trumbull and Monroe’s delegation after his Newtown morbidity statement.

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    Next will we hear Musto now supports this bill? Good to see the Bridgeport delegation step up and support Jack’s bill with Auden on board since last year. If they are re-elected they will be held to their pledge to support this bill by not only voting yes, but by working statewide to have this bill brought up and passed.

    • flubadub

      Jennifer, you know as well as I these other reps will say anything as long as it does not have to come up for a vote. Should they still be in office next year and this bill comes up for reconsideration they’ll have selective memory. What? Who, me?

  • Steven Auerbach

    I wish I could say I was chagrined by these endorsements. I will say I will give all candidates an opportunity to get my vote.

  • Godiva2011

    If my recall serves me, isn’t this the same state rep Hennessy who was photographed playing solitaire on his computer during a previous budget session in Hartford? Why would people re-elect him? He obviously has no concern as to what his duties are as an elected official and demonstrated obvious disrespect for his colleagues and constituents. The man doesn’t even have any interest in what was going on around him, how is he able to vote on bills if he’s not even listening to details? Ms. Moore should politely decline his endorsement, he’s not doing her a favor.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Godiva, I humbly suggest you search the legislation written and passed and community work accomplished by Rep Hennessy in the last few years since that one photo was taken. He was key in organizing statewide massage therapist support in passing the Smut Buster bill. I think it would relieve your concerns regarding his abilities, attention to his duties and respect for his constituents and fellow legislators. The guy can obviously multitask. ;-)

  • John Marshall Lee

    Godiva, if Jack Hennessy had the chance to eliminate that specific picture I am sure he would. I also feel sure there are one or more pictures of me (and perhaps you as well … remember the ride on the horse?) I would remove from the public realm if possible, if not for the message conveyed, then for other aesthetic reasons.

    More importantly, have you been to a budget session, or a Board of Ed eight-hour meeting, or a City Council session on a Saturday where the subject goes on and on and you know in your heart it could be done in less time with fewer words? But rather than absent the Chamber and the possibility you miss something, you start to multi-task, crossword, text, solitaire or perhaps daydream, all of which qualify in a way as multi-tasking.

    Now if that is all Jack did, then Jack would be a dull boy. But he walked up the hill with a bucketful of reform that really is a task of a legislator when he observes loopholes having ill effects on his constituents.

    As a matter of fact, though he is not my Council person I do support his pursuit of this goal. Personally, if Ms. Moore declined his endorsement I would reconsider my support for her candidacy. I am only one of course, so what does that mean!!!

    I assume you have read about the Minimum Budget Requirement fiasco in the City where the City is not meeting State BOE funding targets. A deal including the City, Bridgeport BOE and Superintendent Office and State of CT BOE was hammered out, understood and printed for all to see covering 2013-14 and 2014-15. All it needed was to be carried out by CITY cash funding in 2014 and agreeing to MBR next year. By doing that the City would receive an extra $1.2 Million in each year. That $2.4 Million would be in jeopardy if the City fails to perform or the BOE reneges from that settlement banged out last year.

    MY POINT: A letter from Stefan Pryor was sent to Mayor Finch in November 2013 covering all of these points. The letter was copied to all eight of Bridgeport’s representatives and senators. Have we heard a word from this worthy group, as a group? Or individually? There is a hierarchy of issues and priorities in Bridgeport and sometimes I guess you just have to whittle or play solitaire, to maintain vigilance and be present for the action. Now about those pictures of you on the horse. Do you have a 9×12 demure reprint? Time will tell.

    • Pete Spain

      John, where you wrote, “I also feel sure there are one or more pictures of me.”

      Yes, sorry to say, just the other day in our mailbox … Quick Center for the Arts program … your choir group photo! Next time, get the photo editor to brighten it up. :)

      Way to go, Marilyn!

      Keep to the big issues plaguing this city and their interconnectedness, as State Rep Jack Hennessy has in bringing meaningful legislation such as HB 5724, which gets the full backing of another outstanding member of the General Assembly from our city, Auden Grogins and will be backed by State Senator Marilyn Moore.

    • Tom White

      Godiva (whoever you are), Jack Hennessy has demonstrated courage and integrity. I hope he is endorsed and continues to represent us.

    • Godiva2011

      A picture speaks a thousand words, and that photo of your state rep Hennessy went viral, and by doing so made a mockery of Bridgeport. If he were not one of the “good old boys” who many of you favor in your circle, would you be so forgiving? Let’s just say it was another state rep, just for conversation’s sake like Santiago or Clemons. As for my photo on the horse–it’s not subject to being altered, matter of fact I rather like it the way it is. (Thanks for the chuckle.)

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        Excellent point, Godiva. Rep Hennessy had a very bad start. He certainly learned from his mistake, which is what being human is about, is it not? And never let anyone retouch your photo or candy.

  • invincible

    I agree with TW, JH has demonstrated great courage. Too bad the others did not support him. And Christina Ayala now wants to jump on the bandwagon. Tooooo late for you, CA.

  • Baffled in Bridgeport

    I have to admit I was not an original fan of Jack Hennessy’s and the solitaire photo would have sealed the deal but Jack has grown substantially in the last couple of years. His proposed legislation last year, HB 5724, was gutsy and honest and he fought hard for it. I think he is learning leadership and this is an opportunity for both Jack and those of us who care about honest governance in Bridgeport to make change. We so need change in Bridgeport. If we thought the conflicts on the City Council were ridiculous, just consider Mayor Finch has just given a city job at taxpayer expense to one of his Commissioners of Planning and Zoning who is also a named developer for downtown north and a business owner in downtown Bridgeport. Make fun of Jack Hennessy if you like but the only clown in the room is Bill Finch. And he is one huge joke.

  • Bridgeporteur

    Lennie, can you do us a favor and post the voting maps for State Senatorial and State Representative Districts? I could not find them on the City GIS site. Thanks!

  • Bridgeporteur

    Thanks for the map. I had no idea how gerrymandered it is.

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