The last time Bridgeport’s legislative boundaries were redrawn by the state brought about a political sea change that washed away an incumbent and buoyed an insurgent.
Map-drawing can become tricky and partisan be it nationally or locally with shouts of gerrymandering, the manipulation of boundaries to suit a political party or incumbent, from both sides.
Ten years ago Connecticut’s controversial redistricting of Ed Gomes’ senate turf while he was convalescing from heart surgery in the hospital triggered an unintended consequence. Democratic Senate leadership had carved his voter base in the African American strong Wilbur Cross precinct into the district of then incumbent Anthony Musto to protect Musto against a strong Republican general election challenger in the adjoining city-suburban district.
That move would backfire. In 2014 Gomes’ former legislative aide Marilyn Moore leveraged the Wilbur Cross vote to upset Musto in a Democratic primary. Musto won the suburbs big to the unknown Moore, but the Wilbur Cross votes, 333 to 40, ended his six-year run, coupled with Moore’s other large precinct wins in the city.
It also elevated Moore as a threat to win the mayoralty and she almost pulled it off in the 2019 primary against Joe Ganim.
The 2021 Reapportionment Commission is in the process of finalizing its work required every 10 years to bring about equal populations in respective legislative districts based on Census Bureau findings.
The 2021 commission members appointed by Governor Lamont are Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora, Senator Paul Formica, House Majority Leader Jason Rojas, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff and Representative Jason Perillo.
Based on Connecticut’s Census population House District residents shall total 23,880, Senate 100,165. The redistricting plan must be in place for the 2022 state election cycle. See current maps.
If the commission cannot agree on a plan by Nov. 30th, the Connecticut Supreme Court will finalize the lines no later than Feb. 15, 2022.
Bridgeport, with the largest legislative delegation in the state, could pick up a portion of a seventh House seat. Will it be from Fairfield, Stratford or Trumbull? Currently all six of Bridgeport’s House seats are confined to the city.