Pereira Backing Incumbent Challengers For City Council In Upper East Side

Bassey and Small
Timothy Bassey and Michele Small.

One week from the Democratic Town Committee endorsement, 138th District Leader Maria Pereira is throwing her support behind Timothy Bassey and Michele Small to oppose Upper East Side incumbents Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith in a September primary.
Pereira backed Paoletto and Smith two years ago but has had a falling-out with them. A number of Democratic primaries are expected for City Council, school board and city sheriff positions. Party regulars will convene July 24, 6 p.m. at Testo’s Restaurant to back candidates.

Bassey, a city resident for 40 years, has a bachelor’s degree in English from Keene State College. He enjoys photography and ballroom dancing, something that may come in handy in city politics where footwork dexterity is necessary. Small is president of the 376-unit Nob Hill Condominium Association. She has assisted the district organizing a number of community events.

“Both candidates feel that our current City Council members have failed to keep their campaign promises, therefore they look forward to speaking with the residents of the 138th District on plans for taxes, funding our public schools and addressing the surge in serious crime in the 138th District,” says Pereira who appears to hold the cards for the district endorsement and recruited the candidates to seek office. “Politicians must be held accountable for keeping their campaign promises.”

Paoletto, Smith
Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith.

Although Pereira, as district leader, is backing Bassey and Small, the incumbents will be supported by Mayor Joe Ganim and Town Chair Mario Testa. Paoletto is deputy treasurer of the mayor’s exploratory committee for statewide office. Party endorsements in recent years haven’t meant a whole lot in primaries.

Pereira, the self-styled piranha of city politics, seized control of the district in a town committee primary last year. She’s on a collision course with the party establishment including Ganim whom she backed for mayor in 2015. As establishment fighters go she is the number-one lightning rod in city politics who gives as good as she takes, although often accused in the OIB comments section of loathe to compromise leading to fractured political relationships.

Paoletto, who became the youngest elected councilman in city history two years ago, is among the new faces of city politics. His father served the district for many years. Smith joined Paoletto as the Democratic nominees in the 2015 general election after she won a runoff by nearly two to one over James Morton after they were locked in a tie following the September Democratic primary vote with Morton running on then Mayor Bill Finch’s line and Smith on Joe Ganim’s line.

Pereira has success delivering candidates she backs in the district with relentless retail campaigning and detailed dossiers on candidates. As a candidate, she gave State House incumbent Charlie Stallworth a primary scare last year in the 126th District that includes the Hooker School precinct which is her base support. Stallworth ran up just enough numbers in his base support Wilbur Cross and Hallen precincts to edge out a win. JFK is the other precinct in the 138th District.

Given the political machinations of this council race, this is a good one to watch.



  1. Danny Roach has also pick a dancer in Black Rock to replace his sister, but first the Dancing Doctor has a court date,
    I’m sure Mario and Danny can get those charges drop for Dr. Two-Step.
    But first he has to return Ganim’s Fishnet and Denim ensemble.

  2. Let’s not forget that Maria Pereira was the biggest supporter for Joe Ganim and Dennis Bradley who became the President of the Bridgeport Board Of Education and that puts a dark shadow of her choice in candidates.

  3. Every City Council candidate that ran on Ganim’s ticket lost except for Paoletto and Nessah. Every single one.

    Anthony Paoletto is the youngest city council representative ever elected. Our goal is to make sure he also holds the title of the youngest elected city council member to lose his seat.

    Here we go! It will be Anthony and Nessah who have to collect signatures, not our candidates.

    Michele and Timothy have zero conflicts. Neither are city employees, neither have immediate family members whom are city employees, and both believe in our true public schools.

    1. “I raised hundreds for Ed, we took a professional photo with Ed and sent out 800 endorsement letters from the 138th TC, we had the president of Nob Hill Condominium with 376 units send an endorsement letter for Ed, we had Dottie Guman and Gloria Carbone send out endorsement letters, we got over 100 ABs, and We worked JFK for Ed although JFK is not in my state rep. district, and we volunteered at the polls for Ed.”

      Maria Pereira, you created a conflict for Michelle Small. I know you read my post from a few days ago. Any comments? Perhaps you can get them a headquarters at 2444 E. Main Street @ 700% below fair market rental value. Sounded like a hypocrite every time you wrote that the Lighthouse Program should pay their fair amount of rent.

      1. “BTW, Maria Pereira. When you wrote, “we got over 100 ABs…,” Was Michelle Small involved? She is “the president of Nob Hill Condominium.”

  4. Joe Ganim and Dennis Bradley were both and elected because of Maria Pereira strong support and look how that has worked out for the City and the Bridgeport Board Of Education, thanks Maria for nothing.

  5. If Ms. Maria is backing this couple, watch out BOE! However, the Bpt. School System is much better off with a State Appointed BOE, it’s high time to get away from the same old do nothing, locally elected Bpt. BOE members. It’s a thankless political position that has not in 40yrs. Been able to make and keep smart sound decisions that help the students, teachers, staff and overall student guardians in making the entire school system a safer , better academics, budget minded, future driven educational meca in Ct.

    1. Mojo, I believe on local control of the BOE but you make some good points, All of this on fighting and name calling is not doing anything to improve the education of the students. We need to go om another direction.

  6. I love the haters on here who don’t have ten votes, couldn’t win an election as a petitioning candidate if their life depended on it, and just whine…

  7. There are so many small minded men who post on this blog who simply cannot accept a strong woman who is effective, has repeatedly come up against the machine and won, and is not intimidated by either them or the powers that be.

    Neither Day,Mackey,Weintrub,Fardy,Gonzalez, etc. have come close to winning 11 of 12 elections in a seven year timeframe. I’m sure that hurts their fragile male egos, however I and others who are focused on the 2017 elections simply don’t have the time to nurse their shattered egos.

    Upward and onward.

    1. Maria, once again thank you for helping to elect Joe Ganim as mayor and Dennis Bradley to the Bridgeport Board Of Education, that’s what you have bought to the voters of Bridgeport.

      Maria, you have NO political skills to expand outside of Thomas Hooker School area. You have NO political skills to form a coalition with other City districts and in fact you can’t even form a coalition inside of the BOE. Maria why is it that NOBODY speaks highly of you on OIB? The only person who agrees with you is yourself. Everything is about Maria, you are doing nothing to improve the education of the students in Bridgeport.

    2. Maria you could not win the one election that was open to you. You lost to a do nothing for State Rep. Yes you have a big mouth and get away with it because you are a women. A man would be physically challenged The last TC I was on here in the 138 was in power for 30 or more years. We had a state Rep, State Comptroller. State Senator, Head of Policy and management all from the 138th. You win a few bullshit election and you think you are kingmaker. Bullshit

    3. *** Lets not get strong minded women mixed up with possible Bi-polar vindictive women that think their the only soul answer to the city’s political and public education’s short-comings. It’s been run by the same political party and local elected BOE personal for the last 40+ years. The adult names may change in the city’s political games but the results have basically stayed the same. It needs complete different political change from top to bottom for a fresh new start & even then there’s no garantees of success! That means “no” locally elected B.O.E for the school system. ***

  8. Poor Maria, you have a convoluted sense of self worth and self value. Everyone that you named not only embrace strong women, but have strong women in their lives. We have a problem with YOU. It’s not a women problem it’s a Maria problem that which we have a problem with.

  9. Maria,I don’t have a problem with “strong”women,don’t flatter yourself,you’re not what I would consider a “strong” women.Names that come to mind would be Judge Lopez,Michelle Obama,Jody Rell,Ella Grasso,etc,etc…You aren’t in the same league,you’re more of an attention seeking,bitter woman..The BOE will be better when your term has expired..

  10. Maria, you said, “There are so many small minded men who post on this blog who simply cannot accept a strong woman who is effective,” we all know that you are NOT talking about yourself when you said, “a strong woman who is effective.” Maria, let me give a list of four strong woman who are effective  and who are friends who I’ve worked with and supported, Sauda Baraka, Marilyn Moore, Judge Carmen Lopez and Lisa Parziale and you Maria couldn’t even carry their water.

  11. Got nothing to do with the candidates she’s endorsing, it’s about her ways & high time needed change from the same old local BOE to a new state run board to get away from local Bpt. politics. And new party personel on the city council!

    1. So are you also saying the state should appoint Mayor, BDTC members as while. further more should the president appoint the governors? If not then it has everything to do with Maria’s endorsement just like the endorsement of the DTC. Haters going to Hater. JS

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