Pereira’s Absentee Ballot Effort Indirectly Aided Moore–What Could Have Been

Absentee ballot count by district

You’ll hear heightened hullabaloo over the next few weeks about absentee ballots this and absentee ballots that, an aggressive ploy by the Democratic political organization to thwart Marilyn Moore’s insurrection of incumbent Joe Ganim in Tuesday’s primary.

Moore won the machine count by roughly 350 votes only to be trounced by absentee ballots, 962 to 303, something Moore political operatives fully expected. They just weren’t sure if it would be by 500, 600 or 700.

Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, fearing a tide moving toward Moore, rallied campaign operatives to bank, as insurance, absentee ballots that have become a bigger part of the political establishment’s campaign plan. Moore’s operation said very little about the coming AB storm during the campaign.

There’s nothing wrong with banking absentee ballots, there’s a legitimate way of wooing voters in the cause of elevating a candidate. Ganim’s side worked it, Moore’s side worked it. Moore and some of her supporters have now raised the specter of a diabolical plot urging state and federal authorities to examine potential impropriety. Trouble is, so far the Moore camp has provided no specific examples, something that may or may not come.

Other Moore supporters, in contrast, assert privately if you poke that absentee ballot bear it might come back to bite you, arguing they had their own unsavory characters working the process. Sure, take a look at Ganim’s AB operation, but what if someone starts looking into Moore’s campaign machinations? They will see this 2018 guilty plea from Betty Chappell for absentee ballot fraud in connection with a Stratford mayoral race.

Chappell has been paid $1,400 by Moore’s campaign, according to her latest campaign finance report. See moorefinancereport

Chappell worked for Ganim’s 2015 mayoral campaign as well, but settled on Moore this cycle.

Out of 23 primary precincts Moore enjoyed just one area she eclipsed Ganim by absentee ballots, Hooker School on the Upper East Side, the support base of outgoing school board member Maria Pereira whose primary win for City Council was aided by an aggressive absentee ballot effort.

Pereira did not have a dog in the mayoral primary fight. She’s no fan of Ganim and she’s rather underwhelmed by Moore who did not ask for Pereira’s support after political supporters urged her to keep her distance maintaining Pereira’s a high-octane personality who eventually turns on candidates she supports.

Some of them may wish for a do-over. Here’s why. Elections are ultimately determined by vote swings. The latest unofficial results from the website of the Connecticut Secretary of the State shows Ganim winning with 5,304 votes to Moore’s 5,034, a difference of 270 for a vote swing of 135. Take 135 votes away from Ganim and give them to Moore, now it’s dead even. It’s that simple.

At Hooker School, Pereira spent 14 hours urging voters to fill in her oval along with running mate Samia Suliman on Line B where Moore was located. She did not push a candidate for mayor but results show Moore indirectly benefited from Pereira’s effort both on the machine count as well as absentee ballots. Moore defeated Ganim at Hooker on the machines 300 to 261, the only precinct she carried in the eastern portion of the city where Ganim dominated, albeit with a breakdown in Hispanic turnout that Ganim failed to maximize. Moore defeated Ganim by absentees at Hooker 37 to 29. That’s an indirect product of Pereira’s campaigning.

The voter atmosphere clearly existed for Moore to win such a large machine count to overcome Ganim’s large absentee advantage.

Campaigns, in the end, center on a strategy to push the candidate over the finish line. If Moore had made a couple of reasonable adjustments during her race, you’d not be hearing about that dastardly establishment swindling the race.

Example 1 is Pereira. You schmooze her support, let her do her thing in a small window for the bigger cause of winning. Moore preferred Tony Barr’s support at Hooker over Pereira where Pereira received 285 votes to Barr’s 51 for City Council.

Even without pushing Moore, Pereira’s effort aided her. Just imagine if Pereira had all her supporters pushing Line B. That’s votes away from Ganim that would go to Moore. In addition, Moore would have run stronger at JFK, the other precinct in the 138th District with Pereira and Suliman pushing Line B.

Another example is Chris Caruso, a two-time mayoral candidate and political warrior who was willing to serve as the campaign’s pit bull to contrast Moore versus Ganim; highlight issues that escaped the campaign and warn against the proliferation of absentee ballots. If Caruso’s screaming about absentee ballots during the course of the primary it’s going to give opposition operatives some pause about not pushing the effort.

Hindsight is 20/20? Not in these instances. OIB, in both editorial and comments section had vigorous discussions about Moore not maximizing votes because of her rejection of Pereira and underutilization of Caruso.

Other instances exist of poor strategic planning in the Moore camp that cost her the primary. Ganim, as well, had his own share of strategic failures, but that’s another story.



  1. I don’t even want to touch this subject. It’s like hot potatoes. Just keep on throwing it around. One thing I can say. There is a lot of bitterness going around here.

    1. Paging Lennie Grimaldi, you had stated: “Absentee ballots could play a pivotal role. The Town Clerk’s Office reports that about 1,600 Democrats have voted by absentee ballot. Ganim will bank a major share of those votes.”
      The combined total of ballots cast is 962+303=1265. let’s try to balance out 1600-1265=335

      Yes, 335 unaccounted votes–that’s 32 votes more than the 303 votes for Moore. Am I missing something in my method of calculation? Are you sure that was the figure-1600-that you heard.

      1. Good point, Speedy. Yes, about 1600 ballots were returned to the Town Clerk’s Office. Just because voters fill out an absentee ballot doesn’t mean they did so accurately. Generally 10 to 20 percent of returned ballots are disqualified because electors failed to fill them out, according to directions. Most of those ballots disqualified were likely Ganim votes.

        1. The Town Clerk received about 3000 AB applications of which about 1600 were returned. About 1400-about 45%-ABs WERE NOT returned. I’m told that this is normal. Is it unique to Bridgeport? Does this happen in Hartford, New Haven or Waterbury? The Moore camp fell asleep at the wheel considering the huge number of ABs sent out and ready to harvest. Shit, they even had a nice Harvest Moon to assist in the effort.

  2. The way I see it, Joe’s very unpopular, or should I say, Joe’s too white 🙂 And the chances of another run for Governor with a different outcome is very questionable. I would have to say if Chris and Dennis bring a casino to the Port. One of them can take out Joe. Chris is more suited than Dennis. The Port is not big enough for Dennis Watch out, Himes. 🙂 Dennis is like a Peacock we have to let him fly. 🙂

    As for Maria, she going to such a pain in the ass for the Port’s council and its politics. They are going to send her to Hartford. 🙂

  3. Let’s take a look at the list of people I worked to help get elected based on the commitments they made to earn my hundreds hours of volunteerism and my ability to raise campaign funds.

    Every single one of them betrayed those that helped elect them and were co-opted by the corrupt DTC.

    2013- Dave Henessey & Andre Baker
    2015- Joe Ganim
    Dennis Bradley
    Anthony Paoletto/ Nessah Smith
    Karen Jackson BOE
    2017- Karen Jackson

    I raised every one of these candidates between $1,000 – $10,000.

    Let’s also look at those I worked very hard to elect who have turned their backs on me because I would not work to elect Marilyn Moore.

    2015- Ed Gomes Special Election
    2016- Ed Gomes vs. Dennis Bradley
    2018- Aaron Turner vs. Dennis Bradley

    Ed Gomes will not seek office again, but Aaron Turner will. I will not lift a finger for him when he does.

    I made a decision that I would not endorse ANY candidate, volunteer or raise funds to elect ANY candidate unless they have demonstrated through their actions, not rhetoric, that they will keep every campaign promise.

    A candidates previous actions will be examined, not their sudden position.

    Marilyn Moore has not been a champion for our 20,400 students and the BPS.

    I do not live in North Korea. The decision as to whether I endorse, raise money for, or provide hundreds of hours of volunteerism to elect a candidate for office is SOLELY my decision to make

    For those of you who don’t like it, that’s your problem not mine

    1. Maria, you said, “Marilyn Moore has not been a champion for our 20,400 students and the BPS.” Ok Maria, what did the other candidate for mayor, Joe Ganim, actually do for our 20,400 students and the BPS?

      1. They both did nothing, therefore I did not vote for ANY mayoral candidate.

        As I have stated here previously the lesser of two evils is still evil.

        I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton either.

        Let it go, Mackey. I am not responsible for Marilyn Moore’s loss. Look to her, her campaign leadership and the WFP as those responsible for her loss because that is where it rests.

        1. Maria, you have no leadership qualities, you can’t inspire and motivate others, you have no adaptability, you have NO vision to look beyond today, to tomorrow and beyond, no team building ability and so much more. Maria, you can’t form a coalition with 9 other council member to get anything pass unless Ganim and Mario tell those council members what to do. You have only one vote out of 20 council members, oh that’s right Samia will do whatever you tell her to do. No matter what Senator Marilyn Moore did or didn’t do in her campaign she did something that nobody has done, Marilyn Moore beat Joe Ganim at the voting polls, nobody has achieve what Marilyn Moore has. Senator Moore gave Bridgeport its best chance to take Ganim out of office and to take power away from Mario Testa, they are the common enemy of who want change, not you Maria or anybody else has come this far and this was Marilyn time running in a Citywide election and being a black woman.

          “Ganim’s primary victory also marked a rare loss” –

          1. Sure, Mackey. I do know how to win though. 🙂

            I have now won 18 of 21 elections I have been involved in.

            I have only lost the following:

            1) My state rep. race against Stallworth after the Charter $school industry spent $32,000 in the last 21 days to defeat me. It was the largest campaign I had even run and I definitely made mistakes.

            2) 2018 DTC race after I had major back surgery and was in recovery.

            3) Although we did a great job for Aaron Turner and delivered the 138th District to him for State Senator last year, he lost. Quite honestly his campaign was the worst campaign I had ever worked on. I knew six weeks out he had no chance of winning.

            When you have that kind of record, Mackey, then you can talk. Until then just shhhhh.

          2. Maria, as I said before you should be the mayor of the 138th district and secede from Bridgeport. Maria your record demonstrates that you don’t have the ability to form a coalition to pass legislation or to have ability to lobby others to your point of to get legislation. Your record shows no ability to compromise which is needed in negotiation to offset impasse. Maria you want the perfect because the good doesn’t work and it’s not in your playbook. You have no ability to sit down the mayor to discuss issues for your district and to show the mayor that it would be in the best interest of the voters, in fact you can’t sit down with any to discuss anything unless they give you everything you want and the hell with others position and needs because it’s all about Maria. The City is facing so many serious problems from taxes, funding education, the police department just for starters but you didn’t care who got elected mayor because you didn’t like either candidate and you knew that you don’t have the ability to sit Marilyn Moore and Joe Ganim to make suggestions that would help the city. No, because you couldn’t get the perfect you said the hell with the problems that the city has because it’s more important that you, Maria Pereira, is elected to the City Council where you will have no power and influence to change anything to help the taxpayers.

  4. If you lived in South Korea it would be Seouley. Trying to pin the Tail on Maria completely tries to obfuscate the failure of the Moore campaign to secure WFP or any alternative ballot line.

  5. A friend called me because I forgot the following two individuals:

    2009 & 2013- Sauda Baraka
    2010, 2013 & 2016- Eric Stewart-Alicea

    The amount of deragatory comments these two have made about me has been disgraceful.

    In 2013, Sauda and Eric not only beat the endorsed Democrats in the General for BOE at Thomas Hooker School, they received MORE votes than Dave,Andre and Howard which was critical to Sauda’s victory. I raised both Sauda and Eric almost $2,000 for their BOE campaigns. Eric did very little work and Lindsey Farrel told me she wished they had not endorsed him. Yet they endorsed him again this year.

    I asked Eric to run for the 138th DTC in 2016. We each had to raise $375. He did not even raise $200. He did very little work.

    In 2016 I ran for State Rep. and paid Eric $2,000 to be my Treasurer. The errors were numerous and even after I told him he must file a campaign report for October, he did not and was fined $100.

    In 2017 I ended up in the hospital for almost 5 consecutive weeks. He asked my significant other to drive the Cadillac I was driving. I was in incredible pain and had a long recovery, therefore I could not drive. My boyfriend let him drive the car for about four months. Eric did NOT pay $1 for the insurance, a rental fee, etc. When my boyfriend asked for it back Eric ran around telling people my boyfriend asked for it back because of me. While I was in recovery, and Eric was driving the vehicle I typically drove,I received calls from those I trust that Eric was making disparaging remarks about me around town. I called him about it and he denied it. I could feel the tension over the phone and knew it was absolutely true.

    All Eric should have said to my boyfriend is thank you for your generosity.

    Just a few months ago Jessica Martinez tried to throw in my face that “even Eric Alicea talks sh_t about you.” I called Eric again and asked him “why do you keep talking about me?” He said “I don’t talk about you ANYMORE?”. I asked Eric “what have I ever done to you but try to help you? When you were unemployed and getting evicted I fed your kids, did everything to help delay your eviction, and I did everything I could to help you find a new home .”

    All he could say was “I never asked you to feed my kids.” He had nothing else he could say and then hung up the phone on me.

    I heard several poll standers talk about how Eric stole money from a church and was a thief at Thomas Hooker School. Someone referenced this alleged theft on OIB. I certainly hope it is not true.

    These are the ungrateful people I have helped elect.

    I am going to be MUCH more careful about who I raise money for, endorse and volunteer for.

    It is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. Clearly I have made many mistakes regarding supporting some of those seeking elected office.

    I just want to do better.

    1. I didn’t run for anything in 2010.

      Your significant other refused to take any money from me. He said ” You’re doing me a favor keeping the car away.”

      Furthermore, while you were in the hospital calling everyone with caller ID on folks started asking questions about you. On one particular night, Lisa Parziale asked how you were doing to JoAnne and I. We both told her that you were doing okay, and was still working to get better. The other Maria (tax office) overheard the conversation and all of a sudden you’re calling me non-stop.

      The only other time I have publicly went against you was your silly attempt at using “Fight the Power,” a song about white privilege and police brutality against Howard Gardner.

      Say what you want, I’m glad you spell my name correctly.

      1. You are correct, it was 2011. You ran for Vice-President of the DPAC and I did everything in my power to help you and your slate win.

        And you and your slate did win.

        My point about not paying anything to utilize the Cadillac was that when Frank asked you for the car back you should have simply said “thank you” for your generosity. Instead you ran around town telling people he asked it be returned because I demanded he do so. That was a lie.

        I was calling you about the petitioning effort for BOE and City Council. The only people I called were my family and those involved in the petition drive . You were running the petition drive which is why I was calling YOU.

        I didn’t state that you “publiclly” disparaged me, however you had plenty to say to plenty of people in the Bridgeport community. I received several calls from a number of people who I trust emphatically.

        You certainly were not grateful for any of the help I/we gave you whether personally or politically.

        By the way, clearly one school (really two) clearly can make a difference in an election, especially when both schools are in the top 5 polling locations .

    1. Ron Mackey, is that all you can say on this topic. Isn’tit obvious that Maria didn’t need any of them. She did it her way. What say you if I add to Lennie’s analysis and put it this way. The $1000 contribution by John Ricci to Pereira and Suliman, indirectly benefited Moore.

      1. Joel, according to Maria it was ok for her to accept the $1000.00 from John Ricci because he’s a friend but remember the connection between Ricci and Joe Ganim and Mario Testa was not that bad for her to keep that $1000.00 although she claims she dislikes Gamin but she doesn’t dislike the fact Ricci is one of Ganim and Mario biggest supporters. So Joe Ganim was supporting Maria with Ricci $1000.00 donation.

        1. LOL! You are simply behaving like a spoiled toddler.

          I am proud to call John Ricci my friend.

          By the way, John Ricci also donated to Andre Baker,,Howard Gardner, and Dave Hennessey in 2013. I am pretty sure he donated to Sauda Baraka and Eric Stewart Alicea on the WFP line in 2013.

          1. Maria, I’m not talking about Andre Baker, Howard Gardner, Dave Hennessey, Sauda Baraka and Eric Stewart Alicea on the WFP line in 2013, I’m talking about you, Maria Pereira, you are the one making the claim about how much you dislike Joe Ganim but you have no problem taking money from Ganim’s top supporter but you want to be soooo pure. NOBODY on OIB has thrown more shade at Marilyn Moore than you about how poor her campaign was but NOTHING about John Ricci good friend, Joe Ganim. Maria, here’s how much don’t care about the 138th district and Bridgeport. The Democrat primary had only two candidates for mayor, Joe Ganim and Marilyn Moore, one of those two would be running the City of Bridgeport for the next four years and you made the choice to criticize and throw disparaging remarks at Marilyn Moore and not Joe Ganim. You showed ZERO leadership in supporting by not supporting a candidate for mayor thereby showing that you didn’t give a damn about who would be the mayor for the next four years. It’s all about Maria.

  6. Ron Mackey, none of these people were my “friends.” They were candidates for elected office. Nothing more nothing less.

    I have very few “friends” and that is exactly how I want to keep it. Remember, only your “friends” can betray you.

    Keep your inner circle small, very small.

    1. Sounds like Mackey is thinking of moving close to you Maria. It looks like the Pereira effect will be felt in the general election. Maria Pereira formed her own party and running for BOE under her party’s banner.She will also be on the ballot for City Council in the 138th on the Ganim line. If Maria wins the BBOE seat and the Council seat she would have to choose which one to stay on. I don’t see Maria winning both seats. She has the Council seat in the bag. Should Maria drop out of the BOE race? Hell no, I say. She has invested allot to come this far. Be the spoiler that you can be. It’s not like the best BOE candidates won the primary. Besides, Maria has to get a plurality of voters to vote for her on her party line in order to stay active and relevant, as a party.

      1. I am not REQUIRED to vote for or support ANYONE.

        I am not REQUIRED to volunteer for ANY candidate.

        I am not REQUIRED to criticize or praise ANY candidate.

        I an not REQUIRED to support YOUR candidate.

        If you wanted YOUR candidate to win the Primary you should have gotten off your ass and knocked on doors in 90 degree weather for hours in the 138th District.

        I do NOT report to you. Got it? Good.

        1. Maria I have a question for you. I totally agree that you aren’t required to support anyone.

          My question, in November you will be on row A with Ganimn. You’ve expressed your disgust with him and Mario.
          Will you be encouraging your voter base to vote for you, samia and your party line or will you support the entire row A. With Ganim as Mayor?

          1. We will be asking voters to vote for ourselves. We will not be asking voters to support anyone else on Row A.

  7. None of the six Democratic BOE candidates were exceptional candidates.

    Exceptional as in Max Medina, Sauda Baraka, Bobby Simmons, Howard Gardner, Ben Walker,John Bagley, exceptional.

      1. None. What does their “public support” do for me in the 138th District?

        I spoke with Bobby Simmons repeatedly who supported me. John Bagley definitely supported me.

        How many members of the Bridgeport delegation publicly supported Marilyn Moore for Mayor?


        1. You are the only candidate on OIB bragging about who they supported and what you did for them, it’s always what you did and nothing about us or team or the coalition, it’s only about Maria and how Maria is the true blue savior all by herself.

          1. Considering I only worked on behalf of Samia and I have no idea what you are talking about

            I did not help a single other candidate.

            Going forward I will be very careful about those I do choose to support.

  8. The establishment can’t be thrilled with the thought of Maria joining the CC and potentially rocking the boat on what is essentially a rubber stamp Council that does what they are told. Not sure Maria can get much done as the lone wolf, but it should be entertaining to say the least.

    1. Harvey, Maria is doing a disservice to the taxpayers of the 138th district because you has no relationship with Mayor Ganim, she can’t form a coalition of other council members because that’s not her style plus they have seen and heard enough about Maria in not to trust her. Maria could not get four other BBOE members to form a majority so how the hell will she get 9 other council members to give them a majority, in fact she won’t find any other council member from another district. She’ll talk loud and get nothing done for her district.

      1. Let me tell you. CC meetings are even more tightly controlled,according to Roberts Rules. What happens is that the microphone gets shut off. There will be a rude awakening for any new City Council members.

    Interesting in 2012 i ran for my old seat State Senate i was The endorsed candidate. Gomes and Ayala ran against me. I Won on the machines but losted because of the absentee ballots under the finch administration. Some of the same people who supported Sen. Moore worked on the absentee ballots against me. If you want change our senators and Rep’s must support early Voting in connecticut.

    1. Your old seat on the State Senate? That seat no longer exist Ernie. Soon after you started serving your sentence, the majority leader ordered the Capitol Police take the seat outside the back of the building and burn it. The current seat is a replica. You want early voting? Have folks start lining up at the polls at 5 a.m. The legislators already supported early voting bill and it was voted down by the voters. Do you know that 3000 people requested ABs but, only about 1600 voted and sent the ballot back? How much more time should we give them to fill and send those ballot back?

      1. Joel
        I forgot you are burn out i remember former Mayor John Mandini son own 1491 central ave.A senior complex and John adao ran the Dining center absentee ballots in those two facilities 1000’s of votes came in. Joel by the way i was talking about me winning on the machines and losing the race because of AB’s. Please speak to that!

    2. @Ernie Newton
      It doesn’t matter if members of the State Legislature support early voting.
      It was a statewide ballot question a few years ago and the VOTERS of CT rejected it.

      I supported it and canvassed for it, but the voters said no.
      It can’t be changed by the legislature alone, it requires a plebiscite.

  10. As I look at the AB results,One thing sticks out like the sore thumb and that is the results in 130-1 which I assume to be Aquaculture. This was the only polling place that gave Ganim triple digit votes and the gap between Ganim and Moore was startlingly far and wide If we want to break the AB gaming system,this is a good place to start. Twin Towers. P.T Barnum. Why does Testa own so many votes.?

    1. I thought I read where these were legally required to be supervised places from Denise Merill. According to her answer to the LWV it’s the register of voters office responsibility to adhere to this requirement.
      Or did I miss something?
      Could this be the reason he owns these votes?
      If I’m wrong please inform me

    2. BINGO!!!!!! “STREET MONEY,” this where the machine does its biggest get out the vote with NO check and balance. At Twin Towers there’s no way to stop or to check the activity of the AB operation of going into room after room after room on what happened in getting that AB ballots and if money was given. Just look at the voting numbers of AB in past primary and general elections.

      1. So wouldn’t that be a strong reason to contest the abs from these establishments with an seec complaint?

        If they are legally required to be supervised and the register of voters office is NOT complying that validates the issue of ab FRAUD and ABUSE.
        Seems simple enough, right?

  11. Wow
    Maria I’m at a city council meeting tonight You didn’t tell us you loss on the mechine at both school to Councilwoman Nessah Smith but won with abs Hooker and at ESMS wowww

  12. I was the top vote getter at Thomas Hooker School. Nessah Smith was second.

    Nessah was the third vote getter at JFK and I was fourth.

    I beat everyone on ABs at Thomas Hooker School and JFK.

    I received the most votes, and Samia received the second most of all 18 Democratic candidates on the ballot citywide.

    Considering Samia and I were in a three way City Council race in the 138th District, and the other three districts were only in a two way race. I think those are impressive results.

    Ernie, you were in a three way race for City Council and ended up in a recount and only beat a first time candidate by 9 votes.

    Notably Samia and I are not in a recount.

    Ernie, were you the top vote getter for City Council in the entire city when you were elected in 2017? 🙂


      1. You did not answer my question?

        Were you the top vote getter out of all city council candidates citywide in 2017?

        I know the answer. I just want to know if you know the answer.

        1. Maria
          No I wasn’t the Top Vote getter I was in the top tee group. Remember I was Elected because my district believed in me even with everything I was going through Dealing with legal issues. Being sentence to 6 months/Supreme Court overturning my case on campaign issues. 7 years later I’m still standing not even the great Maria can say that.

          1. Ernie, Maria’s last election for the BBOE clearly demonstrated that she didn’t have the type of citywide support by the fact that there was a recount to determine who won. Maria realize that her best chance to get elected is to be “the big fish in a small pond” and pond is the 138th district.

  13. Hi Ron! I am back. You must’ve been praying for me. I had surgery and now I am fully recovered. Let’s get ready to rumble about the politcs in our city.


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