Political Campaigning In The Thick Of Corona

Has your life changed? Altered dramatically? Pretty much the same? No pea brain, I’m out of work! Depends. Right now, it’s not pretty. Pour a cup of resilience.

One thing that has been altered–for now–is the state of city politics and how candidates go about raising money and building coalitions based upon the state election calendar.

Governor Ned Lamont has limited all sorts of things, understandably, parsing essential versus non-essential services in the cause of derailing this nasty c-word bug.

If you’re an incumbent it appears everything has collided beneficially with the pause button, even for State Senator Dennis Bradley who looked like he was heading for a challenging reelection given his issues. He does not have an announced challenger.

No one, for now, wants to appear ambitious unless you were out there well before the health crisis on a national level such as Joe Biden who, barring an unexpected political tsunami, will be the Democratic standard bearer in November against Donald Trump who’s growing cure-versus-cause impatient. Trump will likely cite spikes in suicides and domestic violence to make his case against isolation.

Closer to home, party endorsements in May could actually take place in virtual/video/teleconferencing ways while pols are going about their business under the radar including City Councilman Marcus Brown who’s challenging State Senator Marilyn Moore in an August Democratic primary.

Moore is updating constituents about health emergency news while taking selective shots at Trump’s eagerness to fill churches by Easter. From her Facebook page: “I really try to not bash him but he makes it hard. This is what happens when elections get co opted and idiots are in charge. Hope we learn from this fiasco.”

One week from April this is usually the time campaigns begin in earnest, lobbying endorsement support, raising money and building field operations to secure sufficient signatures for ballot access, if needed. That raises a question: if this health emergency stretches into late May how will that impact the two-week window for challengers to lobby voters to sign petition sheets?

It shouldn’t be an issue for the Moore-Brown race. As a multi-town district (Bridgeport, Trumbull, Monroe) the candidates need only 15 percent delegate support to qualify for the August primary. In lieu of that, a candidate may pursue the signature route.

The rules are different for single-town races, for instance in Bridgeport all six state house districts encompass Bridgeport solely. Challengers must petition to qualify for the ballot.

The health scare has had a peculiar influence on fundraising, given the governor’s executive order restricting crowds. Invitations for grub and libations at the local catering hall are on hold. A premium is now placed on phone calls and email blasts directing supporters to donor pages.

And then there’s this for some would-be donors: don’t ask, I’m broke.



  1. I am disgusted at how slow the city has responded to protect its essential workers. Cops who are still required to go out and make contact with people everyday for 8 hours are getting sick and still no Masks given to them. Well now it’s too late because they’re getting sick and going home to their families. Because the city was so incompetent their spouses and children are now at risk. What a great Thank You by the city. But yet you want them to come back and live here and pay outrageous taxes. Why? You throw them under the bus everyday and demonize them. Now with COVID-19 they get no help but are forced to work. It’s going to be interesting who’s going to patrol the streets when 300 cops go out sick for 14+ days

  2. The current situation has got to throw a monkeywrench in the works for the vaunted absentee ballot machine! Will these be the first honest elections/primaries in history? Or are they already trying to figure out a way around it?


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