Presidential caucus and primary fever abound nationally, but in Bridgeport pols are gearing up for March 1 Democratic Town Committee primaries in potentially four districts featuring a cast of characters for control of the party.
Elections officials are reviewing the petition sheets of slates trying to qualify for the ballot in the quest to join the 90-member DTC that endorses candidates for office and selects a chairman. Slates need signatures from five percent of registered Democrats in the respective districts. Absentee ballots are key in these low-turnout events. They will be ready for distribution on February 9. Political operatives are circulating absentee ballot applications in the respective districts. Bridgeport has 10 town committee districts with 9 members per. Here’s a glimpse if all slates qualify for the ballot.
In the 131st District covering the South End, Downtown and portion of West End, long-time district leader Mitch Robles and City Council members Denese Taylor-Moye and Jack Banta face a challenge slate led by former City Council member Mary Bruce.
The 132nd District covering the West Side features town committee incumbents in a split rivalry. Former City Council President Lisa Parziale has assembled a slate that includes former city councilor Bob Halstead and school board member Howard Gardner taking on long-time district leader Mike Freddino and council members Evette Brantley and John Olson.
On the East Side 137th District a challenge slate featuring Juan Hernandez and former council member Maria Valle is taking on a slate that includes veteran district leader Gilberto Hernandez, City Clerk Lydia Martinez, education advocate Jessica Martinez and council member Aidee Nieves.
The Upper East Side 138th District could have 27 candidates. School board member Maria Pereira has assembled a slate of neighborhood activists against a slate that includes council members Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith. Former council member Leticia Colon and multiple candidate for public office Charles Hare have also joined forces on a third slate.
The top 9 vote producers among all the candidates win election to the town committee.