Several Democratic primaries for City Council will take place September 10 joining a citywide race for Board of Education. Elections officials on Friday were reviewing the petitions of school board challengers Andre Baker, David Hennessey and Howard Gardner but the slate is expected to be approved for the ballot having submitted roughly twice the number of the more than 2000 signatures required for certification. They will face endorsed candidates Simon Castillo, Katie Bukovsky and Brandon Clark in what is shaping up as a food fight for control of the school board.
The school board race is a major test for political supporters of Mayor Bill Finch trying to stave off a challenge that is expected to be well financed by education interests and a ground operation led by the Bridgeport Education Association, Connecticut Working Families Party and seasoned political operatives aligned with the opposition slate. Rob Traber, vice president of the BEA that represents unionized education employees, is a veteran of city elections. Both sides are also expected to receive independent expenditures.
City Council primaries:
In the West Side 132nd District, city activist Robert Halstead and Trish Swain will face incumbents John Olson and Evette Brantley.
In the North End 135th District, Rev. Mary McBride-Lee and Richard Salter will challenge incumbents Warren Blunt and Richard Bonney.
In the East Side 136th District Richard DeJesus and Alfredo Castillo are opposing incumbents Carlos Silva and Angel DePara.
In the East Side 137th District incumbent Lydia Martinez and Milta Feliciano will take on endorsed ex-councilwoman Maria Valle running with Aidee Nieves. Valle and Nieves have also been approved for the Connecticut Working Families Party line in the November general election.