‘Rock And Roll’–Newton Weighs State Senate Run Against Bradley

Ernie Newton, left, stands behind Joe Ganim on election night. He also supported Ganim in the Democratic primary.

City Councilman Ernie Newton, the “returning citizen navigator,” is a resilient survivor in city politics. You gotta get up to get down. Newton know the highs and lows of campaigning. Lately, he’s been vertical returning two years ago to the City Council where he made his start in city politics in 1981.

Newton became the first black City Council president, parlayed that into the State House, then State Senate before a public corruption conviction derailed his career about 15 years ago.

In 2012 he returned to politics, losing a close State Senate primary to Andres Ayala. He stayed active rebuilding his political relationships. As an employee of Career Resources, he helps former offenders assimilate back into the work force, encouraging local employers to embrace his second-chance message.

Bradley thumbs up
Dennis Bradley thumb up on primary day in 2018. He was thumb down for Ganim in 2019 reelection primary.

Now Newton is considering a challenge of freshman Senator Dennis Bradley who occupies Newton’s old senate seat that covers about two thirds of Bridgeport and a portion of western Stratford.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, the number of people asking me to run,” says Newton who expects to make a decision by the end of January. The election process is moved up in this state cycle, with party endorsements in May, followed by the petition process to wage an August primary.

As a result of his public conviction Newton cannot participate in Connecticut’s program of publicly financed races. It means Newton must raise money the old-fashion way via larger-dollar donations from individuals.

He’d be challenging an incumbent who’s had his share of issues with the public financing program. In October 2018 the State Elections Enforcement Commission denied Bradley’s application for a general election $95,000 public campaign grant for violations of campaign finance laws.

Bradley captured his seat in 2018 after failed runs for State House in 2014 and State Senate in 2016.

Some establishment Democratic operatives are grousing about Bradley not taking a side in the mayoral primary between incumbent Joe Ganim and State Senator Marilyn Moore, and then showing little enthusiasm for Ganim as the party nominee in the general election. Politics is a game of score-keeping.

All of Bridgeport’s eight-member state legislative delegation are up for reelection so some of them may face Democratic primaries as well.

If Newton runs he says “get ready to rock and roll.”



  1. Sounds like Mario signed off on this for Ernie.Dennis didn’t “pick a side” and endorse Joe,so now he will pay…It’s all starting to make sense now though,last year,in the begining of the campaign season, when Mario was handing out nominations Ernie proclaimed “no one asked me for an endorsement,so I’m on my own”..but by the end of the election Ernie got in line and was in Joe’s corner,I mean on election night,Ernie was hooting and hollering behind Joe when he was giving his acceptance speech..And now for getting in line and supporting Joe,Mario rewards him.This is how it’s done in Bpt.

  2. What is with Scott Appleby? He is Director of Emergency Services and Homeland Security but seems to have taken a daily role in running the police Department. He is now speaking on the accident in Black Rock as if he were Chief of Police.

  3. If you ask Ernie he’ll tell you that Mario and Joe Ganim never helped him during his entire time as a elected official, he did it all on his own. How is Ernie going to finance his campaign, who are the people who will make donations to campaign to battle Dennis Bradley? Will Andres Ayala run or some other Hispanic/Latino candidate run?

  4. Ron, it’s like you’ve said a thousand times and Harvey just said, if you don’t commit to Blind Allegiance to the DTC you’ll get primaried! Dennis cut Mayor Ganim a loose during the last election, soooooo.

    1. Don, also where does Ralph Ford, the 139th district leader fit in on all of this. Dennis Bradley was going to be Ralph’s mayor in waiting candidate.

  5. Going on almost a week now,and still not a peep out of Joe about Chris Taylor’s arrest,sure is taking him a long time to “get the facts”.Maybe someone should ask Scott Appleby what he thinks about it.

  6. Happy Newyears to all
    First of all Ron you are so right. I ran 2017 and everyone was with Councilman JAMES Holloway many of you on this Blog didn’t give me a chance of winning. My Town committee didn’t support me. The Mayor and Mario Supported the endorse candidates. Many people have come to me and asked me to run. Remember in 2012 I ran, coming in 2nd place. If the 135 district had been in the 23rd senate district I would have Won. I won Hallen School 🏫 I have to way a few things before I make this decision. The great thing is My Court case isn’t one ☝️ of them.

    1. Ernie, if the 139th district which is predominantly black district and your district along with district leader, Ralph Ford had voted for State Senator Marilyn Moore during the past Democrat primary 4 months ago, Senator Moore would had Bridgeport’s first ever black mayor. Senator Moore lost by 270 votes in that primary but you and Ralph Ford supported Mario Testa’s candidate, Joe Ganim. History, pride and a new mayor had NO meaning to you because you found Mario Testa’s candidate, Joe Ganim to be a much better candidate to run the City for the next 4 years, so sad, No Black Pride but the voters in the 130th district in Black Rock voted in large numbers over Joe Ganim and voted for Marilyn Moore for mayor.

      1. Ron
        That election is over and we have a right to support who ever. You forgot my district is also Hispanic and white. Remember No one ☝️ has a right to tell me who I should or should not support.When I supported Mary-Jane Foster over Bill Finch you said nothing. I’m sorry if you or anyone else feel you have the Right to tell someone who to Vote for. The same thing you are saying about Joe and Mario you are doing what you are accusing them of doing

        1. Ernie, C’MON MAN, stop the spin, NO O NE is telling you what to do and what the hell does it mean that you supported Mary-Jane Foster over Bill Finch? What is bullshit is this, “You forgot my district is also Hispanic and white,” Ernie, the 139th district which is predominantly black district, period, Ernie, I’m sure you had a reason to not support Senator Marilyn Moore and for you to not asked those in your district to vote for Marilyn Moore because you believed that Mario’s guy, Joe Ganim, was a better candidate. Ernie, why is good for white voters to vote for white candidates just because they’re white but you feel that it’s not ok for blacks to vote for blacks?

  7. Ernie, please stop the BS! If you supported MJF is was behind closed doors and incognito. I was at her headquarters answering phones, I was out canvassing for her and sent out fliers with my picture asking people to vote for her. I say this to say I never saw you there and if you did support her, she and I never saw or heard of that support. What’s the need to embellish when the truth is the light and the way! You’ve never supported any candidate that wasn’t the favorite, the incumbent or a white man!

    1. Don, notice how Ernie skips pass about answering anything about his support for Mario Testa’s guy Joe Ganim instead of State Senator Moore. As an elected official I think that it’s important for the voters to know and understand the decisions that they make and especially for the person who would be running the City for the next 4 years. Ernie as ALWAYS supported Joe Ganim for mayor but he can’t tell voters why he didn’t support Senator Moore. Ernie, did you sit down with Senator Moore to discuss her vision for mayor and Ernie why didn’t you support Senator Moore especially now where you are thinking about running against Senator Dennis Bradley for the State Senate, well, why should Moore supporters vote for you?

      Ernie you act like Mario Testa and Joe Ganim have never done anything for you during your political career and that you did everything all by yourself. In fact I’ve never read or seen anything from you criticizing Mario or Joe.

    2. Ron Don and Senior 65 Brenda
      Again I have pictures to prove I supported Mary Jane and she did loss my district bye that many votes 🗳. Once again I will support who ever I choose to support. I don’t need Ron Don nor Brenda to tell me who I should support. I’ve been voting since 1974 when I graduated from high school. I’ve been Black all my life. Remember ever Black person didn’t Vote for me. We had people tell people in my district to vote for the Republican Candidate. Thank God 1013 people voted for me. Out running the mayor on the machines. Ron and Don and Brenda let it go election is over.

  8. Moses of his people, you turned your back on your people. Ernie, what the hell does supporting Mary Jane Foster has to do with supporting a white man, Joe Ganim for mayor instead of a black woman for mayor in the 2019 primary. Ernie, NOBODY said that you should vote for anybody, the question is, you couldn’t support a black woman who has achieve by being elected as a State Senator?

  9. This will be an interesting race. Ernie has a certain “presence” in Bridgeport and Hartford that gets peoples’ attention. And he has “personality” and is personable and well-liked by most of his peers and constituents. He has some baggage, but that is part of his “presence”. And he no longer has any legal axes poised over his neck…

    And, furthermore, he has a record of “bringing it home” for Bridgeport from Hartford (and for Ernie — but that’s past…).

    Dennis just doesn’t have the “presence” that Ernie has. And he doesn’t have the charm and persuasive powers that Ernie demonstrated when he was at the Capital. Ernie would have made a lot more noise and headway/progress for a Bridgeport casino than Dennis demonstrated in that regard… He might have rankled enough urban-sympathizer feathers in the GA for Bridgeport to overcome the Gold Coast/Tribal resistance to a Bridgeport casino… Dennis just doesn’t demonstrate that kind of presence and force in the Capital. He just didn’t get the job done. (Neither did Dennis’ counterpart from the 22nd…).

    Ernie has a shot for that Senate seat. And, baggage or no baggage, Ernie would bring some positive momentum to Bridgeport’s efforts in Hartford. He won’t be shy about the need for Bridgeport to get its due as the largest — and arguably, most important, but neglected — city in the state.

    We need somebody new in the 22nd, who is not controlled by the ‘burbs, to work in the GA/Senate with Ernie to demand and get some respect back for Bridgeport in Hartford…

        1. No Ron
          Ron I’ve tried not to make things personal. I will leave it up to you and Don to speak out against Mario and Joe. Just because i don’t come on OIB and share my displeasures with Joe and Mario. I do it in person and i can tell you we have had many disagreements on many issues dealing with city contracts, Hiring practices,Housing etc. You choose to do your on OIB. I choose to do mine Face to Face.

          1. Ernie, if that’s true then tell me why does Mayor Ganim feel that’s it’s ok to discriminate against women being hired as Bridgeport firefighters and what have you said to your fellow City Council members about this injustice or do you and the council feel that there’s nothing wrong with not hiring one woman in the past 12 years to be a firefighter?

  10. Ron
    I don’t run around talking about what i do. i’ve listen to you and Don talk about No women on Our fire department as you know the City Council has never had any say so when Police and fire contracts come to us other than Vote yes or No on their contract. As Co- Chair of contract i’ve put in a resolution that the co-chairs of contract be allow to review and to have some input to address such things as hiring of women on our fire department also why should we use police officers to work outside jobs when we could be hiring Flag people to handle thoughts jobs like NewHaven and other cities allow. We have somethings that we would like our labor department to fight for on our behalf

  11. Ernie, “Thanks, Jeff
    You have always spoke Truth To Power!” REALLY? WHAT JEFF ARE YOU ALLUDING TO? Ernie you say, “I don’t come on OIB and share my displeasures with Joe and Mario, yet you don’t have a problem sharing your displeasure about anyone else in this forum! Why the difference Brother?

    I’m sick and tired of you saying get over the mayoral election because it left me feeling outrage, sad and almost apoplectic. I can’t believe that YOU, The so called Moses of his people wouldn’t support a Black woman for Mayor. I can’t understand why other Black so called political and religious leaders would support the white man over the Black woman Senator. I know you remember when the white community in Bridgeport turned its back on Charles Tisdale when they knew he was not only the best candidate, but that the Black community deserved this based on past experience. Yet you and those so-called political and religious leaders turned your backs on this intelligent, articulate, honest and caring Black women Senator! I will never understand how white America put 45 into the office of the President nor will I ever understand how you and those other so-called political and religious leaders turned your backs on our Sister for a few crumbs to come at a later date. I guess like that other foolish city councilwoman, you and those other so-called political and religious leaders thought she wasn’t Black enough, so no harm!

    1. Don, Ernie sits within three seats of Marilyn Moore in church every Sunday and I’m sure that most people at church thought that Ernie supported Senator Moore. Don, if Ernie believes is a far superior person to be mayor than Senator Moore I’m sure that Ernie would tell Senator Moore that he’s supporting Joe Ganim. Don, “Moses of his People” hell no, no way, Ernie can’t support a Black woman for Mayor because Ernie and the other Black so called political and religious leaders have a history of ALWAYS supporting a white man for mayor but now they had a chance to support the Black woman Senator over the white man but they didn’t have the guts and courage to go against the white man. Now Ernie wants the voters to forget about the election that Senator Moore lost so that he can run for the State Senate. Moses led the people and Ernie is just a follower without the ability to lead his people.

      1. Ron / Don
        Let say this to both of I don’t give a damn what you think about me all my life I’ve fought for our people. My journey has been one of standing and fighting for what I’ve believed it. No has ever given me anything I’ve had to fight for it. Remember at the age of 25 I became the first Black to lead our city council and Blacks voted against me to stop me from becoming its first Black council President. When no know what a council President was. I’ll put my record up against any Elected official’s in this city. I got Elected with all the shit I’ve gone through. I’ve had to primary to get back on the City council while dealing with a bullshit Court case for Seven years. The great people in my district Elected me. I will say this you guys should let it go No one tells me who to vote for. Many people have asked me to run for the Senate Joe and Mario aren’t one of them. I will never stop marching against injustice and fighting. Remember all black aren’t buffalo 🐃 soldiers. Just remember you all said the same thing about blacks not supporting Mary Jane Foster. It’s my right not Don and Ron’s to tell Me who to vote for. Stop acting like black slave Masters.

  12. Ernie, it’s sad to read your diversion and spin, you can’t give a reason as an elected official of the people what your position was on why you supported a white man for mayor against a black State Senator. If Senator Moore in your opinion would not be a good mayor and that Joe Ganim was a superior candidate then be a man and proudly say why you couldn’t support a black woman for mayor.

    Ernie you said, “It’s my right not Don and Ron’s to tell Me who to vote for. Stop acting like black slave Masters,” Ernie you are really confuse, we “asked” you a question, we “never” said that you should vote for anybody. Ernie, you said, “I will never stop marching against injustice and fighting,” Ernie in MUST be a silent march because we have seen anything from your march. Then you said, “Stop acting like black slave Masters,” Ernie, Don and myself are just two black men speaking out on OIB, we have absolutely NO political power, we hold no elected or appointed position with the City, we are just two retire Bridgeport firefighters but you Ernie are the one who is a leader for the black slave master, you come out and speak for them. You also said, “Just remember you all said the same thing about blacks not supporting Mary Jane Foster,” Ernie, you are 100% right because there were some black pastors who insinuate that Mary Jane Foster was associated with the KKK and at NO time did you speak out against that vile statement, you didn’t asked Mary Jane Foster if that comment was true.

    Finally, your reply above is nothing more than Ernie Newton patting yourself on your back and that you didn’t need anybody to help you because you did it all by yourself, that sounds like President 45 who said that he hasn’t done anything to ask God for and never asked God for forgiveness.

    1. RON
      You are right you have no policial base or support! Ron you or Don live in the east end.
      Who pat’s them selves on the Back More Than you Two. Let me say this i dont give a damn what you think about me. We will agree to disagree. I’m going to stay off of OIB. Haters will always Hate. Lennie please give my regards to all the (Newton Haters!) and tell them for Me to get a LIFE!

  13. Ernie, it’s a good thing that you do by staying off OIB because you are talking like a damn fool especially your declaration, “No has ever given me anything I’ve had to fight for it.” Are you out of your mind or just plain ignorant?

    There isn’t a Black man in this America that has accomplished anything worthwhile that did it on their own! Every Black person in this America has stood on the shoulders of a litany of Black men, women and children that fought and died for your right to bloviate about what you did on your own. There hasn’t been a person that has patted themselves on the back more than you at every opportunity, which you continue to do on this post. You have never and continue to never understand that doing good is its own reward, that Good deeds should be done with INTENTIONS and for ATTENTION. All Ron and I have asked you is WHY didn’t you support the Black woman instead of the White man? Just Why Moses? Are you afraid that your answer to that question will put you more in line with Clarence Thomas rather than Moses?

    1. DON
      You asked me why I Didn’t Support The Senator. I did’t support the Senator Because of Bullies like you and RON and many others in our city who feel they have the right to tell others what and who to support. Don you and Ron should know by now. You have no right to tell other blacks or whites or hispanics or any other race who to Vote for its a choice. No one tells me what to do. Many of you talk about me as if i would bend to the bullshit on facebook and on OIB and let me say this from experience the Black community was so divided after charlie tisdale lost the election and i must say if more divided today because of people like you and Ron with the same bullshit that divided US in the 80’s Why is it the all white folk don’t support all white folks, Hispanics don’t Support all Hispanics etc. Remember all Blacks didn’t support ME and you never heard me walk around Crying WHY DIDN’T ALL BLACK PEOPLE SUPPORT ME! YOU WANT TO NO WHY Because People have a right to Vote for Who the Fuck they want too. This is America. Don you and RON should Check yourself. No-one Bullies Ernest Newton that’s why i didn’t support the SEN. because of people like you and DON! and many others who tried the same bullshit. facebook gangsters.

    2. Don, we have given Ernie a chance to show his leadership by finding out why the City of Bridgeport is deliberately discriminating against all women of all races for not hiring any women in 12 years. Ernie doesn’t give a dam about discriminating against all women of all races, he won’t ask the mayor, the fire chief or his fellow City Council members to find the answer. Don, again, there’s nothing in this issues that benefit us, nothing but justice and doing what’s right, there are young girls in Bridgeport who could serve the City that they live in and where they go to school and where they could be a productive citizen and raise their family when they got older and serve Bridgeport and be a role model for other young girls and women.

      1. RON
        Why don’t your start with your FIREBIRDS First, I Have not heard them say anything about Why Women aren’t being placed on the Bridgeport fire department.
        I guess you two don’t have anymore respect with your fellow brethren on the fire dept. How about you great leaders in your own mind get the Firebirds to fight for women firefighters before you guys talk about what others aren’t doing. O that’s right no one listens to two old dinosaurs and legends in their own mind lol

  14. Oh Ernie I see, Ron and I were the reason you didn’t vote for Senator Moore! Not because you have your head up Mayor Ganim’s ass or because you have your hand out or because you’ve only supported White men for the Mayor of Bridgeport! No, it’s because of Ron and me! If I thought for one second that I could make you do something by talking I would say something to make you quit talking like a damn fool!

    You think that because you got elected that it makes you a leader? We need leaders not in love with money, but in love with justice.
    Not in love with publicity, but in love with humanity. What you’ve never learned over the years about leadership is that We don’t lead by power we lead by the power of our examples. What have been your examples my Brother that makes you a leader? Take your time because they are far, few and in between!

  15. Back it up cowboy, it’s your job as an elected individual to fight for a level playing field for your constituents, not the Firebird Society, Ron Mackey or Donald Day. You proclaimed yourself as the Moses of your people and that doesn’t extend to helping women get jobs in the fire service? What you are is the Moses for the DTC!
    I may not have the respect of my fellow brethren, but I do have your respect because you couldn’t wait to run to the City Council and the Civil Service with the police and fire resident proposal that I gave you, RIGHT? You can pat yourself on the back for that proposal, but you know as well as I that YOU lack the intelligence or the vision to come up with something that revolutionary. RIGHT? LOL

  16. Don, the more that Ernie speaks he is showing the voters who he really is, a typical political pawn, the City that he represent as a elected City Council member has been shown and told about discrimination in the City’s fire department in not hiring white women and women of all races for the past 12 years and it’s Don and Ron and the Firebird Society problem to solve, what a asshole. Don, you and i are retire firefighters with no power to make any type of change in City government, Bridgeport is getting federal funding to test and hired new firefighters and the City is discriminating against women using taxpayers money but the Moses of his people is blind to discrimination and now he wants to bring that mindset to the State Senate, PLEASE.

  17. *** In BPT. politics if your not part of the political machine, you’ll find yourself on the outside looking in sooner than later. *** Only a very small % through-out the years have been lucky enough to be anti-machine & still survive the B/S in Bpt. politics! *** Its a “what have you done for me lately” for a piece of the city political pie, no? ***


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