I love you, I need you, I want you. They’re being schmoozed and boozed, urged, cajoled, worked, and some promised this and that. They’re popular today, perhaps not so Tuesday night depending on how the 90 members of the Democratic Town Committee cast their endorsement vote for mayor, Bill Finch or Joe Ganim, at Testo’s Restaurant. Politicians will endorse on Tuesday, but it’s the people that will nominate in an expected September 16 party primary.
The endorsed candidate receives an automatic position on the ballot while challengers must hustle petition signatures to qualify for a primary. Mary-Jane Foster, Howard Gardner and Charlie Coviello are also in the race but either Finch or Ganim will be endorsed.
Tuesday night’s roll call is shaping up as a close vote between Finch and Ganim. Operatives from both campaign camps maintain they have enough votes for the endorsement. That means a handful of DTC members are lying. Hey, this process requires a serious Pinocchio meter. There may even be a situation or two of two proxy votes submitted on behalf of Finch and Ganim by the same town committee member. How does that happen? Presumably that scenario will be sorted out by Town Chair Mario Testa. Both sides will be lawyered up with parliamentarians.
If all 90 votes are cast, 46 is the winning number, but Testa, as town chair, can break a tie, for instance if the vote is deadlocked at 45.
If you’re going Tuesday, strap in, this night could be noisy. Who are these people on the town committee? They are elected to serve two-year terms: party insiders, government workers, patronage recipients, elected officials. Some names you will recognize while others new to the process who want a say in how candidates for office are selected and endorsed.
Bridgeport has 10 Democratic town committee districts with nine per. Finch’s primary DTC support appears to be districts 130, 131, 132, 133, 134 and 136. Ganim’s support in the 135, 137, 138 and 139. A few votes either way could swing the endorsement. Town committee districts are not required to vote as a bloc, but some often do based on political alliance and influence of the district leader. The 130th District covering Black Rock, for example, will be split with Finch likely to have majority support but a few votes for Ganim as well including District Leader Danny Roach, Ganim’s campaign manager.
Danny Roach, Joann Manzo, Michael Meehan, Tom Mulligan, Eric Amado, Joy Cline, Melissa Henton, John McCarthy, Anne Larcheveque.
Mitch Robles, Nereyda Robles, Americo Santiago, Jose Negron, Jack Banta, Denese Taylor-Moye, Mary Bruce, Glen Pettway, Paul Bouchard.
Mike Freddino, Tony Lancia, Carol Cocco, John Olson, Lisa Parziale, Joan Thornton, Elaine Pivirotto, Reggie Walker, Evette Brantley.
Tom McCarthy, Vincent DiPalma, Abel Chaparro, Howard Austin, Joseph Hatrick, Albertina Baptista, Joseph Moura, Jeanette Herron, Peretz Robinson.
Dennis Scinto, Matty Cuminotto, Johann Dorgan, John Fabrizi, Peter Minaya, Patricia Nolan, Tom Lyons, Gene O’Neill, Marilyn Santacroce.
Charlie Stallworth, Warren Blunt, Carmen Hatton, Crag Jones, Waith Mitchell, Mary Lee, Darrett Moss, Steve Nelson, Doris Roman Nelson.
Chris Rosario, Wanda Geter Pataky, Cruz Cotto, Mark Trojanowski, Larry Osborne, Antonio Felipe, Dennis Bradley, Jose Casco, Fabio Mazo.
Lydia Martinez, Maria Rivera, Gil Hernandez, Aidee Nieves, Banjed Labrador, Guillermo Marin, Joel Rosario, Maria Valle, Juan Hernandez.
Scott Hughes, Melanie Jackson, Twana Johnson, Jame Morton, Nadia Pearce, Pearlye Sams-Allen, Martha Santiago, Anthony Paoletto, Michael Marella.
Ralph Ford, Charlie Coviello, Cynthia Maignan, James Holloway, Ernie Newton, Deborah Sims, Willeen Gibson, Keith Williams, Eneida Martinez-Walker.