With snow projected on the eve of Tuesday’s Democratic Town Committee primaries in seven districts it looks like more votes will be cast via absentee ballot than electors showing at the polls. The Town Clerk’s Office has mailed roughly 1000 absentee ballots with 400 having been returned. That means several hundred more will likely come in by Tuesday. A lot of absentee activity is coming from the East Side 137th District where the queen of absentee ballots Lydia Martinez holds court. The city councilwoman is trying to hold on to her East Side town committee seat.
If Lydia is the queen of absentee ballots then former State Rep. Americo Santiago is the king. But Americo has been enjoying the sun and surf in Puerto Rico this past month so we can’t pick on Americo’s AB influence in this race. The veteran political operative is staying out of this one. As a result of the absentee activity, elections officials have conducted traditional supervised balloting at several senior housing complexes to accommodate the elderly who cannot make it to the polls.
On Wednesday elections officials conducted supervised ballots at Harborview Towers on East Washington Avenue where Martinez has a long history of working her peeps for various city elections at the Barnum School voting precinct in the 137th District. To illustrate the influence of Lydia who was not there, several of the seniors assembled in the Harborview community room declared, “We’re waiting for Lydia.” The East Side councilwoman has been fined a few times for election law violations including assisting a constituent with filling out an absentee ballot. Generally speaking only close family members and medical professionals can facilitate an absentee ballot on behalf of another. But for Lydia, tracking absentee ballots is like votes in the bank.
About 30,000 registered Democrats covering seven districts are eligible to vote on Tuesday. Most political operatives projected the overall turnout at five percent, but with snow on the horizon for Monday it could impair some roads for Tuesday. This will place a premium on operatives making sure their absentee ballot peeps fill out their form and mail it back to the Town Clerk’s Office.
Voters can also show up at the Town Clerk’s Office, 45 Lyon Terrace, before Tuesday and fill out an absentee ballot if they’re unable to make it to the polls Tuesday. The names of more than 120 candidates will appear on ballots across seven districts. Electors can vote for up to nine candidates from two lines. The winners will be elected to the 90-member Democratic Town Committee that elects a chairman and endorse candidates for public office. Chairman Mario Testa is expected to win another two-year term barring surprise results on Tuesday. Black Rock District Leader Danny Roach is eying a challenge.
Things are getting testy in some districts including the Upper East Side 138th District where Bridgeport Working Families Party Chair Maria Pereira, former school board member, has turned against candidates simply because Andy Fardy whose wife Pat is a district candidate dared to criticize Pereira who hasn’t been bashful about spewing criticism if it suits her. Is the Working Families Party the new Bridgeport bullies? City educator Ann Barney, a district candidate, explains:
I heard Maria had turned on the 138th and specifically Pat Fardy and myself. So like any adult, I went to the source instead of listening to rumors.
I spoke to Maria directly. She told me she did not like what Andy Fardy said about her on the blog. She admitted to me she called all the people she had gotten absentee ballots for and told them she withdrew her support of Pat and myself and they should not vote for us.
I asked Maria how Andy’s postings and my running on the 138th’s slate were connected. She simply responded I was his friend.
Quite frankly, I think most people will agree her thinking is flawed. I am not sure how Pat and I are held accountable for Andy’s postings. Last time I looked we were still in the United States of America and had the freedom of free speech.
Maria wants to use hers by speaking out against Pat and I, but Andy can’t use his if it upsets Maria.
Funny, Maria I did not badmouth you or hold you accountable when your friends on the Board of Ed voted not to fire Dickson.
But based on your logic maybe I should have.
The candidate line-up below:
130th District: Daniel Roach, JoAnn Manzo, Michael Meehan, Melissa Henton, Anne Larcheveque, Thomas Mulligan, Jr., Joy Cline, John McCarthy, Jr., Eric Amado, Jr.
Challenge slate: Hector Diaz, Edna Garcia, Lee Samowitz, Rob Sullivan, James Fox, Robert Foley, David King, Joel Gonzalez, Tyree Gousse.
132nd District: Michael Freddino, Mary Evette Brantley, Carol Cocco, Anthony Lancia, Sr., John Olson, Lisa Parziale, Elaine Pivirotto, Joan Thornton, Reginald Walker.
Challenge slate:: Robert Halstead, Michael Jacques, Howard Gardner, Patricia Swain, Arlene Walsh, Stephon Wynter, Jessica Materna, Pierre Page Jr, Angel Echevarria.
133rd District: Thomas McCarthy, Howard Austin, Sr., Joseph Hatrick, Sr., Joseph Moura, Peretz Robinson, Abel Chaparro, Jeanette Herron, Albertina Baptista, Vincent DiPalma.
Challenge slate: Jessica Allen, Josh Kristy, Louis Innacell, Gail Janensch, Mahlon Goma, Ann Martin, Earl King Jr., Eugene Gailliard.
135th District: Wilfred Murphy, Diane Richards, Warren Blunt, Audrey Barr, Richard Bonney, Steven Ferreira, Deborah DeIrish, Curtis Mae McNair, Richard Cruz.
Challenge slate: Stephen Nelson, Doris Roman Nelson, Waith Mitchell, Carmen Harron, Charlie Stallworth, Mary McBride Lee, Fred Gee Jr, Darrett Evans Moss, Craig Jones.
136th District: Carlos Silva, John Gomes, Adelaide Esteves, Gloria Carbone, Jose DePina, Derek Williams, Lawrence Moore Jr., Mark Bush, Angel DePara Jr.
Challenge slate: Christopher Rosario, Jose Casco, Fabio Mazo, Lawrence Osborne Jr., Wanda Geter Pataky, Cruz Cotto, Dennis Bradley, Richard DeJesus, Mark Trojanowski.
137th District: Gilberto Hernandez, Lydia Martinez, Banjed Labrador, Joe Rosario, Maria Rivera, Guillermo Marin, Aidee Nieves, Juan Hernandez, Maria Ines Valle.
Challenge slate: Clinton Iannotti, Anderson Ayala, Alberto (Tito) Ayala, Jacqueline Richardson, Rueben LeBron Jr.
138th District: Richard Paoletto Jr, Martha Santiago, Michael Marella Jr., Christopher Anastasi, Kevin Monks, Kelly Ann Perez, Madeline Lopez, Andrezej Narolewski, Barbara Powell.
Challenge slate: Scott Hughes, Ann Barney, Pat Fardy, Twana Johnson, Melanie Jackson, Pearlye Sams-Allen, James Morton III, Nadia Pearce, Noel Sepulveda.