Steady Eddy, Gomes Cruises To Victory Over DeJesus And Moales, Regains State Senate Seat

Gomes and supporters
Ed Gomes and supporters

Riding a 100-strong ground operation, name recognition and the tax baggage of his chief opponents, 79-year-old Ed Gomes easily reclaimed the State Senate seat he lost in 2012 in a historic win running on the Connecticut Working Families Party line, over Democratic-endorsed Ricky DeJesus and petitioning candidate Ken Moales, a member of the Board of Education, both of whom at one time had the backing of Mayor Bill Finch’s political operation.

Gomes HQ
Gomes campaign headquarters humming Tuesday afternoon.

Unofficial returns, including absentee ballots, from elections officials in Bridgeport and Stratford show Ed Gomes 1485, Ricky DeJesus 791, Quentin Dreher 152, Hare 105, Ken Moales 509.

Gomes ran up strong machine-count pluralities across the city including the North End, Upper East Side, Hollow, Downtown and South End. DeJesus easily won the absentee ballot count but was swamped by Gomes’ machine totals. Moales, the school board member and city minister, was not much of a factor. Republican Quentin Dreher and petitioning candidate Charles Hare ran far behind. Gomes crushed opponents in the Upper East Side Hooker precinct: Gomes 197, DeJesus 43, Moales 34.

The early morning voter turnout from record-low temperatures had many political operatives wondering about the final results. Democratic-endorsed DeJesus had won a controversial nomination at the party convention, following a tie vote with Gomes, broken by DeJesus’ attorney Ed Farrrow, the convention chair. Days later it was revealed City Councilman DeJesus had massive back-tax issues owing the city more than $150,000 while Farrow had represented him in a contentious child-support case in which a warrant had been issued for DeJesus’ arrest.

Gomes at polling place
It was frigid, but Ed Gomes received warmth from city voters.

Meanwhile, Gomes won the endorsement of the Connecticut Working Families Party, providing him a place on the ballot. Mayor Bill Finch’s political operation that had delivered the endorsement to DeJesus, reversed its support of DeJesus for Moales hoping to block a Gomes victory. Gomes is not a supporter of Finch’s mayoralty. Moales also has his own back-tax issues involving a daycare center he operates under the umbrella of his church.

Gomes stitched together a coalition of Democratic progressives, reformers and Working Families Party operatives for an impressive citywide win, as well as the Stratford portion of Connecticut’s 23 Senate District. Gomes lost his seat in 2012 to Andres Ayala, who was appointed the Commissioner of the State Department of Motor Vehicles by Governor Dan Malloy, creating a vacancy for a special election.

Statement from Working Families Party:

In a surprise upset, Working Families Party candidate Ed Gomes won the special election for the 23rd State Senate district. His historic win makes him the first State Legislative candidate to win appearing only on the Working Families Party line (as opposed to cross-endorsed) in the country.

“I’ve supported WFP since the beginning because they always are willing to take a risk in support of a candidate who fights for our progressive vision,” said State Senator Ed Gomes. “I’m extremely proud to return to Hartford as the first-ever WFP legislator.”

Ed Gomes and the Working Families Party ran a strong grassroots campaign focused on his experience and integrity. Campaign volunteers collected over 1,800 verified petition signatures in a week and a half to qualify for two-thirds of the Citizens’ Election Program public funding grant, and spoke with thousands of voters to get them to the polls.

Lindsay Farrell, Executive Director of the Connecticut Working Families Party said: “Senator Gomes came from behind to win because voters know him as someone who will always fight for working families. He can’t be bought and he can’t be bossed.”

One key issue in the race was the fight over public education. Gomes was a leading opponent of a plan to abolish the elected Board of Education and replace it with an appointed board controlled by political bosses that would be more amenable to the corporate education reform agenda.

Ed Gomes, a former State Senator, is widely respected as an advocate for working families, and helped lead fights to raise the minimum wage, guarantee paid sick days and raise taxes on the rich to protect school funding. Richard DeJesus, the endorsed Democrat was mired with personal and financial scandals. Petitioning candidate Kenneth Moales Jr. is a leading advocate for corporate education reform. When the major parties fail to represent the interests of real people, the Working Families Party has taken up the mantle. It was clear in this election that Working Families’ message of an economy that works for everyone resonated with the voters.

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62 comments

  1. Congratulations to Mr. Gomes. Not a good day for the Mayor. May be a good time to make another huge Steelepointe announcement. I’m thinking the last few elections have made Mayor Finch reflect on his supporters. It is not too late, but as we see daily, in politics the wind can be at your back one day and a monkey on your back the next. I just hope those individuals who have received big-boy jobs are Bridgeport residents who will work their asses off for you. As the song goes, “what a difference a day makes, 24 little hours.”

    So now we have the Moore-GOMES coalition … hmmm, paging Chris Caruso … I was speaking today with Marilyn Moore’s cousin at Harding. I said, you know I supported Musto in the last primary, but I had Moore signs on my lawn for her election, I said if she performs strongly, she just may become the first black Mayor in Bridgeport. Looks like the Democratic party in Bridgeport is so splintered there may be some very interesting surprises around the corner.

  2. In the last photo, Ed Gomes stands outside Marin School in Bridgeport with his advisers. That’s where some of the best boys and girls in Bridgeport attend grammar school and where he probably voted. Congratulations, Ed Gomes. Politics can be funny but this morning your laugh is the loudest.

  3. Congratulations to Ed Gomes, Steve Strafstrom , Mary-Jane Foster, John Stafstrom and all the Roachettes.
    Condolences go out to Rick Torres, Bob Keeley, Hector Diaz, Bob Halstead, and Tom McCarthy and the other Council employees soon to vacate their jobs or CC seats.
    Steve, all your lawn signs are dry now, where do you want me to put them?

  4. I arrived at Thomas Hooker School at 6:00 a.m. at -3 degrees.

    At about 9:00 a.m. a Moales supporter from my neighborhood arrived to work the polls. Within minutes, as I was speaking with a voter he started yelling I was “telling lies.” He also started yelling Moales was having “banking issues.”

    After the voter went into polls, I explained as a first-time pollworker he needed to understand standard protocol is I am obligated not to interrupt him when he is speaking to voters and in turn I would not interrupt him when he was speaking to voters.

    He became belligerent and loud. I explained if you want to behave like this for the rest of day, all he would accomplish is turning off voters.

    A few minutes later he calmed down and said I was right. I told him you have every right to support Moales and I have every right to support Gomes, it doesn’t make either of us bad people. He agreed, and then I offered him some glove warmers to insert into his gloves so he could keep warm. He was only there off-and-on for about 3 hours. There wasn’t a single DeJesus poll worker the entire day.

    1. Kenneth Moales arrived about 3:00 PM with a parishioner as his driver. He immediately exited his vehicle and started demonstrating his typical boorish behavior.

      He stated “Fran (Rabinowitz) dumped you Maria, what are you going to do now?” He also stated I was “driving my man’s car because I couldn’t afford my own vehicle.” He then said “you are just mad because we fired you last night.”

      After 2-3 minutes of this attack I stated “You get to speak to voters, not me. If you continue to direct comments at me and harass me, I am going to get the police officer.” He arrogantly said “go get the police officer.”

      So I did. The police officer told him he was to behave civilly and not speak to me. He just continued to be obnoxious. The officer was nice and as he passed me, he told me if there are anymore problems just to let him know.

      At this point, he started to tell his female parishioner “that is the woman we fired last night.” She is running around telling people Thomas Hooker is her school and Kenny Moales will not win Thomas Hooker.” Then he started performing stepping as if he was still in college and just looked like the buffoon he is.

      Well Kenneth Moales, the results at Thomas Hooker are as follows:
      DeJesus – 43
      Dreher – 21
      Gomes – 197
      Hare – 2
      Moales – 34

      According to my calculations, that is just about a 7 to 1 margin. I am a woman of my word and I must say, your candidacy served as my inspiration in delivering those results.

      I heard as you were walking out of Ed Gomes’ campaign headquarters last night you appeared to be walking funny. After you left, several people told me they believed your difficulty in walking was because my foot was solidly wedged up your a$$. I immediately exclaimed I would never lower myself by placing my foot anywhere near your low-down, corrupt, unethical, dishonest, unintelligent a$$.

      I told many voters and colleagues yesterday if Kenneth Moales represents God and/or religion, I want to be an atheist.

  5. Maria, honestly, I am not sure if that really happened or not. I will say that was by far the funniest post I have read on this blog. I have to look into the part where you were fired last night as I am not sure what you would be fired from. PAC? Excellent post. I think Mayor Finch is feeling very vulnerable today. MOALES HAD A VERY POOR SHOWING. PASTORS AND PRIESTS, REVERENDS AND ALL MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVE G-D HAVE NO PLACE IN POLITICS, ESPECIALLY IN BRIDGEPORT. SOONER OR LATER THE FLOCK IS GOING TO WISE UP AND SHUN THESE PEOPLE.

    MARIA, ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS IS AN ATHEIST AND HE HAS ALL OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CHRIST HIMSELF. THESE RELIGIOUS CHARACTERS ARE CARTOON CHARACTERS–A JOKE.

    1. Steven, after Kenneth Moales left Ed Gomes’ headquarters he was standing outside. A political leader in Bridgeport was walking out and Kenneth Moales stated loudly, “Finch is done.” 🙂

        1. Steven, if anyone knows Kenneth Moales’ statements have little to no credibility, it is me. However he was Mayor Finch’s Treasurer and he is an ally. It is a troubling statement for one of Mayor Finch’s allies to make on a sidewalk outside Ed Gomes’ headquarters. In my opinion, it looks bad for Mayor Finch.

          1. Maria, you are correct. It does look bad for Finch. I have maintained for years Mayor Finch has surrounded himself with sycophants. Sycophants blow smoke up your ass but will not get you elected. You can have all the money in the bank, but if all your supporters and recipients of patronage live outside the City, well good luck. I am thinking there are going to be a few surprise candidates who are financially well-connected who will come out of the woodwork and ambush the tired old players and perhaps excite a new generation of Bridgeporters who are not part of the past but certainly focused on the future.

  6. Welcome Sen. Gomes to another term. A happy ending for the City of Bridgeport. With Gomes and Moore we have progressive, fair, independent-minded Senators representing our City. May the Gomes lion roar again for all of us! Congrats to WFP organizing on his behalf.

  7. I have listened to Maria spout all the countless tireless hours she has spent helping Gomes. First, I voted very early, Maria was not at the polls.
    Secondly Maria, look at the use of your time. How many hours have you spent? Just recently you referenced very long days calling the 138th plus all your hours at the polls.
    Well in relation to the time you put in, 297 voters is what came out. Not a good turnout. Ed won, yes I voted for him, but after hours and hours and hours of canvassing the neighborhood, making calls, informing people about DeJesus, 33% still did not vote for ED!
    As they say, 2 outta 3 ain’t bad. But you are the QUEEN! Not impressive results!

    1. What the heck, there is no question in my mind Maria P. put her time, effort and passion into this election. She stated it before the results were in. Her confidence, enthusiasm, determination and total autonomy made her a one-woman army. BLOGGING HER EFFORT BEFORE THE ELECTION PUT HER REPUTATION ON THE LINE. MR. GOMES WON BY VERY IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS. THE LOW TURNOUT AND SUBZERO TEMPERATURES MADE IT DIFFICULT BUT THE END RESULT WAS A WIN BY A 2 TO 1 MARGIN. Attempting to diminish her efforts makes you a small individual. If you voted for Gomes you should be thrilled she worked on his campaign. Every school I go to and mention Maria P. by name, she is respected very highly and you can tell by their response.

      I did not do any work on any campaign, but I know what it is like being a one-man army. I did wish Mr. Gomes best wishes when we met at the Dr.’s office last week. I told him I was in Moore’s district and he was so excited to talk about her. I am glad he won and believe he will serve Bridgeport well!

    2. What the heck, Thomas Hooker School had the fourth highest total vote count. If you look at strictly machine counts, it will be second or third.

      I only knocked on doors for five hours when I helped get Ed petition signatures. I never canvassed for election day because the weather constantly interrupted my plans.

      I turned out votes for Ed by utilizing the mail and making phone calls utilizing my personal voter contact list. In total, between planning meetings, mail, phone banking and working on election day, I invested between 80-100 hours.

      I was at the polls from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Heaven forbid I be allowed to utilize the bathroom or sit in my car to warm up for a few minutes.

      Please show us another school in Bridgeport or Stratford where a candidate got 7 to 1 on the machines. I will wait patiently for your response.

  8. Now that the elections are over, the city can get back to the corruption that is going on. The council can continue not to answer to the public for their criminal use of their stipends and for their illegal donations to various charities like PAL. The 138th can name a bend-over candidate to replace Paoletto. The 136th can do the same.
    One high-ranking Finch appointment can go back to playing in illegal high-stakes poker games at which he stinks. Glad it’s over and glad to know Maria is on the job.

  9. What the heck–what the heck is wrong with you??? Maria is the hardest-working person I know, and we should all be grateful for the time and effort she generously gives to right so many wrongs in this City! Congratulations to you, Maria!

    1. Lisa, don’t get crazy with what you write about this carpetbagger. If you listen to her she is the sole reason Democrats win at Hooker. Let’s not forget she is being investigated by the secretary of the state for election-day violations. Ed would have won at Hooker no matter what. BTW my neighbors and people on MY end of Nutmeg Rd remember Pete Spain coming to their doors, not the queen of elections, MP.
      Lisa, if you want her in your district we will trade her for a blivet and a bag of rice and she is all yours.

      1. Andrew, I was born and raised in Bridgeport and have spent over 40 years living in my hometown. I must be one of the most effective “carpe baggers” Thomas Hooker has ever seen.

        I asked Pete Spain to knock on both your and the Barney’s door and I knocked on streets surrounding Nutmeg Rd.

        Lisa, just so you are aware, my favorite kind of rice is Uncle Ben’s. If you agree to the trade, please negotiate the trade utilizing this as a requirement of the transaction.

        1. You are a carpetbagger in the Hooker School area. You rent here and do not own a home here so thankfully one day you will move. Maybe you could rent a house by Lisa or Steve.

          1. Andy, I love the Thomas Hooker community and the vast majority of people who live here. I plan on living here for a very long time. 🙂

          2. Andy, you are a riot. As of Friday I will no longer have a real estate interest in the Hooker School area as I sold Nob Hill to an investor so I could pay $4000 in back taxes. By the grace of G-d, I got my price, my tenant is thrilled and the investor will get a nice rent. I still do not know how Mr. DeJesus has not been forced to sell or lose his apartments in Nob Hill as he owns two. After 30 years it was time to say goodbye. Only sharing my personal business so others can learn from it. I close Friday. That being said, I love my elected officials here. I love the Blackham, Winthrop area. Michelle Lyons and AmyMarie are well respected. I was just looking at a collage of their pictures at the Jewish Home in the lobby.

            Andy, thank you for offering Marie P. to Lisa and myself. You talk as if a renter is a second-class citizen. Not all Bridgeporters are homeowners. That doesn’t make them less committed to a neighborhood. I no longer live in Beardsley Park but I will continue to care about the neighborhood. I forgot that Maria P. Is not your favorite person, but on this blog we can be civil, no?

          1. Since when does renting make someone a carpetbagger? Are you proposing a return to property ownership requirements to have the right to vote?

          2. In a one-family zoned neighborhood, renters are carpetbaggers. No one said anything about the right to vote.

  10. Fact: Ed Gomes won Hooker.
    Fact: Maria Pereira strokes her own ego..

    Maria Pereira // Feb 23, 2015 at 1:39 pm
    Altogether I have spent 17 hours on phones since Saturday calling Thomas Hooker voters.

    Many people knocked on my door for Ed. Many people called my house. None of them were Maria. People worked long hard hours for Ed in the worst weather conditions.
    No one is blogging and logging their hours, conversations and hours at the polls. It is expected if you campaign for someone you will knock on doors, make phone calls, do mailings and hand out lit.
    ONLY Maria has to broadcast how wonderful she is. Only Maria wants to let the world know just how much she did for the campaign.
    Maria just wants everyone to say “good girl.”
    If she didn’t want the recognition she wouldn’t brag so much on the blog.

    Maria,
    Put a lid on it. No one cares how long you kept your ass out in the cold and if you had a bathroom break or not.
    No one cares how many hours you spent on the phone.
    Do what you want to do. Do what you need to do. Don’t go looking for the glory.
    Ed would have won Hooker without you and your efforts.

  11. What the heck, I wrote my comments in response to your posting, not because I was looking for “glory.” I have received several calls and emails today congratulating me on the performance at Thomas Hooker School.

    Ed would have probably won Thomas Hooker without me, however he would not have won by that plurality. You don’t win 7 to 1 without real effort, and if my efforts at Thomas Hooker School did not make a difference, please post every other school where Ed won by a 7-1 margin.

    I will continue to wait for your response to that specific question, however I already know your response will not be forthcoming because it does not exist.

    1. Maria,
      A win is a win is a win.
      Ed won.
      Bragging rights for a 7-1 margin?
      Who cares if it was a large margin, or down to one vote?
      A win is a win.
      The politician does not get credit or special privileges because of a margin of victory.
      Truth be known, Thomas Hooker residents are sick of you.
      But hey, go Maria, you keep thinking you are a savior in the 138th.
      You keep telling the voters of the 138th that without you we would be in the dark.
      No one knew Ed’s platform.
      No one knew about DeJesus taxes.

      You are the voice and wisdom of the district!
      The HOMEOWNERS of the 138th are too stupid.
      We need you as our source of information.

      1. Just as I thought, no response to the specific question I posed. I don’t think the residents of Thomas Hooker are “stupid” at all. In fact, I think they are very intelligent and thirsty for knowledge about the happenings in our neighborhood, city and state.

  12. 7 to 1 is no big deal, it was expected. Look at all the reporting about DeJesus and Moales that was on the front page. Gomes is well known up here, so stop patting yourself on the back. Sure, it’s good you work for various candidates but it is tedious reading about how great you are and how much you do. You and I know how you embellish what you write.

  13. Andy, if “7 to 1 is no big deal, it was expected,” why didn’t it happen at any of the other polling locations? I was at the headquarters last night and people were surprised about a 7 to 1 margin, therefore it clearly wasn’t expected. Who with Ed’s campaign “expected” a 7 to 1 margin at Thomas Hooker School?

    Certainly if “all the reporting about DeJesus and Moales that was on the front page” was the main factor that delivered Ed such a large plurality at Thomas Hooker, it would have occurred repeatedly at other polling locations throughout Bridgeport and Stratford, yet it did not occur in a single other polling location.

    Please share your insight on why there was such a disparity between Ed’s performance at Thomas Hooker and every other polling location in Bridgeport and Stratford.

  14. I can’t speak for the other districts. Hooker has always had high turnouts when an election or a candidate interested them. You have been around here all day and think you know it all, you don’t know squat. Taking credit for Ed’s 7-1 margin of victory proves what I said earlier. “You are an egotistical idiot and your writing on this election is proof positive of that. I’m done with your dumb ass for now.

  15. Maria,
    I apologize. I thought you had been taught inferring skills in school. You are a product of the BPS, aren’t you? I don’t give a damn about a 7-1 margin or any margin. It is straightforward, you win or you lose. Plain and simple. Margin does not count unless you have a big ego.

    Maria,
    Please do not mistake my comments or modify them to suit a need. I admire anyone who fights for what they believe in. I admire people who have passion. I absolutely admire people who have a work ethic.
    I cannot stand people who have to pat themselves on the back. I cannot stand people who have to tell the rest of the world how wonderful they are. I cannot stand people who have little to no integrity.
    You seem to clearly fall into the latter category. Additionally, you also have a recent investigation regarding election violations and questions regarding your campaigning techniques.
    Let’s remember the state does not randomly open investigations on people if there is not enough evidence to show there is cause for an in-depth investigation!
    I do know some people who have been contacted by the state regarding your behavior.

    1. What the heck, you just stated the following:
      1) I admire anyone who fights for what they believe in.
      2) I admire people who have passion.
      3) I absolutely admire people who have a work ethic.
      4) I cannot stand people who have to pat themselves on the back.
      5) I cannot stand people who have to tell the rest of the world how wonderful they are.
      6) I cannot stand people who have little to no integrity.

      Well, the first three describe me to a T. Whether you love me or hate me, most people know I absolutely fight for what I believe in, I am passionate and have a solid work ethic. To imply I don’t have these traits is just absolutely ludicrous.

      I have nothing but integrity. My word means everything to me. If I give you my commitment on any given topic, you can take it to the bank.

      I don’t have to pat myself on the back or tell the rest of the world how wonderful I am. I think the advocacy work I do speaks for itself. I have never been compensated for any effort or cause I have advocated for, and I have never been paid a dime to work on a campaign. I will only support candidates I believe in. If Ed Gomes came to me and said “Maria, I will pay you $5,000 to deliver Thomas Hooker,” and I didn’t believe in his candidacy or platform, I would turn him down flat. I have people approach me on a weekly basis and tell me I should run for a variety of elected positions. I am not just referring to those who are actively involved in politics, I am speaking about average parents, teachers, residents, etc. And, quite frankly, those requests mean more to me than those that are made by politicos in Bridgeport.

  16. Lennie Grimaldi, do you think it is fair an anonymous blogger can have a field day at the expense of an upfront individual, whether you like her or not? If individuals use an alias because they are afraid of political retribution, then they should be like 200 other visitors on the blog and observe other people’s banter. Who decides if someone can be anonymous??? It is disturbing to read the assaults on Maria P. when she is totally unaware of who her nemesis is. What is good for one is good for all.

    What the heck, we get it, you feel your existence has been diminished because Maria P. has eclipsed something that has disturbed you. Everyone on this blog knows Maria is a mover and a shaker. She has strong opinions that stimulate discussion. Your comments are unnecessarily hurtful. Why Lennie would allow it is beyond me. I am certain Ed Gomes is appreciative and since he was your candidate, you should be grateful and let it go. Your negativity is a real buzz kill for the campaign. It is just plain mean-spirited and not necessary. Besides, these back-and-forth assaults are usually reserved for Donald Day, Ronald Mackey, Andrew Fardy and myself. 🙂 We use our names and have to live with our comments that are in fact occasionally hurtful. Reminds me of dinner at my house growing up, always forgotten 10 minutes later. What the heck, use your name if you have to confront someone and live with it and stop hurting and hiding behind an alias.

  17. Steve,
    Cry me a river.

    Oh it is so unfair some people use real names and others don’t.
    Grow up, grow a pair, acknowledge what is written or not.
    If you don’t value screen names, respect why someone may use one then don’t respond to their posts.
    If they hit a nerve, write something that resonates, respond.
    The screen name does not matter.
    BTW, good luck with your closing on Friday!
    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. Stay in the North End.

  18. What the heck, “don’t let the door hit you in the ass?”

    “stay in the North End?”

    What the heck, what’s your point? I do not understand the post, other than wishing me good luck with my closing. Going to Russia to harass Putin for five days. Thanks.

    1. lol–Grow up? Grow a pair?

      What the heck, what’s with all the cliches?

      There is no way you voted for Gomes! I’d suggest you are a Moales supporter who is irked by Maria P’s outright condemnation and humiliation of this bullshit artist.

  19. Maria P., What the heck,
    The picture in the CT Post on-line with Senator Gomes Elect and Maria Pereira speaks for itself!!! The smile and embrace–it is clear Mr. Gomes knows the effort put forth by Maria.

        1. Andy, I spoke with Ed this morning and he expressed both his appreciation and acknowledgement of the results he received at Thomas Hooker School due in large part to my efforts. You can call him yourself if you don’t believe me.

  20. “I have nothing but integrity. My word means everything to me. If I give you my commitment on any given topic, you can take it to the bank.”
    THEN EXPLAIN WHY YOU ARE BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE STATE’S OFFICE FOR ELECTION DAY IRREGULARITIES.

    1. Be glad to, it’s still listed as an active investigation as you know. I am sure you have already been questioned or interviewed but of course you will deny it. I am now done with you for now.

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