Now available, absentee ballots for the March 4 Democratic Town Committee primaries in seven districts. It’s very possible some districts may tabulate more votes via absentee ballot than electors who actually show up to the polls. In these types of races, it’s a Bridgeport rite of passage, especially on the East Side where absentee ballot activity is something of a sporting event. A lot is on the line. How can that be for turnouts that mostly will be in the single digits?
What happens on March 4 will help determine the political lay of land in this year’s governor’s cycle with several legislative races in the city, as well as political ramifications for Mayor Bill Finch’s reelection next year. The 90-member town committee conducts party business, endorses candidates for public office and selects a chairman. So far the only announced potential challenger to Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa is Black Rock District Leader Danny Roach. The party hasn’t experienced this type of turmoil in more than a decade, on the heels of last September’s Democratic primary when all endorsed candidates for school board and City Council flamed out. These primaries are a shot at redemption for some candidates, settling scores for others and validation of vote strength. But town committee races in March are different animals from traditional elections. The weather sucks, most voters have no clue what a town committee member does so there’s a premium on pols begging (dragging) their friends to the polls.
“Tell me again why I’m voting?”
“Just do it for me, please!”
The North End 134th District, East End 139th District and South End 131st District are the only three without primaries.
In the next two weeks a steady stream of political operatives will sign out absentee ballot applications from the Town Clerk’s Office and disseminate to their serial absentee ballot voters. The applications are then dropped off to the Town Clerk’s Office where staff will mail the actual absentee ballots. The voter generally returns the ballot by mail. On a cold late winter’s day senior citizens in particular don’t want to leave their toasty confines. For many operatives the absentee ballot is a godsend.
Below is a list of town committee candidates by district. The second set of names represent the challenge slate. The top nine vote producers in each respective district will join the town committee.
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.