Stratford Official Dave Harden, Deep City Roots, Poised For State Senate Run–Bradley In Limbo

Dave Harden served three terms on the Stratford Town Council.

You see a lot working in the emergency room of Bridgeport Hospital. Just ask Dave Harden, an EMT supervisor and three-term Democratic Stratford town councilman on the verge of filing paperwork to seek the State Senate seat of Dennis Bradley who’s scheduled for federal trial in February charged with corruption of Connecticut’s public finance system.

For Harden, attending to patients and communicating with family is a way of life that provides a front-row perspective on pain, suffering, courage and strength.

“Working at Bridgeport Hospital I am able to see the needs within the community from the families coming in the emergency room, diversity of lives and lifestyles; the births of babies to the lives of loved ones taken by senseless crimes and violence which have really opened my eyes to the needs of people,” he says. “During my time working in the emergency room, you learn how to listen.”

Raised in the East End of Bridgeport, Harden has deep roots in the city he feels provides a personal touch with an outsider’s point of view.

“I grew up in the East End, my family owed three houses in addition to a restaurant located on Stratford Avenue. I attended Newfield School where Mrs. Tisdale was the principal. My mom kept us out of trouble by keeping us involved in community events which also included attending church.”

While most Bridgeport pols, for now, are taking a wait and see approach about the outcome of Bradley’s case, Harden may very well be the first to jump in officially to file paperwork in early January.

He intends to “focus on the needs of the city of Bridgeport and not the political quarrels. It’s time to push forward with changes that work.”

Candidates waiting on Bradley’s future is fraught with uncertainty as it collides with key timelines to build support and raise public money parceled out by the state following party endorsements in May in advance of an August primary season. Bradley, stripped of all committee assignments, is awkwardly scheduled for trial while the state legislature will be in session.

Connecticut’s 23rd Senate District covers roughly two thirds of Bridgeport and a portion of western Stratford very much aligned demographically with the city’s East End. As a multi-town district, challengers to the endorsed candidate have two options to qualify for a primary: 15 percent delegate support at the convention or petitioning via signatures.

Assuming Bradley’s February trial stays on schedule, jury selection and length of trial will likely push a verdict on the cusp of March. Raising public money is labor intensive, requiring roughly 300 donations from Bridgeport and Stratford amounting to more than $15,000 to achieve a public grant nearly $100,000 indexed by the state.

Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races is the centerpiece of the federal government’s case against Bradley, accusing him of conspiring to manipulate donor cards in a quest to receive roughly $200,000 in grants for the primary and general election in 2018. The government has charged him with multiple counts of wire fraud, the go-to citation for anything that involves electronic communication.

Multiple Bridgeport pols are weighing a run for Bradley’s seat. A recognizable face at community events, Harden is not unknown to many city political players. Could a large field of Bridgeport candidates provide advantage to a Stratford resident? Harden is not counting on that. He intends to court support as someone with a history of working collegially.

The Stratford Town Council, by a special act of the state, is term limited. Harden has just completed six years on the legislative body covering three terms. Talk to Democrats and Republicans in Stratford and Harden is well-liked.

Unlike Democratic-dominated Bridgeport, Stratford fashions a two-party system that Harden asserts behooves bi-partisanship. Republican Laura Hoydick was just reelected to another four-year term as mayor.

Harden’s work on the council has focused on community policing, blight issues, replacement of sidewalks, safety lights for the parks and playgrounds, resurfacing of baseball fields.

“During my time I was able to work with the other side of the table to come up with a budget with a zero increase.”

For Harden, it appears the time is now. He intends to file candidacy paperwork shortly after the new year.



  1. Will Dave Harden run as a Republican or a Democrat because his ideals and principles are more like that of a Republican! He’s more like a Candice Owen’s type Black which wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he did indeed voted for 45!

    The problems and needs in Bridgeport are much different than those of Stratford. Bridgeport needs someone who understands those problems and needs and having lived here once upon a time doesn’t qualify him to know of the inner city blues. He have a saying in the culture, we may be the same color, but we’re not the same kind! Black folks, Dave Harden isn’t our kind!

      1. Harvey, his Blackness or lack there of had absolutely nothing to do with my post. What I said was that he hasn’t looked out for the best interest of Black folks like Candice Owen’s, Tom Scott or Clarence Thomas. Their conservative mindset is a hindrance to the Black community, it’s uplift and its prosperity. Harvey, I don’t expect you to understand, but every Brother ain’t a Brother and that to is a part of the culture. Do I expect you to understand that, hell no because you lack the necessary ethnic background in your DNA.

        I’m including a video of ya boy Dave Harden in action at a city council meeting and it’s disgraceful and Bridgeport deserves better than this bloviating fool. Harvey, I’m also saying that Bridgeport deserves better than Dennis Bradley and there has to be one Black woman or man out there that will carry themselves with honor, dignity and respect!

        1. @Donald Day
          ” I’m also saying that Bridgeport deserves better than Dennis Bradley and there has to be one Black woman or man out there that will carry themselves with honor, dignity and respect!”

          I agree 1000% that Bridgeport deserves better than Dennis Bradley, BUT why must Bradley’s successor be Black? Currently 100% of the Bridgeport State Senate delegation is black, but Bridgeport, Stratford, Trumbull and Monroe all part of these State Senate Districts are NOT 100% Black.
          Why not just the best qualified and most honest candidate who can represent all residents of the district? I am not supporting the man from Stratford.

  2. Its official racism in America has turned a corner and Martin Luther King’s dream has come to fruition, somewhat. 🙂

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”

    Apparently, the content of character is political affiliation, ideology.

    Comrade Day, being a white person who has been told numerous times in this American racial debate, because of my whiteness, I will never know/understand what that feels like to be black in America, which is true to an extent. Although, the “experiences” would be another story.

    Are you saying Dave is not black enough in being black in America, and who holds some type of privileged card that your kind of black doesn’t have access to?

    Let’s celebrate people. The Republican Martin Luther King would be pleased. I mean it’s not exactly judging someone by the content of their character and not by their skin, but I’ll take political affiliation ideology. Good Job America. 🙂

    P.S Look like my job is done here, play nice you “bias” political affiliation, ideologist, and good luck at the voting booth to exercise your “ bias ideologist” 🙂

  3. Don, Dave Harden needs to stay at his position in Stratford and work on his skills there. Dennis Bradley is a loser. Like you I would love to see a black woman in that position but it’s up to Mario Testa and Joe Ganim who will make the decision on who they want but there not any black women who the legislative background to fill the position, now there are a number of black women are puppets of Mario and Joe who have have a big resume of joining groups and would do anything for Mario and Joe because they aren’t a independent thinker.

  4. Comrade Day, correct me if I am wrong. So a brother can’t stand up for himself and his principals. Didn’t she plead guilty to corruption?
    So you’re saying black people who are independent thinkers that deviate from blindly following the Democrat Party ideology, who stands up for themselves when challenged by a white person whose ideology deviates from their conservation thinking is a hindrance to the black community, it’s uplift and its prosperity?

    Just remember when Bill Clinton got his crime bill, which we know of, and in doing so, Newt Gingrich got his welfare reform bill that paved the way for greater employment job opportunities for blacks that led to the uplift and prosperity that many blacks enjoy today, a quarter-century later.

    An independent thinker is a person who can see the positive and negative in anyone’s ideology. While Marxism ideology has a unique selling point of equality, it is far from it.

    “Where capitalism can only thrive on the exploitation of the working class.”

    But that is not the case, Capitalism can thrive without exploitation. This is a difference between exploitation and equality. It’s the human nature of exploitation that thrives in capitalism. But that human nature is not devoid of Marxism/socialism. It is the checks and balances of human nature that combat exploitation.
    Marxism has failed and fails to teach its next generation of followers that there are fewer checks and balances under Marxism to control the human nature of exploitation, for which it has failed, not before leaving its mark.

    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”

    Who is to say one ability which is equal to their needs? What is ability other than something that is given to you, like literacy? Surely most humans can thrive educationally under the right settings and conditions and become a doctor, but can you have a hundred doctors and no nurses or janitors running a hospital, and so forth, and so on? Since you cannot have 100 doctors and no nurses or janitors, etc, running a hospital, under Marxism (the Government) would have to be dictated the person’s needs that are based on their ability granted to them, by the Government. A far cry from equality and fairness.

    It is an opportunity under capitalism that needs to be achieved, thrived. While providing the checks/level of needs that Marxist/socialism/government provides to combat the human nature within capitalism. Be it the challenges and conditions may vary but at the very least, the opportunity will be there and success will be determined on the effort to overcome those challenges, A very conservative may include God, but blacks seem to have the same sentiment, at least on their posts.

    However, you have to recognize when equilibrium hits. The balance tips the other way. The unionization in the ’20s and ’30s where they combat the exploitation of the working class by capitalism was the check to that human exploitation, but what happens when that equilibrium strikes? The exploitation is now on the business/entity/government. That is far from fair and equal to the whole that will only benefit a few/union members and not society as a whole. In the case of Bridgeport police pension regarding overtime is that an overreach and a burden and exploitation on the government/taxpayer to benefit a few, its members?
    That equilibrium comes in many forms. To your point, the racist card. You are now challenged. With Dave and Bradley both black the path of least resistance, race, is closed to you. It is not so cut-and-dry. So you have to venture off that path of least resistance and find something other than the race to express your “disapproval” to be kind. apparently, it is conservatives.

    Comrade Ron, it looks like you are saying Dave needs to stay in his lane. Something that sounds familiar that blacks would say to whites who can’t understand blackness?

    JMO Poeple, will all have them. Dave, Bradley, Ron, Dave, Local, Harvey, I would say Jim but no one takes him seriously BAM! 🙂

    Everybody stays in their lane.

  5. Marshall Marcus, I referenced a Black being elected to that senatorial district because since 1980 when Senator Margaret Morton won the district it has been historically Black. With the exception of Ayala winning, it has been Black because of the demographic.
    I’m sure you know why the State Senate Districts are 100% Black is because the white DTC cut up Ed Gomes district while he was in the hospital to help Musto win against a suburban white person and in the process made it possible for Marilyn Moore to win that district when she spanked his ass.
    Karma has a way of kicking you in the ass sometimes!

    1. @Donald Day
      The demographics of the district have changed since the last Census. No ethnicity or race is entitled to a seat just because they held it for most of the past 40 years.

      As for the redistricting of Senator Gomes’ seat it was not done by the DTC. State House and Senate Districts are redistricted by a State Panel in Hartford. This does not mean Mario and company did not have influence. We see that influence with the gerrymandering of the 111th House district to have a sliver extending to Marcus Brown’s Home on Capitol Ave to enable him to seek Hennessy’s seat, should Marcuys choose to do so,.

  6. Don,you posting that little snipet of Mr Harden isn’t really fair,we have no idea what that was said beforehand to illicit that response..And fast forward till today,it looks like Mr Harden was giving a piece of his mind to a indicted,soon to be convicted co conspirator in the Bradley scandal…

  7. Oh Harvey stop it. I read the OIB post that you made reference to in your earlier post about Mary Lee saying Senator Moore wasn’t white enough. There are about 35 posts on the subject from a litany of people, but there are none from Harvey Weintraub saying people should be fair to the good Senator! Why should I be fair to some Black man from Stratford when you didn’t ask the same for your Senator? C’mon Man you can do better than that. Go ahead I’ll wait!

    1. Don, when I don’t support a black candidate, you say it cause I’m white.., when I do support a black candidate you say “every brother ain’t a brother, I don’t expect you to understand that because you lack the necessary Background in your DNA” … meaning cause I’m white..

      1. C’mon Harvey, you’re an intelligent man you know I’ve never questioned your support of any Black candidate with the exception of Senator Moore and that had nothing to do with her ethnicity. You also know that I merely questioned the fitness of Dave Harden to serve the people of Bridgeport and my every Brother ain’t a Brother wasn’t meant for you to understand or accept by virtue of your lack of Black DNA.
        Finally Harvey you say I lack the necessary Background in my DNA is ludicrous Man because you know that I’m a Black American, right? As such I have European DNA coursing through my veins, so much in fact 17% of my DNA is European according to Ancestry DNA. Being that intelligent man that I alluded to earlier you should understand that there is nothing that I, as a Black man in America don’t know understand about being white in America because I’ve had to live it my entire life, whether I wanted to or not! In the future if you want to appropriate my writings do yourself a favor and don’t,
        because you’re to intelligent to try and take the easy way out! Oh yea and they don’t fit you man!

          1. OH, WOW!!!! I check with Amazon and they don’t have it in stock. LE if you get any information about where I can purchase the book because I want to buy 4 copies to give Mayor Ganim and Mario Testa a copy.

  8. “May The Works I’ve Done Speak For Me”
    September 8, 2019 LennieGrimaldi City Politics, News and Events18 Comments
    Anthony Bennett, lead pastor of Mount Aery Baptist Church, writes in this commentary that also appears in the Connecticut Post, “I have never shared nor made the calculation that one’s fitness for the office was based primarily on one’s race loyalty.”

    On Thursday morning, Sept. 5, my phone was inundated with texts and messages regarding the article written by Brian Lockhart entitled “Bridgeport’s black voters divided on Moore’s candidacy.” Within this article, there were words attributed to Councilwoman Rev. Mary McBride-Lee that directly and indirectly questioned the legitimacy of Sen. Marilyn Moore’s mayoral candidacy based on her race loyalty.

    The question of whether Sen. Moore was “black enough” and was “really for black people” has stirred debate in our local community. Subsequent to reading the article, I spoke to both Sen. Moore and Pastor Lee. Pastor Lee, in our brief conversation, stated that the article did not characterize what she actually meant.

    Be that as it may, this election has once again brought forth the provocative questions on racial identity and sufficiency. These are not new questions, but rather these questions and insinuations have been used to discredit and minimize the legitimacy of African-American candidates in the past–in particular, in this instance, an African-American woman.

    It was and has been understood in many communities of color that a black or brown person needs to be twice as good at whatever they do in order to get half of the acknowledgment and recognition of non-persons of color.

    I have pastored Mount Aery Baptist Church for more than 25 years. I have been both a vocal critic of most city administrations and also have partnered with the city in efforts to improve public safety. In all these years, I have never shared nor made the calculation that one’s fitness for the office was based primarily on one’s race loyalty. It is simply absurd for anyone to directly or indirectly suggest that any candidate, particularly in the instance of Sen. Moore, would somehow or another be less qualified because she is not really for “black people” or “black enough.”

    Oftentimes black community leaders and legislators are held to an unrealistic “higher litmus test” than non-people of color in meeting the diverse needs of their constituency and fellow community members. Within the Mount Aery congregation, I have people who support Sen. Moore as well as Mayor Joe Ganim. I have a congregation that is intelligent and savvy enough to make up their own minds. That’s why I have never endorsed any local candidate from the pulpit or in public.

    History seeks to teach us that we will not move forward as a society using the same tropes and criteria of racial legitimacy. The black community is not a monolith, in that within our 35 percent of the population in Bridgeport, we have varied backgrounds and life experiences like any other race and community. I refuse to believe that any one black person, any one black organization, any one black pastor or legislative leader has exclusive rights of what it means to be an African-American.

    I have not heard Mayor Ganim publicly questioned if he is enough for his community.

    I pray that as many people who have registered to vote will vote on Tuesday, and that, as Dr. King dreamed, that we as a society will not be judged by the color of our skin but rather by the content of our character.

    Some might characterize Dr. King’s statement as naïve. I prefer to work toward his aspirational goal rather than the alternative of cynicism and despair. I do believe Sen. Moore might say, in the words of that traditional Gospel song, “May the works I’ve done speak for me.”

  9. Harvey, when it comes to comrade Day’s DNA in politics it has nothing to do with blackness. To say a black man is not black because of their political affiliation says everything necessary to understand.

    What lack of necessary ethnic background in Dave’s DNA is missing for Day to say he is not black or at the very least, not a black of his kind or the community he doesn’t reside in, city for that matter. 🙂

    If you refer to the video where Candice Owen calls out the democrat playbook on how race is used and you can see that is exactly what Comrade Day is doing. It is more about emotion and resentment that Day understands.

    I have been having this “Trump” racial/political debate on Facebook for some time and it is seemingly very little to do with black issues in America but is more to conjure up racial emotions as a political game, and then some. It might be deeper than politics though. But as I said, it gets harder and blurrier when racial equilibrium hits, and it’s not so easy to make such racial/emotional distractions. It might even have to be taught.

    Day, had to associate him with Trump 45 to conjure up black folks’ emotions to tell them this black man is not one of their kind (black) Even though he is a Democrat. The point is, it is harder to use the race card/playbook when that balance hits or even tips, and Day proved it.

    He has a lot to say about Dave’s conduct about a woman who pleaded guilty to corruption, yet his conduct about Maria on ONB is far more ” disgraceful”. But I think he lacks the DNA or self-awareness to understand or he does and the playbook getting old.

    What racism are we talking about again people? Things that make you go Hmmmm!

    Full disclosure I know nothing about Dave never heard of him before until this thread and don’t know the content of his character, political ideology, what he has done as a council member in Stratford other than what I have seen and read here. I would like to ask my comrade Day what do you want to say to any white voters whose emotions are disconnected from your pleas?

    To Marcus’ point, every elected official be it city or state has been black for quite some time some you support some you don’t, and yet East End Development and be going at a snail’s pace. Some like Moore who Lennie just did a piece touting bounding projects for the Northend and the East Side not even in her district. I know not one project on the East End that Moore secure bonding for, I could be wrong. But it seems it is mostly private where they have to wait for material has to fall the back of a truck or something. That SWAG facility seems cool and needs support that provides services to the community. Is there anything like that or a boys and girls club on the East End? JA

    At any rate, Speaking of bullshit, books, playbooks, teaching, negativity, positivity, sliver lining, Excelsior, effort, and apologies. Remember people, it’s all Hemmingway’s fault, He is the one to blame.

    Bam I am out of here 🙂


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