Surf’s Up: The Big Wave Weighs Support For Gomes

Grogins, Caruso, Gomes
Chris Caruso will likely support Ed Gomes, right. At left is State Rep. Auden Grogins, the blonde banshee from Black Rock.

Former State Rep. Chris Caruso has been flying under the radar these past 18 months after he accepted a state position from Governor Dannel Malloy as an adviser on urban policy working for the Department of Labor. The Big Wave had contemplated entry into the State Senate race that includes Democratic Party endorsed Ernie Newton and State Rep. Andres Ayala but only if incumbent Ed Gomes had opted out. The Big Wave is coy about folks he supports until he’s ready to officially announce. Had Gomes not sought reelection Caruso was in, but Gomes seems like he’ll dig in to protect his turf and if that’s the case Caruso supporters say he will likely support Gomes.

Caruso, who came close to winning the mayoralty in 2003 and 2007, decided to take a state position instead of challenging Finch last year. (When Finch heard the news he celebrated.) It was time for Caruso, 52, to settle down, think about his future and make a few bucks toward a state pension. But there are times he misses the action and supporters had urged him into the State Senate race. He did not want to create the impression he was pushing out Gomes with whom he has built a strong relationship after years of fighting in their early political careers. Had the Big Wave gotten into the race he’d have served as the antidote to all of the Newton detractors, a lightning rod they could embrace instead of one they distaste.

And maybe that’s a campaign battle cry for Gomes: sanity over sensationalism. Ed Gomes is a warrior. If he likes you he will tell you, if he doesn’t he will tell you. He doesn’t like Mayor Finch. Says his word is no good. Finch counters how can he say that when he doesn’t talk to me? Caruso has not dismissed running for mayor in 2015. Meanwhile he will pick and choose the candidates he supports. Newton’s history won’t allow for it and Ayala’s relationship with the party establishment pushes him away. That leaves Gomes, a loyal Democrat with an independent streak when it comes to the local party apparatus.

Gomes can still pull off a win, but everything must break his way, and that starts with dear ol’ MOM–money, organization and message. And pols like Caruso who have a following.

A fascinating dynamic has developed in this race. The Finch forces are supporting Ayala, but Newton as the endorsed candidate is running on the same line as Congressman Chris Murphy whom they also support for U.S. Senate. The Finchies must educate their voters to make sure Newton does not benefit from the Murphy push. Meanwhile, Ayala will run on Line B of Murphy challenger Susan Bysiewicz. Gomes will run as an orphan on Line C. Why? OIB asked Av Harris, spokesman for the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office, about ballot position in this kind of state race. He explained that “According to CT General Statutes 9-437, first row is the endorsed candidate with an *. Next rows are alphabetical order.”

For more on Gomes see



  1. *** Too little too late as usual from both sides of Caruso and Gomes in starting this campaign, no? Gomes will probably have Grogins, Hennessy and Musto’s support as well, while Ayala seems to have Finch and Rep Santiago. Newton will pick up the remaining two in Clemens and Rev. Stallworth both from the East End. (question) Can OIB readers and bloggers come up with 12 meaningful legislative bills that were authored by Bpt’s present eight state legislators while in office? *** HERE WE GO! ***

  2. Who are you sleeping with today?

    So Malloy and Stafstrom give Caruso a cushy job and he would run against, or endorse against Ayala?
    Smells fishy.

  3. Caruso has to be very careful. Without this cushy Malloy job the Big Wave lives on the street. Is he stupid enough to bite the hand that feeds him? Yes.

  4. Malloy: “I’ll send in the Big Mahuffa, we have to stop this fight before Newton runs away with it.”

    Malloy: “What the fuck are Mario and Finch doing down there?”

    Malloy: “Get Don Williams on the phone … Now!”

    Malloy: “Donny, Gomes needs money and people, give him anything he wants … Now!”

    Malloy: “Someone get labor on board and call John Olson … Now!”

    Malloy: “Remember everyone, it’s up to the voters in Bridgeport.”

    Malloy: “I’ll have to stay neutral.”

    Malloy: “If this thing shits the bed, we’ll blame Testa and Finch.”

    Malloy: “Testa and the DTC killed Bridgeport.” (As the Governor shakes his head)

    Malloy: “Thirty years of Testa is 30 years too many.”

  5. Finch and Mario can no longer control their peeps. Anyone know the story with Curwen and why he voted for Ernie? Could it be the job Finch gave him and then took away?

  6. From what I have heard, Curwen got tired of the job promises made to him by the Finch administration. Originally he was hired to fill Art Harris’ job. Harris came back and Curwen was reduced to the role of gofer. Curwen also wants to keep his seat on the council.
    The administration tried to get him a job with Lauretti in Shelton but that was turned down by Lauretti.
    With the firing of Harris I guess Curwen expected that job and has not been offered it.
    It was a total surprise to me that Curwen voted the way he did. He could have voted for either of the other two candidates. I think he made a mistake.

  7. *** Curwen was a proxy and simply voted the way he was asked to, no? Besides, it looks like Ayala and Gomes relied on party autopilot instead of really working all the delegates involved. Time for city government to help Ayala and the unions to help Gomes get this party started! Newton seems to have the Media right now pushing his name and story for free and that’s a good thing! *** PARTY’S JUST GETTING STARTED ***

  8. From what I have been told, Curwen had Larry Osborne’s proxy and the vote was not supposed to go to Newton. I don’t think we will ever know the true story but Curwen screwed up either way.

    1. I don’t buy it. Why did Osborne give his proxy to Curwen? Did he want to support Ernie but was too scared because of his cushy City job? So Curwen, who is pissed at Finch anyway, does it for him. Osborne can claim “it wasn’t me” to Finch and Wood yet he can still take credit with Ernie. That’s my spin.


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