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Three’s A Crowd In Registrar’s Office?

August 29th, 2016 · 24 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

Rosa Correa

Rosa Correa. CT Post photo Phil Noel.

Long-time city activist and registered Republican Rosa Correa says she’s running as a petitioning candidate for the Office of Registrar of Voters to “awaken” disconnected GOP electors to participate in the election process. Gee, counters Republican Town Chairman Michael Garrett, Correa hasn’t even participated in recent Republican campaigns and has often been a friend to Democrats.

Correa has qualified for the November ballot through the petitioning process. Democrat Sandi Ayala and Republican Linda Grace were both endorsed for another two-year term for registrar by their respective parties. Their elections (they did not have primary challengers) are now automatic because state law requires major party representation in the registrar’s office, according to Patrick Gallahue, spokesman for Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

In the lonely world of Bridgeport Republican elected officials, the only areas automatic are the positions for registrar and city sheriffs. It used to be that way on the Board of Education as well until the Connecticut Working Families Party mounted a presence in general elections in which their candidates finished ahead of Republicans.

The rules are different for registrar. If Correa, for instance, manages more votes than Grace, the cash-strapped department would have three $70K registrars instead of two. “If a petitioning candidate for registrar were to garner the highest or second highest number of votes, that municipality would enjoy the service of three registrars of voters,” says Gallahue.

Correa, as a petitioning candidate, disagrees that’s the case based on her read of the statute but plans to forge ahead with her citywide race.

“We haven’t seen Rosa Correa since the 1990s at a Republican meeting,” says GOP leader Garrett. “She hasn’t supported any Republican candidates. She supported Bill Finch for mayor and when she had a second chance to support her fellow Latino (Rick Torres) she chose a Democrat Mary-Jane Foster.” Foster, a registered Democrat, ran as a petitioning candidate in the 2015 general election for mayor won by Joe Ganim.

Correa has a reputation for an independent streak and if she is to be successful she’ll need support from the city’s unaffiliated voters.

CT Post scribe Brian Lockart also weighs in on this issue:

There is precedent for a trio of registrars. A few years ago the Working Families third party successfully fielded a candidate for registrar in Hartford, so that city has a Democrat, Republican and WFP member in that office.

“(It) ensures a system of checks and balances that keeps the process fair and provides a level of oversight of the system to make sure it’s working fairly for everyone,” said Carlos Moreno, the WFP’s communications director.

Full story here.

Correa is no stranger to city government and politics. She has served on the Planning and Zoning and Civil Service commissions and also chaired the Bridgeport Housing Authority commission. She retired recently as Director of Strategic Relations at Career Resources, Inc.

Correa statement:

In regards to running for Registrar of Voters, I believe the people should have a choice in the officials who administers elections throughout the City. I have a great appreciation for the electoral process and what it means to be able to choose the best person who can maintain a high level of performance in the Registrars’ Office. The ability to vote for a representative is the foundation of the Republic. It would be an honor and a privilege to oversee the elections process in the City and provide residents with information and opportunities to participate in the electoral process.

I am a Republican. Over the last fifteen years, the total enrollment in the Republican Party has dropped from roughly 6,600 to 4,600. Approximately 1000 of the current registered Republicans are listed as “inactive.” Currently, there are more inactive Democratic voters than total registered Republican voters. The population of the City has increased throughout the last fifteen years and notably the Democratic Party has seen its numbers escalate, minor political parties have increased, and total unaffiliated voters have remained unchanged. Yet the one political party of registered voters that continues to decline is the Republican.

It is very important that a system of checks and balances remain in place to ensure a functioning stable city government. I believe the dominance of one political party has had adverse effects on the people of the community. Providing Bridgeport residents with a viable alternative voice and choice is good for democracy.

I believe that my extensive community service and professional experience enables me to improve and maximize the performance of the Registrar’s office (see attached bio). I have served on various boards and commissions and always wanted to be an elected by the people of this city.

Now that I have retired, I can completely devote all of my time and energy to pursuing this life-long passion to serve as an elected official in the City where I grew up, raised my children/grandchildren and where I will continue to live.

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24 Comments so far ↓

  • Frank Gyure

    Maybe the Bridgeport Republicans need a new chairman. Michael Garrett has done a LOUSY job. Garrett should be welcoming Correa’s efforts instead of condemning them. I’m a Democrat but BPT Republicans need a bigger base than a few blocks in Black Rock and we NEED a viable two-party system in BPT.

  • Steven Auerbach

    If ever there were a time to shake up the Republican party, I think now would be it. It is sad the party faithful are supporting the king idiot, Donald Trump. That speaks volumes. I know Linda Grace to be a staunch Republican and a caring individual. I will not say anything negative about her or Mike Garrett. They are both proud of their party. I have know Rosa Correa for 35 years. Like Chris Shays breaking with the party at the dismay of party faithful. He represents a huge percentage of Republicans who will support Clinton. I do know Rosa has worked hard for the city of Bridgeport whether working for the Moran Administration, Fabrizi or Finch. She may be just what the Republican party needs to improve its position in the city of Bridgeport and open it up to minorities. I love Rosa and I know she is a very hard worker and as a former Republican and a staunch Democrat, I wish her well. Hey, two Republican registrars, considering their low numbers that would be silly. :-)

  • John Marshall Lee

    Considering the City’s financial situation, three Registrars would be silly. It might lead to even more confusion and miscommunication to the extent that political divisions are there by law in that office.

    I have seen Rosa’s involvement in a variety of community service positions over the years, but I had never heard her comment previously on the status of “checks and balance” in Bridgeport’s governance. As a matter of fact I might suggest it is the ABSENCE of “checks and balance” mechanisms and structures in the City that allow the City to seem to maintain “a functioning stable City government.” Our status quo may seem to indicate “functioning” but voting records, City fund balance decreases, taxable Grand List decrease, phony Police Department budget paraded and celebrated to hire 100 officers in a year, a continuing court battle over the likely $100 Million or more overvaluation of assets of Wheelabrator for the past seven years, etc. hardly attest to stable. What is her platform and what necessary changes would she bring to ROV in terms of “checks and balance?” Time will tell.

  • Frank Gyure

    JML, we need to start shaking things up. Might as well start here. Put a Republican into City Government. Somewhere or anywhere.

  • Mary Filo

    Something smells funny about this. First of all, we taxpayers cannot afford another $70k-plus right now. If Correa gets a spot as an independent would she also get to choose a deputy to add to the payroll? While the RTC could definitely use more support I never even heard this woman’s name until two weeks ago. I have worked on several Republican campaigns over the past 15 years and this woman was never seen or heard from to support any candidates. I never saw her at any fundraisers either. Is Rosa just possibly looking for a job? I would love to see the Republicans of Bridgeport get more active, but falling out of the sky and going for a paid position out of the chute comes across as questionable to me. I’m sure Rosa is a lovely person, but IMHO something’s not right here.

  • Frank Gyure

    Just bury the Republican Party in Bridgeport. RIP.

  • invincible

    There is nothing smelly about this. As an independent voter, rest assured I will be voting for Rosa. She is honest, fair, her love for Bridgeport and its community is greater than any of you bloggers can imagine. Rosa, go get them, tiger!!!

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      It’s the internal RTC in question, not the merit, character or experience of Rosa. More than a few disgruntled Democrats have switched parties and joined the RTC in recent years. There have been a few shouting matches at recent meetings, with the newest members leading the charge. Suspicions abound, are they Mario plants? Are they doing the wrong thing for the right reason and shaking the party up and awake, are two questions. With declining voter registration numbers, and a membership that does not reflect the diversity of the city population, criticism of party leadership outreach does merit both criticism and decisive action.
      Interesting comments on the CT Post article, in that commentary mostly support the removal of the Democrat registrar of voters.
      SMH.

  • Local Eyes

    In romance, three’s a crowd is taboo.
    In politics, it’s what petitioning candidates do.

  • Frank the Cabana Boy

    Maybe she keeps all current ROV’s and their deputies in check. If she does, it’s money well spent.

    Money is easy to find. Just get rid of Tax Deadbeat Pizzaro. What in hell is he doing back on the payroll anyway? What is his job? Description if you please? It’s our money, right? Do we get no input as to how it’s spent?

  • Ed Davies

    One thing is certain, and that is Rosa J Correa is passionate about the City of Bridgeport and is now taking a step to add integrity to the elections process. If I were a City resident I would vote for Rosa in a heartbeat.

  • Grin Ripper

    The role of the Republican Registrar is to manage the rolls of the Republican voters. It is also a joint responsibility of both Registrars to manage the non-party enrolled voters and manage your party’s primaries and general elections with the Democratic Registrar. It is not to be used as a party-building tool. That is the individual political party’s form and function.

    Furthermore, Rosa knows how the game is played. She is the Evita of political pandering. Don’t cry for me Argentina!

    Ed Davies–politically speaking, her service has been self-service.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Ed,
    Tip of the hat to you, and your support of Rosa, and passion can get you through the difficult times ahead, but you mention integrity. It is an important issue to know what a person says is the truth, and if they make a commitment to the public they will use their talents and ability to pursue their commitment.
    Rosa mentioned “checks and balance,” a subject I have been passionate about with reference to City finances and decision making and review.
    What is G2′s record on Open, Accountable, Transparent and Honest people ask me. Well I have been trying to engage Mayor Ganim in conversation as recent as last Friday evening. He says “sure” but neither finds the way to do that nor shows the way, when asked.
    Mayor Joe asked me what I wanted to talk about and I told him the phony Police Department budget was a subject of interest. When it was presented it was a fantasy, not able of accomplishment in the FY2017 budget time period, yet it assumed we were operating with 470 current employees. Chief AJ Perez has announced in public and on Channel 12 that the current number is closer to 350. And the systemic indicators to show how the many leadership professionals in public safety were not even updated for the year past. Do those indicators for all departments mean anything, speaking of HONEST and ACCOUNTABLE? Where is integrity practiced in the G2 administration? Time will tell.

  • Ron Mackey

    The Republican Party in Bridgeport is so weak, the Democrats could take it over. I’ve suggested to those in Black Rock to expand their outreach outside Black Rock and to bring in the entire 130th district but they have chosen not to do that. I’ve suggested they forget about the Republican Party and become Democrats and to challenge the DTC 9 members and take over the entire 130th district by just electing five like-minded people. Well the same thing can happen the other way, the Democrats in the 130th district can take over the DTC in the 130th much easier. Think about it.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    We have a Republican registrar of voters already. This is a Sham to get Rosa Correa another city job. She has worked for various administrations for the past two or three decades. Her relative was recently head of public facilities. Rosa, enough already.

  • invincible

    You said, Mr. Fardy … was. He was let go when the new admin. came into power. Great person, great worker, Jorge Garcia. The Republican Party needs to be a little more aggressive and active. Shake them, Rosa.

  • Frank Gyure

    Gee, I did not realize we were having a municipal election this coming November. It’s simply silly to have THREE ROV’s. If Rosa Correa REALLY wants to shake things up, she should run for CC in November 2017. A third ROV is just another cushy job.

  • Ron Mackey

    Rosa Correa has served on the Planning and Zoning and Civil Service commissions and also chaired the Bridgeport Housing Authority commission. Over the last fifteen years, the total enrollment in the Republican Party has dropped from roughly 6,600 to 4,600. During those 15 years young blacks and Hispanics are now of voting age and the Republicans had a good chance of signing many of these young people to see what the Bridgeport Republican Party is about and how joining with the Republican Party they could work together to make Bridgeport a better place to live and to raise their family, but no, not the Republicans. Things got so bad even Rosa Correa had to back away. Now everybody is blaming Mario Testa for all the ills the City, you guys let it happen with your silence.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Ron, a few rebels tried from time to time, recall Torres as chair of the RTC endorsed Chris Caruso for mayor, which of course got him unseated. A lot of Republicans publicly supported Moore this primary. You are absolutely correct about outreach for new enrollment.

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