Tony Raises The Barr In Underdog Campaign For Mayor

Tony Barr leverages his last name… well… like a crowbar. He’s been behind bars in maximum security facilities, been barred from the mayor’s office followed by a City Council request to bar him from meetings, even had dueling protective order requests with school board member Maria Pereira to bar each other’s company. Now Tony’s trying to raise the bar in a super long-shot run for mayor, the office he sought four years ago in which he finished dead last as a petitioning candidate with 24 votes citywide.

Undeterred from 2015, he made his mayoral announcement on Sunday at the Orcutt Boys & Girls Club on the East Side.

So what’s changed from four years ago? He has since raised his political and public profile, winning a seat on the Democratic Town Committee from the Upper East Side 138th District, and along the way involved in a few scrapes with the law.

An outgrowth of his political involvement is a burgeoning alliance with State Senator Dennis Bradley whom Barr often promotes on his Facebook page.

Barr plans to run in the general election on the New Movement party line that was occupied by veteran political operative Charlie Coviello four years ago. Coviello, now a city employee, is supporting Ganim’s reelection.

Tall, bespectacled, always nattily attired, the 52-year-old Barr who often refers to himself in the third person can come across professorial, even thoughtful, regaling on a number of subjects, but prepare yourself for a capricious segue when he turns up the temperature passionately about issues and personalities who violate his standard of sensibilities.

Barr, who is coy about how he earns a living, has made it his calling to speak out about creating opportunities for erstwhile offenders facing second-chance obstacles.

What’s his beef with Mayor Joe Ganim? It generally centers on Ganim, a second-chance mayor, turning his back on felons, says Barr, that he inspired to the polls in 2015. “He has disappointed everyone who ever had handcuffs on them.”

Translation: Ganim has not hired enough former offenders.

Barr tasted political victory last March when he joined a coalition of campaign veterans, backed by Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, to lance a slate led by school board member Maria Pereira who had served as district leader.

Barr and Pereira give as good as they get, and often against each other. Barr claims Pereira started him in politics, something Pereira disputes forcefully. “He’s completely delusional.”

Late last year they both filed court papers for protective orders against each other. Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis rejected their applications asserting “As public figures you have to face criticism and negativity.”

Following the Sunday shooting death of a man he knows Barr lamented gun violence. In a video on his Facebook page he declares, “It’s time we truly start to do something … let’s pray to improve the quality of life for the people of the city of Bridgeport. Let’s pray for job opportunities. Let’s pray for putting our kids back first. Let’s pray for being responsible parents again. Let’s pray for being responsible leadership in the community.”

How does he intend to finance his mayoral race? Without missing a beat he tells OIB, “I have a lot of rich friends.”



  1. Tony Barr is absolutely delusional. I remember the first time I ever saw Tony Barr. I had organized a community meeting in the Winter of 2014 at the Burroughs Library to educate and organize the community around blocking two new Charter $chools in Bridgeport. I had never met him nor he was he invited.

    Tony Barr walked in with a woman who was videotaping him on her cellphone the entire time. Towards the end of the meeting he aggressively announced he was running for Mayor and that he would be the next Mayor of Bridgeport. Tom Coble was standing slightly behind him to his left. Tom Coble was rolling his eyes but did not respond. No one responded. It was clear everyone in the room felt uncomfortable.

    Tony Barr signed up on our sign-in sheet so he received group emails regarding these two charter schools like every other person. There was a big culmination of this battle at a BOE meeting in which those against and those in support of these two charter schools attended. It was a full house with standing room only. Tony Barr arrived late and started to walk over to where the “Vote NO” cohort was seated. I had an empty chair to my right and immediately put my papers and purse on the chair to discourage him from trying to sit next to me. It worked.

    Tony Barr was addressing the Board during public comment and suddenly looked at one of the best student representatives on the school board we have ever had. Out of no where, he asked the Board “what are you feeding our kids?” He then looked at the student and said “you need to go on a diet.” The room gasped collectively as the student got up and ran out of the room crying. The Board recessed the meeting and several BOE members and attendees went to console the student.

    Later that night, Tony Barr posted a video saying that he would not apologize and then began publicly disparaging this students’ mother for his weight. The student was incredibly upset and said that if Tony Barr was allowed to attend Board meetings that he would no longer serve as a student representative. Sauda Baraka banned Tony Barr from attending any further BOE meetings. Joe Larcheveque lifted the ban when he became Chair in December 2016.

    I want to state here unequivocally that Tony Barr and I have never been friends, political allies, or anything else. I don’t say so much as “hello” to him when I see him. In fact, I do everything I can to avoid coming into contact with him.

    When he received 24 votes in 2015, I remember thinking who were the 23 idiots that voted for him to be Mayor.

  2. Lennie, C’ Mon Man, you left out one of the most important thing that has put Tony Barr in the news, and on Facebook. and that is Tony Barr was Dennis Bradley main sidekick. When Dennis Bradley was at any church or event there was Tony Barr, walking and talking with Bradley, standing with Bradley when he was giving a speech during Bradley’s campaign for the State Senate plus Tony Barr was Bradley videographer at different rallies and at different church services, if saw Bradley more than likely you saw Tony Barr. The question that I have is will Dennis Bradley show the same type of loyalty to Tony Barr as Barr did for Bradley in his election or will Dennis Bradley support Mayor Ganim against Tony Barr for mayor?

  3. Dear Tony,
    Don’t know whether you have seen the popular message about political campaigns from OIB. Keeping it short the acronym is MOM.
    Stands for: MONEY-your own to spend on your campaign; ORGANIZATION-Dennis Bradley(?) and others with a common purpose; MESSAGE-that speaks to and for people about their concerns and when delivered by you is credible.

    The young man who was a student representative from Central HS for three years to the BOE the night you insulted him gratuitously graduated, went to Felician University in New Jersey on full scholarship with employment by the university president because of his skills and maturity, graduated in four years last June and is currently in Chicago working for the Paul Vallas for Mayor campaign as a schedule coordinator. I had the privilege of mentoring him from sixth grade at Roosevelt School and today he is a good friend from a different generation. Onward and upward. Time will tell.

    1. Paul Vallas again, please, this guy is as bad as Richard Blumenthal, Joe Ganim and Dennis Bradley in being a camera hog who is always seeking attention. If you Google his name it says, Paul Gust Vallas is a American politician. There was no way he wanted to be the Superintendent of the Bridgeport Public School system, Bridgeport was just a stop over until he could find the right position to run for.

  4. I posted the following under the Dennis Bradley story a couple of days ago.

    “Wanda Geter was paid $2,760 in Stallworth’s filings and another $1,492 in Bradley’s campaign. I haven’t finished reviewing Rosario’s and Ganim’s filings. How does a FT city employee find so much extra time to earn all this extra income? Even if Wanda was paid $20.00 an hour, it would total 213 hours of canvassing after work and on weekends. It does not appear plausible.”

    I have now found out that Wanda Geter was also paid $1,000 by the Christopher Rosario campaign on October 21, 2018. She was also paid $250.00 on two separate dates in October by the Steve Stafstrom campaign totaling $500.00. That is a total of $5,752 paid to Wanda Geter in less than 4 months from 4 different DTC machine candidates with critical reports outstanding. She was paid more AFTER the August 14th Primary than BEFORE the Primary. We all know what Wanda Geter gets paid for which is absentee ballots.

    Chris Rosario also paid Lydia Martinez $500 in October.

    I need to review more reports, however both Christopher Rosario and Steve Stafstrom both missed the January 10, 2019 filing in violation of state law. I will file complaints against them which will result in fines being imposed.

    I have now found four members of our state delegation who have violated our campaign finance laws. The very laws they vote to establish to establish “transparency, weed out dark money, promote democracy, and create a level playing field and fairness in our elections.”

    1. I received a call from an individual that stated both Chris Rosario’s and Steve Stafstrom’s campaign did in fact file their finance reports by the January 10th deadline.

      I take great pride in conducting research and providing factual information, therefore I would like to apologize for posting incorrect information.

      I will scan those reports soon and post my findinga.

  5. Barr’s smart enough to know he has no shot at winning. However, he could make enough noise to one day win a council seat, being we are in a second chance movement in the city and a council seat is a whole different game.

    As for Denis he we protect his himself and his seat. But he will probably leverage his support to Joe most likely, can’t see him bulking the mayor.

    Maria, you owe the judge an apology for what you said about her, because she didn’t give you your restraining order you filed against Barr. Clearly you are not in fear of him and can’t even restrain yourself from commenting a negative critique about him.

    Speaking of filings, critiques, and complains. You know when someone critiques you Maria, and you get upset. That is how the state delegation feels when you file complaints on them. Not to mention your Robert Rules 🙂

    I fine you $25 for wasting the judge’s, the court’s, and taxpayer’s money. 😊

    Also, dark money is democracy because it promotes self-interest. That is how Joe made his comeback. Maria, you would be surprise who I seen working on his behave in his comeback reelection headquarters before he called the cops to have me removed. Wait, no you wouldn’t be surprised because you where there. Steve wasn’t but he will be there this time around, right Steve? Said the silent odd kid in the back. 😊. It is why this Democracy is ground on a Republic based on laws. Make that a $40 fine. 🙂

    (full disclosure I still stand by my billboards. Barr since you are not going to have the bank roll like Joe. Billboards- Barr for Mayor-) 😊

  6. JML don’t always dismiss constructive criticism. That kid may have learned a valuable lesson. While I was not there and can only assume know the nature of it by your and Maria’s witness, what you expressed here. I don’t favor public shaming as the best means. But are you and Maria doing anything less by your publicly shaming of Barr for his behavior?

    However, when it comes to this obesity health issue he is not alone in addressing it. BAM

    1. RT
      No one who was at the BOE meeting where Barr unloaded on the high school representative believed that Tony had the longevity and health interest of the young man as his reason for discussing his weight. Is that clear?
      As a mentor, concern about Jose’s health moved me to offer certain actions through the years but failure to focus attention on the obvious is not a reason to discontinue the mentoring process, in my opinion. And cheap laughs at someone’s expense whom Tony did not know or care about were all he sought. The audience knew Jose and the laughter failed to form. Instead it was outrage. I have listened to Tony tell his story from his own high school experiences to current time. I was not shaming him but rather supplementing the record of that evening raised by MP. As I close most of my writing with “TIME WILL TELL”. That certainly has been the case with all of the actors whose names have been part of this column. And it will remain the case with the lived days full of activities by those same people in the future until they leave the stage. Time will tell.

        1. RT
          When a story is written with different purpose and vocabulary, as Shakespeare did in his day, different communication occurs. As you are an actor, rather than a writer(?), and your vocabulary is “BAM , I’m out!”
          Just saying…..not my purpose to “shame Tony for his behavior” as you wrote, today or in the past. Tony was travelling too fast that night and did not consider that he might meet those same people at a future time who would remember the event differently. As I say regularly, time will tell.

          1. “To be or not to be, time will never tell because all you do is ask question. ” ~ Shakespeare 🙂

            However you are wise for your time Dorothy. I am an actor, rather than a writer. But let’s get lost following the yellow brick road and forget I’m also the director and produce. Maybe even the wizard behind the curtain, and if you click the heels of your red boots three time I will answer some of those fucking questions asking. Then afterwards please exit stage left. BAM! 🙂 BBBBBBAAAAMMMM!!! 🙂


        1. RT
          Keep your eyes off the red boots. They are my props for addressing the City Council on money issues. One deals with the Operating Budget and the other boot with B.S. on its toe is meant to represent the Balance Sheet of the City of Bridgeport that today shows the City owes more, all in, than it is worth!!!
          You complain about questions way too much, since asking and patiently awaiting a response is about the only way to gain real knowledge about governance and its history in Bridgeport. If you are only speaking for your own amusement, that is one thing. However, if you are speaking to inform others about that which you know, Socratic systematic questions might work. Of course if you really do not care, I am present as a persona for you to argue against. Time will tell.

    1. Dr. Kayo had completed medical school and for five years or more had handled research around healthcare for urban populations. When he came to Bridgeport I believe that Mayor Ganim appointed him to the Ethics Commission. Later I met him at a NAACP general meeting and attempted to help his marketing efforts around his research as he was asked to assist as Health Committee chair.
      It is unfortunate to discover that there were parts of his life, not readily observable at first, that caused the community to re-consider his appropriateness at the time, and he disappeared from view. I have not heard from him in more than a year.
      You, sir, have appeared on the scene, with far more fanfare (you blow your own horn) and bluster than Dr. Kayo. You enjoy the failure of others, or at least regale the community with such stories.
      I am not a prophet or fortune tellers, but I find that people either change, or opinions about them change as time proceeds. Had OIB readers not given you time to organize your thoughts, usable vocabulary and writing style, but written you off as “unreadable”, would that have been fair to you? Perhaps you do not care about that but it does show that “time will tell”.

      1. John, here’s a blustering story that blows my own horn. In the long, long time ago. A man once came up to me and asked if I had found Jesus. I replied no Sir. I did not find Jesus. Jesus found me. I was drunk in a whorehouse. You know you have some atonement to be doing when Jesus walks in and start slapping you around like a punk, making you cry in front of all the ladies. It was the first time I ever prayed to God. I made the sign of the cross, and I said, “God can you please tell your son Jesus to stop kicking me in the head” 🙂
        To be honest I didn’t sign of the cross. I was laying on the ground in a fetal position crying, and bleeding profusely. Not even sure if God answered my prayers or Jesus was done, could have been a push.
        However, John while I never claimed to be a prophet. I did have a revelation that day. When Jesus ex kicked me to the head and karate chop me in my throat thought. I thought to myself. He didn’t learn that in Nazareth, during his last years he must have went down to China to hang out with Buddha’s Zen master.
        And you said I wasn’t much of a writer Bah humbug. What this readable. Bam. 🙂
        I do find your writing about me to be disappointing to say the least, and far from the fanfare I would have suspected from a man with great honesty and integrity. How did you come to such a discovery that I enjoying peoples failures? Since my vocabulary or lack of is well known to you and the community. Because my repertoire of vocabulary is limited. I can’t respond to “regale” and its meaning, or your intent to pen it.

        I have to say thought so much for time will tell. It seems you didn’t even reconsider Kayo’s Appropriateness at the time after his arrest. While I am not a researcher like others here on OIB. I have to pose the question John, how did you in the NAACP in those who attended the general meetings with Kayo foretell that there was a part of Kayo’s life not readily observable at first look that would cause you to consider his appropriateness? Have you seen his boots and his Daisy Dukes? Those Dukes are screaming I like it freaky. JML, this “John’s” procurement of monetary expenditures is the least of this ethic commissioner’s ethical behavior, in question. P.S. You haven’t heard from Kayo because he exited the stage, left 🙂

        John, I know you are not a prophet, for you have told me. But have you read some of the prophets from a long, long time ago.

        ” If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10 ”

        John, John have you learned nothing from our friendship. You are right Time will Tell. 🙂–friendly-fire-edition—bill-o-reilly-s-philosophy

          1. RT
            When your writing does not make sense to me, or looks to talk about individuals who failed to live up to community standards and are off stage today, I do not go to your internet citations to rescue me. As you have never seen fit to meet and take past conversations forward, I cannot understand your reference to “our friendship”.
            Do you see words from Leviticus as prophecy? Or perhaps they are words from an angry “male supreme society” where wives were property, and property rights were secured by a sharp sword? What have your other favored prophets to share today, that is of import to Bridgeport residents, taxpayers, families attempting to exercise their talents and make a secure future? Time will tell.

          2. Thanks for proclaiming me to be a writer, friend. or how would you reference our relationship here on Lennie’s OIB?

            Do we not learn from our pass conversations. If not, we are doomed to repeated, are we not?

            Yes I see words from Leviticus as prophecy as one can understand them when wanting to move something forward. Don’t you? Or do you see it as an angry male supreme society’s community standards? I believe the Prophecy of the pass had moved the community standards forward when speaking or Leviticus, has it not? What prophets and prophecies to follow that move the community standard forward as will share to import to Bridgeport residents, taxpayers, families attempting to exercise their talents and make a secure future? I guess TIME WILL TELL, RIGHT?


  7. Its amazing how many Bozzo’s that hang around city hall & the city’s over all local politics for a while, then decide that their ready & qualified to run for any political seat where there’s an opening. Let alone one of the toughest seat’s in the state; the Mayor of the largest urban city in Ct. called Bpt. If those are not grandeur’s of delusion of some sorts I don’t know want is! But then again its really nothing new when it comes to Bpt. politics from top to bottom & back again, no? ***

  8. Bridgeport’s political culture is a joke in Hartford. When a convicted felon and disgraced attorney is re-elected to the mayor’s office it was only a matter of time before other criminals became emboldened: “If Little Joe can do it why can’t I?”

  9. Tony Barr has every right to run for mayor and he has State Senator Dennis Bradley and City Council member Eneida Martinez strongly behind Tony Barr but will they be loyal to Tony Barr or will they support Joe Ganim for mayor? How would will Tony Barr feel if Bradley and Martinez support Joe Ganim?

  10. Dennis Bradley will donate money to Tony Barr, however he will be with Joe Ganim and do whatever Ganim asks of him.

    Eneida will be on Ganim’s line and will support him.

  11. This announcement makes me think that a third City Hall might be in order — in the building attached by overhead walkway to Bridgeport Hospital on the Grand Street side… Is Dr. Ralph Ford a supporter?…

    The cast of characters involved in “Election 19” in Bridgeport is becoming as varied and interesting as the cast of presidential contenders in 2016. It could only be part of some grand plan (from “above” — Broad Street Office) not to be understood by sane, tax-paying mortals…


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