Torres Will Enter Special Election To Fill Grogins’ State House Seat

Torres glasses
Enrique Torres will be examining voter lists soon.

Republican City Councilman Enrique Torres says he will be a candidate for the special election to replace State Rep. Auden Grogins, setting up another confrontation between Torres and the man he defeated for City Council in 2013, Democrat Steve Stafstrom. Others may get into the race. Grogins is departing for a state judgeship appointment by Governor Dan Malloy, pending confirmation by the state legislature. Torres is expected to make a formal announcement Tuesday morning at Harborview Market.

Stafstrom and Torres are the favorites to win their respective party endorsements, but challengers could petition onto the ballot. According to the Connecticut Secretary of the State “in order to qualify to get on the ballot, petitioning candidates must turn in a number of signatures equivalent to 1% of the total number of voters who cast ballots for that seat in the previous election, and signatures must be from registered voters in the district.”

Torres owns the popular Harborview Market in Black Rock that provides his political base. Stafstrom, also a resident of Black Rock, will count on the broader Democratic registration in the State House district to hold off Torres.

Connecticut’s 129th State House District covers Black Rock, the West Side and portions of the North End and West End. As State House districts go, it’s the highest turnout area of the city. When the General Assembly convenes on Wednesday, Grogins will not receive the oath of office for the fourth term she won in November. It will set up a special election that is expected to take place in late February.

While Connecticut’s largest city settles into winter, special elections will add rays of sun. In addition to the State House special election, another will take place for Connecticut’s 23rd Senate District to replace Andres Ayala who’ll become commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles. When was the last time the city had two special elections on the same day?

Torres will try to become the first Bridgeport Republican to serve in the legislature since Rob Russo won a special election in March 2008 to fill the State Senate vacancy by Bill Finch who won the mayoralty in 2007. Russo was defeated by Democrat Anthony Musto in the Barack Obama electoral tsunami of 2008. Musto lost his seat in an August primary of last year to Marilyn Moore.

Torres stoked lethargic local Republicans by winning a seat on the City Council in 2013. He had toyed with waging a third mayoral run this year. The vacancy caused by Grogins, however, has redirected him for a State House run.




  1. And the star had shined brightly over the Harborview Market. The three kings knew they had arrived at the right place to get the message they had traveled so far to hear. Enrique Torres is running. A special day for the Hispanic Community. Run Enrique, Run. The chanting could be heard far and wide and soon everyone was whispering. The One we have been waiting for!

    1. Steve–you must be kidding. Just my opinion, but deciding to call himself Enrique after being known as Rick for many years is hardly enough to have endeared him to the Hispanic community. Let’s not even discuss that absurd tattoo. He makes a good breakfast sandwich, but his overall erratic behavior doesn’t exactly have the makings of a state legislator.

  2. Say what you wish, but Rick has done outstanding work as a City councilman and I’m confident he would be an outstanding Representative for Bridgeport in Hartford. Again … exactly how has same old same old benefited anyone but the hooked-up crew?


      1. Ron, it’s difficult to get sensible bills passed when the “loyal” opposition has done little or nothing for the good of Bridgeport, but rather act as a rubber stamp for the inept administration that is only interested in THEIR jobs and its benefits for them.
        Rick, regardless of what first name he uses, is an independent beholden to no one but his constituency. Stafstrom is tied head to toe with his uncle and will do his bidding. Poor choice for representation for ALL of Bridgeport.

        1. Bob, that gets the district nothing, now they might feel good but that’s it. Look, there is only one game in Bridgeport and that’s the Democrats, so if you want change then you change it from inside the Democratic Party by running primaries to influence and to change the party. Electing Republicans will get you nothing in Bridgeport.

  3. No primary, I might as well run also. I love getting signatures and talking to the constituents. Lennie how many signatures are needed? My first declaration being “We should not accept public financing for the special election because of the shortened campaign period” If the other candidates can agree on this let the campaigning begin.

    1. According to the Secretary of the State “in order to qualify to get on the ballot, petitioning candidates must turn in a number of signatures equivalent to 1% of the total number of voters who cast ballots for that seat in the previous election, and signatures must be from registered voters in the district.”

    2. Hector, you are the best! I worked my ass off and you beat me by a mile getting signatures. Right now the people in the 129th have a choice, vote for Pullman & Comley LLC or Enrique Torres.

  4. Read your comments, people! Liberal Democrats are some of the nastiest people I know. Who is kidding whom about Stafstrom not having a “conflict?” What about his two uncles? I hope he will jump on this blog and discuss exactly what his uncles do and for whom so there is no question of conflict of interest.

  5. He against solar
    I think he’s pro-gun
    He against Steel Point
    I know his roof leak at the Market
    I know he has a houseboat with no motor
    He against increasing the minimum wage
    Not sure what he was doing with the kayaks
    He against the building of new schools in the city
    I like the coffee and chocolate chip cookies at the Market
    I know he likes riding his bike around Black Rock with a sign vote for me
    I know he feels the rules that govern the rest of the people in the city do not apply to him
    I am sure of one thing, if I live in his district I would vote for Steve Stafstrom not Enrique Torres

  6. Just to make sure I have this right. There are two candidates for a State House seat.

    One candidate is (R) Torres who would have no reason to fall into the BPT nepotism trap and would like nothing more than to unseat as many of BPT’s current city council as he could. Without the grandfather clause they have to leave now. With the grandfather clause they can’t run again and the next election would have no incumbent. Every (D) homie he gets out is a chance to get an (R) homie in or at least get an honest (D) elected.

    The other candidate is (D) Stafstrom. He claims to support the Hennessy government reform bill because of his disdain for conflict of interest. To believe this you would have to ignore that he, his family and friends work for the city of BPT as part of Pullman & Comley. What is the line on him withdrawing his support for the government reform bill after he wins the election? Will he continue to live in Black Rock or move back to Fairfield? If Stafstrom promises a $600 property tax rebate he could seal the deal.

    Have you all lost your minds or does (D) stand for Dumbocrat when you live in BPT? Not that it matters. With a special election and low voter turnout the election will fall to the elusive absentee ballot. Any guess who those will go for?

  7. Here is a glimpse of the great debate.
    TORRES: You did nothing on the city council.
    STAFSTROM: No, you did nothing on the council.
    TORRES: No, you did nothing.
    STAFSTROM: No, you did nothing.
    TORRES: No, you.
    STAFSTROM: No, you.


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