UPDATE: Great day for library supporters. Bad day for city Republicans. Excellent day for suburban Republican candidates.
What happened to the organized political effort to defeat the library referendum question? In fact many from the Democratic party apparatus were pushing the yes question in front of polling places.
Unofficial results, according to Democratic Registrar of Voters Sandi Ayala, shows the library question passing. That means extra loot to fund library services. But when? And how? Is it a permanent one mil annual appropriation? Can the referendum question be challenged at a future citywide vote? There is no case like this in state history to review.
Also, unofficial results show Working Families Party Board of Education candidates Sauda Baraka (a BOE incumbent dumped by the GOP) and Maria Pereira defeating GOP candidates. The BOE operates under minority-party representation so that means the GOP loses two seats. The Dem candidates Pat Crossin, Leticia Colon and incumbent Bobby Simmons all won. Looking at the unofficial results the Working Families candidates ran well ahead of the GOP candidates. I spoke to a number of Dem political operatives on Tuesday who said they cast votes form the Working Families candidates. The Dem candidates were a lock so plenty of extra votes to spread to preferred candidates Baraka and Pereira backed by the professional campaign organization of Working Families field operatives. (For the actual vote tallies see www.connpost.com. The Post election coverage this cycle is the best in many many years.)
Look for Colon, a supporter of Mayor Bill Finch, to position for BOE president. Colon, a City Council member, is aligned politically with 131 District Leader Mitch Robles. Speaking of Mitch …
Joel’s Mitch And Switch
Republican Joel Speedy Gonzalez, former Democratic City Councilman, pulled a fast one on Mitch Robles, Dem political honcho in the South End and West End. Joel says Bridgeport has too many absentee ballot cheaters. So, to prove his itch, he set up a sting against Mitch on Monday. Joel sent his niece, with absentee ballot in hand, to see Mitch. She told Mitch I have this absentee ballot. What do I do? Joel says Mitch took the ballot and filled it out for her. If that happened that’s a no-no. Joel says he has all of this on audio tape, and has filed an affidavit of complaint with the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission. Is this dirty pool? Or legit? Joel says he will fill us up shortly with all the gooey details. Mitch, if you’re out there, feel free to tell us your side of the story.
Joel isn’t taking on just any Joe blow political operative. Mitch is one district leader who can produce a win in his voting areas for just about anyone he supports. He has juice. And maybe a little abracadabra with absentee ballots.
Rotten day for suburban Democrats.
Ray Baldwin in Trumbull, bye, bye.
Jim Miron in Stratford, see ya.
Tom Buzi in Monroe, so long.
Shelton Republican Mayor Mark Lauretti, dogged by a federal investigation, holds on. Keeping taxes down pays off on election day.
Here Comes Ned
Ned Lamont, who defeated U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman in a contentious Democratic primary in 2006 only to lose to Joe in the general election, is looking at a run for governor. This should make things intriguing. See letter from Ned to his Heads below:
I wanted you to be one of the first to know that, this afternoon, I will be filing papers to establish a committee to explore a potential candidacy for Governor of Connecticut.
Since our 2006 campaign for Senate, I have continued to meet with citizens across our state — as co-chairman of the Obama campaign in Connecticut, founder of a state policy institute at Central Connecticut State University, and as an outspoken advocate for health care reform. I have been constantly reminded during these conversations that Connecticut is not living up to its potential and that too many of our families are still being left behind.
Whether it has been health care and the economy, losing jobs, young people leaving the state, or the never-ending budget crisis, we have all seen our state head in the wrong direction.
Simply put, Connecticut’s current Chief Executive is not getting the job done.
Over the next few weeks, I look forward to continuing these conversations with voters across the state. And I also look forward to hearing from all of you.
You can sign up here to stay connected on Twitter and Facebook:
I hope to have your support as we start this new chapter together.
News release from Mayor Finch
Mayor Finch Congratulates City Council, Board of Education and Leaders of Nearby Towns on their Victories
Mayor Finch today extended his congratulations to the newly elected slate of City Council and Board of Education candidates.
“My sincerest congratulations to the new, but familiar faces that will be joining the City Council next month; I welcome their service, and their fresh ideas and outlook, to our City’s governing body,” said Mayor Finch. “I also look forward to working with the entire Board of Education slate, including new members Leticia Colon and Pat Crossin, and incumbent Bobby Simmons, and Working Families Party candidates Sauda Baraka and Maria Pereira to ensure that we continue to keep the educational needs of Bridgeport children top of mind.”
New council members were elected in the following districts: In the 130th District, incumbent Susan Brannelly was joined by newcomer Martin McCarthy. In the 131st District, Anderson Ayala ran for the seat vacated by Leticia Colon; he will join Denese Taylor-Moye in representing that district. In the 137th District, Lydia Martinez will fill the seat vacated by Daniel Martinez, and Manuel Ayala will replace Maria Valle.
Mayor Finch also extended his congratulations to his newly elected counterparts in Trumbull and Stratford. “The City of Bridgeport has always worked well with the administrations of nearby Stratford and Trumbull. I look forward to working with Mayor Harkins and First Selectman Herbst to focus on regional efforts that span our borders.”