All the candidates are now set for a September 10 Democratic primary that features a citywide race for Board of Education and four district contests for City Council. The political action group Citizens Working For A Better Bridgeport (CW4BB) will conduct a public forum on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Bridgeport Public Library, 925 Broad Street, “to seek your input on the candidates we should consider endorsing.”
CW4BB organizers say they’re interested in obtaining input from voters, as well as providing information to Bridgeport residents seeking municipal government reform. Sign-up sheets will be available for those who want to assist candidates. “Anyone interested in a better future for Bridgeport is encouraged to attend,” according to an e-blast issued by the group. “There will also be some very well-informed guest speakers available to answer questions that will help to clarify overall understanding of the election process and the need for government reform in Bridgeport.”
State Representative Auden Grogins, State Representative Terrie Wood and State Senator John McKinney, all of whom support state legislation backed by CW4BB to prohibit city employees from serving on the City Council, are expected to attend the forum.
The endorsed school board candidates: Simon Castillo, Katie Bukovsky, Brandon Clark. Challenge slate: Andre Baker, Dave Hennessey, Howard Gardner.
The school board race is a major campaign test for political supporters of Mayor Bill Finch trying to stave off a challenge that is expected to be well financed by education interests and a ground operation led by the the union representing teachers, the Bridgeport Education Association, as well as Connecticut Working Families Party and seasoned political operatives aligned with the opposition slate. Rob Traber, vice president of the BEA that represents unionized education employees, is a veteran of city elections. Both sides are also expected to receive independent expenditures.
City Council primaries:
In the West Side 132nd District, Robert Halstead and Trish Swain will face incumbents John Olson and Evette Brantley.
In the North End 135th District, Mary McBride-Lee and Richard Salter will challenge incumbents Warren Blunt and Richard Bonney.
In the East Side 136th District, Richard DeJesus and Alfredo Castillo are opposing incumbents Carlos Silva and Angel DePara.
In the East Side 137th District, incumbent Lydia Martinez and Milta Feliciano will take on endorsed ex-councilwoman Maria Valle running with Aidee Nieves.