Will Democratic Challengers Rock The Rock’s Political Leadership?

Another challenge slate was cleared for the ballot on Monday that sets the stage for political control of Black Rock where 130th District Leader Danny Roach must win if he’s to defeat Mario Testa as leader of the 90-member Democratic Town Committee following the March 4th primaries.

Roach decided to change the course of his district makeup with some newer faces dispatching long-time member Hector Diaz, a former member of the State House. Roach says he dumped Diaz due to his inactivity in district politics. Diaz cried foul and recruited a slate of nine challengers that include former City Councilman Joel “Speedy” Gonzalez, former State Representatives Lee Samowitz and Edna Garcia, Rob Foley, co-host of the weekly cable access show Bridgeport Now and neighborhood activist Jim “Sonny” Fox.

Roach has faced town committee challenges in The Rock before and has come out ahead. In lieu of remaining on the district town committee Diaz was in line for an appointment to the Fire Commission but mayoral staff had reservations when they learned Diaz owned back taxes on his automobile. Diaz comes from strong political stock. His father served ably as the city’s town clerk for more than 20 years. Hector, however, has failed to build his political prestige in recent years having been bypassed or dismissed as a political player who brings votes to the table. This is his chance to prove them wrong.

Samowitz represented the district for many years. He left the State House more than 10 years ago when redistricting would have placed him at odds with political ally Bob Keeley who eventually lost his seat to Auden Grogins in a 2008 primary. Garcia represented Bridgeport in the State House years ago when she resided on the East Side. She was a  smart political operative in her day. Will she rekindle the fire? Fox, a retired electrician, is no stranger to running for public office including a failed effort for City Council several years ago. Campaigning for Foley is new business. Will he make the phone calls and bang on doors in the winter? That’s what it takes to win these primaries. Among the challenge slate Gonzalez is arguably the most active campaigner in recent years.

Roach and his supporters are old pros at this stuff, but he cannot afford to take this district battle lightly. He’s eying a challenge of Testa for the town chairmanship and needs 46 votes among town committee members to get there.

The 130th District covers Black Rock and a portion of the West End.



  1. “Roach says he dumped Diaz due to his inactivity in district politics.”

    If Roach dumped Diaz due to his inactivity in district politics, then he must have filled Hector’s spot with someone who was or has been active in district politics. The name of the person filling Hector’s spot is Eric Amato. Does he sound like someone who has been active in district politics? How many of you ever heard of him? I’ve read a lot about his activity in district politics as the highest-paid worker for Andres Ayala’s State Rep. campaigns. Who gets paid $5,000 for an alleged week’s work in a State Rep. campaign? If you are the stepson of the State Representative and the check is made to him as living in another address (Grandma’s house) you can rest assured the SEEC won’t pick up on it. That’s the only political activity Eric Amado can claim.

    Let’s back up a little and go back to the past November election for City Council. Paging Phil Blagys. Danny Roach desperately needed help getting as many Hispanic votes as he could for both Democrat Council candidates to win. Danny Roach, Andres Ayala, and his wife (been together long enough) Carmen Colon made a deal by which Colon and Ayala would handle the Hispanic voters in the 130th district November 2013 elections. Their (Ayala and Colon) involvement in the 130th City Council race saved one of Danny’s council persons but not enough to beat Rick Torres. Carmen Colon doesn’t do anything for nothing. Hector Diaz is pushed under the bus on January 8, 2014 as Eric Amado, son of Carmen Colon, signs the candidate consent form.

  2. Two words of advice, Joel.
    You don’t think Eric deserves to be on the DTC out in the Rock, knock him off. I’m just not sure if your team will be Show Horses or Work Horses.
    KICK ASS my friend, and then maybe no one will care who Eric was.


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