Will New State Rep. Rosario Enter Special Election For State Senate?

Chris Rosario sworn in
Chris Rosario

As potential candidates await the scheduling of a special election to fill the State Senate seat of Andres Ayala, the new Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner, newly sworn in State Rep. Chris Rosario is pondering a run for the seat. Rosario says “I am weighing my options. It is an honor to be mentioned as a candidate.”

Rosario defeated Christina Ayala in an August primary on his way to a general election win. He’s the director of Anti-Blight and Illegal Dumping for the city with close ties to the political operation of Mayor Bill Finch. If he runs for State Senate it’s a free run; win or lose, he’s still a member of the Connecticut legislature. If he runs for State Senate and wins, a special election would take place to fill his State House seat.

Rosario is also politically tight with Andres Ayala who represented Connecticut’s 128th State House District before defeating Ed Gomes in a Democratic primary for State Senate in 2012. Gomes says he will try to regain his seat.

Rosario is known as a relentless campaigner. If he runs and is backed by the Ayala/Finch fundraising operation he’ll likely qualify for public financing that comes with a $70,000 grant for a special election if he raises roughly $11,000 in donations between $5 and $100 from 225 residents in Bridgeport and Stratford combined. The district covers about two thirds of the city plus a piece of western Stratford.

If he runs he’ll also be the beneficiary of Andres Ayala’s mighty absentee ballot operation that will come in handy in a low-turnout winter election that will likely take place last week of February or first week in March.

Gomes, a top-tier candidate, has been working the phones trying to secure support from Democratic delegates who will endorse a candidate. Depending on the candidates who enter the field, no one appears to have a lock on the endorsement.

Several other potential candidates have expressed interest including former mayoral candidate Carl Horton, former State Rep. Don Clemons, City Councilman Richard DeJesus, local Sierra Club organizer Onte Johnson, former president of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP Carolyn Vermont and school board member Ken Moales.

If multiple African American candidates are in the field, a candidate such as Rosario could leverage his Latino base into a win.



  1. When you consider things that open up before you serve five minutes of the new job you just got, you’re looking kinda opportunistic, not a good look.

  2. My second point, former mayoral candidate Carl Horton, former State Rep. Don Clemons, City Councilman Richard DeJesus, local Sierra Club organizer Onte Johnson, former president of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP Carolyn Vermont, school board member Ken Moales, cannot raise that type of money, this is now Monty Hall, Let’s Make A Deal, this group is looking for something from the mayor and Mario. Next point, if Rosario is Finch’s candidate then he will not get the black vote.

  3. This is a freaking joke with all these inexperienced do-nothings running for a do-nothing’s seat. Rosario will do what Finch tells him to do, DeJesus will do what Ayala tells him to do. Vermont could not run the NAACP right, now she wants to be a senator. Onte Johnson, who the hell is she? Being a member of the tree-huggers group means what? Moales, please. Even the voters of Bridgeport are not that stupid. There is only one choice for this seat and it is Ed Gomes.

  4. Onte Johnson is a “he.” Up until recently he was featured as a compensated community organizer on Families for Ex$ellent Shysters website. He is a vocal compensated charter school advocate.

      1. And by the way, Onte has drifted from one non-position to another. Boy Scouts, maybe Jim Himes’ office, never actually produces. Just drifts looking for some point of privilege. Goes to those who will pay him something–I guess FUSE would be a good match. Fancies himself a community activist–no substance, no results.

  5. Whether it is Chris Rosario or DeJesus, they will not be victorious in Thomas Hooker. They are facing a real uphill battle because many politically influential people are lining up behind Ed Gomes.

    1. Maria Pereira, yes, he has turned his back on them already and this would be the nail in the coffin. Bridgeport mayors have a habit of giving black ministers positions on boards and committees hoping that will get them the black vote but those days are gone, with social media information about Bridgeport and the mayor individuals can see for themselves.

        1. Maria Pereira, Bill Finch has the WORST hiring record for hiring blacks, Hispanics and females in the Bridgeport fire and police departments in the past 32 years, all one has to is to look at who he has hired during his seven years in office.

  6. How will Rosario handle being supervisor of anti-blight and State Rep at same time? Will he continue to receive a city paycheck while serving in Hartford and receiving pay for that? I guess he can telecommute to the city post while on break in Hartford.

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