On a day a whole bunch of souls made it to the polls, who were the goats and who were the toasts?
Yes, Bridgeport can lay claim, especially if Dan Malloy’s guber win holds up (expect the GOP to contest in court) to be a kingmaker. The city produced, including State Rep. Chris Caruso and former Party Chair John Stafstrom who had an uneasy, but effective, short-term alliance supporting Malloy in both the primary and general election.
The Big Wave and his election-day admiral Bill Garrett organized a mighty pulling operation in precincts such as Blackham, Winthrop, Wilbur Cross, Read and Hooker, loaded with 70 campaign workers. Caruso and Stafstrom engaged in detente on Malloy’s behalf. How long will this love last? Gee, next year is a mayoral election, let the fighting begin!
Loser: The Bridgeport Register of Voters Office. Enough said.
Winner: Congressman Jim Himes. Jimmy ran a solid campaign in the ‘burbs and his GOP opponent Dan Debicella flopped strategically in the city and suburbs. The Debicella campaign had a model that included winning 16 of the 17 communities in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District and losing Bridgeport. Dan and Campaign Manager Jason Perillo puffed their chests openly about it. (Translation: we’re smart and you’re stupid.) There was a problem on the way to executing the roadmap. It didn’t make sense! Win Norwalk and Stamford? Spend money there? Himes won 60 percent of the vote in both cities. And oh gee, Himes won Westport and Weston and ran close in Fairfield and Trumbull and several other suburban towns, and then croaked Debicella in Bridgeport.
Meanwhile the Debicella campaign said screw Bridgeport, we won’t campaign there except in GOP-strong Black Rock, even though I was born in Bridgeport, my dad was a city police officer, Bridgeport put food on my family’s table. When you have an opportunity to connect with voters on a personal basis you do it, especially if you have the money and Debicella’s camp had plenty of dough. Strategy flawed, strategy failed. If it’s one thing I cannot stand it’s arrogant intellectuals who run from their roots.
Winner: State Senator Anthony Musto who was true to his gentleman’s agreement–no negative campaigning–with GOP opponent David Pia.
Loser: Pia for breaking the agreement with his last-minute ambush.
Pending: Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa. Hey Mario, even though you supported Ned Lamont in the primary, rejoice, feel good, take credit for Bridgeport’s turnout. Tell the world Bridgeport delivered. Make peace with Malloy even though you can’t stand Stamford pols. Turn the page. Invite Dan for a bowl of pasta fagioli. Beans, baby, it’s all about beans. (And if Foley becomes governor do the same with him.)