Mayor Bill Finch’s Chief of Staff Adam Wood is taking a leave of absence to serve as a campaign strategist to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont. Wood’s official leave comes at the end of the week.
Wood, the mayor’s chief political adviser, is a seasoned campaign operative who’s managed races for both mayor and congress on behalf of Democratic candidates. Wood’s assistance will reach far outside of Bridgeport as he helps shape the message, strategy and voter turnout for the Aug. 10 primary against Democratic-endorsed Dan Malloy. Lamont campaign headquarters is located in New Haven, but look for a satellite office in Bridgeport soon. Ned has plenty of dough to finance a city turnout operation.
Mayoral aide Ruben Felipe will become chief of staff in Wood’s absence. When will Adam return? He’s committed to Lamont through the primary. If Ned wins Adam may stay on for the general election in November. Wood’s assistance to the Lamont campaign shows that Finch and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa are serious about furthering Lamont’s chances. Bridgeport and New Haven delivered the largest voting bloc of delegates to Lamont at the state party convention last month.
As for Felipe he’ll be at the center of some key union negotiations with a new budget year starting one week away. The mayor’s budget, approved by the City Council, relies on millions in union concessions. If unions don’t come forth, look for layoff notices to go out before July 1.
This will be some week in the Park City and city police are on alert to keep the peace. Why? Brazil plays former colonial master Portugal in a World Cup match Friday morning. Things should get quite juicy and competitive in the Hollow and on Madison Avenue. Okay, kids, it’s just a game. Really?
State Surplus, Give The Money To Bridgeport! From Chris Keating, Hartford Courant:
State Announces Surprising Surplus Of Nearly $243 Million For Current Fiscal Year; Economy Improving Slowly
With the economy improving since the depths of the recession, the state is now expecting a surplus of nearly $243 million – up sharply in the past month.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced the new projections Tuesday, noting that the latest estimates are $76 million above the numbers last month. The improvements caught some by surprise because Connecticut residents have been hearing mostly bad economic news since the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank and the major Wall Street downturn that started in September 2008.
“As our economy slowly recovers, the news continues to get better for our state budget and our taxpayers,” Rell said in a statement. “We have three straight months of surplus and have added jobs in Connecticut in each of the last five months. People are going back to work, consumers are spending more and our revenues have begun to climb.”
Rell added, “Our state is now in a much stronger position to cut down borrowing. If these projections hold, we will be able to apply more than $100 million of that surplus to pay down our securitization debt. I have been adamant throughout budget negotiations that any and all surplus must be applied to debt payments.”
From Ned Lamont:
Lamont Accepts Endorsement of Largest Teachers’ Organization
CEA President: “Ned understands that teachers’ insights are invaluable in school improvement efforts.”
New Haven, CT – Today, The Connecticut Education Association announced their support for Democrat Ned Lamont’s candidacy for governor. At more than 40,000 members, CEA is one of the largest unions in Connecticut.
“I am honored to have the support of the hard-working educators of the CEA. During my time as a volunteer teacher at Harding High and a professor at CCSU, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the crucial role our teachers play in strengthening our schools,” Lamont said.
“As governor, I will work with educators across the state to give every child the opportunity for a world-class education that will prepare them to compete in the 21st century economy.”
CEA’s statement announcing their endorsement of Lamont is available here: www.nedlamont.com/news/articles?id=0015