Ballot Set–5 Candidates For May 7 State House Special Election

Copy of sample ballot

The Town Clerk’s Office has approved the nominating petitions of three candidates for the May 7 special election to fill the State House seat of Ezequiel Santiago who died March 15. Former State House members Christina Ayala and Hector Diaz, and ex-school board member Kate Rivera required 36 verifiable signatures of voters in the 130th State Assembly District to join Democratic-endorsed Antonio Felipe and Republican-endorsed Josh Parrow on the ballot.

Special elections are generally sleepy, low-turnout affairs where perhaps 400-500 votes may be enough to win in this district. Absentee ballots will be available Friday April 5th in a historically large absentee district with a number of key senior citizen housing units.

Hector Diaz

The district covers Downtown, South End and portions of the West End and East Side.

See district map here.

Christina Ayala
Christina Ayala

The endorsed candidates Felipe and Parrow will appear first on the ballot, followed by Ayala, Diaz and Rivera. The three petitioning candidates are all Democrats. All registered voters in the district are eligible to vote.

Candidates may participate in the state’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded campaigns. Candidates must raise $3,800 in donations of $250 and less from at least “113 residents of municipalities included, in whole or in part, in the district” to receive a public grant of $21,112.50. Easier said than done.

Petitioning candidates have the added burden of securing hundreds of district signatures to qualify for a whole or partial grant. The public money application deadline is April 23.



  1. You have Antonio Felipe who lives in Stratford, former State Rep. Christina Ayala from who plead guilty to providing authorities with fabricated evidence that she lived at an address other than her own, a Republican who’s possibility a 45 disciple and the honorable and knowledgeable Hector Diaz.

    Hector, when you have a fundraiser let me know I’ve got a check for you. Good luck my brother.

  2. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Donald, however Hector Diaz was arrested at the Capital for committing AB fraud. As a then State Rep., he was actually asked to leave the House floor and arrested outside the legislative chambers. I have actually seen and read the article that was written in the paper at that time.

    His nickname as a then State Rep. was “The Ghost.” Hector Diaz had an abysmal attendance record.

    I like Hector as a person, however he has deep ties to the corrupt Democratic Machine. That is a definite deal breaker for me. He wouldn’t have been appointed to the Police Commission if he was an outsider.

    Kate Rivera is the only candidate that actually resides, and has resided, in the 130th District for years. She is a resident of Seaside Village, a mom of three children, active in the community, intelligent, and articulate with absolutely no ties to the corrupt Democratic Machine.

    1. Donald Thank you, your support is appreciated as is that of the many people reaching out to me since this process began. there are a few things I can clear up with you and those who may want to hear. When I was first elected over 20 years ago to this same seat I aspire to today, I didn’t receive the endorsement so I needed signatures to Petition on to the ballot, during the petition phase of the campaign I started a page when another voter asked if she could help me get signatures had 2 pages an empty one and one that approximately 11 or so signatures because those had to be turned in that afternoon and my ignorance of the petitioning regulations I gave this voter the page with the signatures, she went out and secured another 4 or 5 and returned the sheet to me, I than completed the page and turned them in with the others I had secured. This was a violation. When I WON that Election one of the supporters for the Endorsed candidate with ties to the SOS office filed a complaint concerning AB ‘s which was deemed unfounded during the course of the investigation it was found that when I turned in that 1 page of signatures there was a violation, WITH NO CRIMINAL INTENT. I was not asked to leave the floor of the HOUSE. My attorney was contacted and I went in of my free will to answer to the unfounded charge. Again remember that was my first attempt at running for any political seat, I WON that 4 man race by 17 votes, the following term I won a 3 man race with 87% of the Vote in a 3 man race and 91% the one after that. If anyone ever referred to me as “the Ghost” lol, its news to me.I was away in my last term fulfilling my duties for ACYPL (American Council of Young Political Leaders, a group you must be recommended for by a an alumni of the organization or someone in Power ie Mayor, Speaker of the House or Governor, I was chosen by the Speaker of the House at that time Tom Ritter (someone who could verify my performance) you could also contact Former Speaker Jim Amann who would also vouch for my time in Hartford. In fact feel free to ask anyone including Ken Dixon about my efforts during my time there., I was Vice Chair of Housing and the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. Talk to your friends from the Firebirds who I’m sure will also tell you I was active in any effort they asked of me. Maria while that article made the Front page, the article that explained the disposition of the case was buried next to the movie section, I can understand how it might be missed.
      if ANYONE would like to hear from me and not second , third or forth parties feel free to contact me directly at (475)298-2822 thanking my supporters in advance…

      1. Thanks Hector
        First of all Maria is full of shit I served with you. Maria thinks she’s better than everyone else. Like i told her before She ain’t no saint. She is a miserable person. Hector the great thing about us. We don’t have to kiss Ms Fire Lady ass. One thing for sure Maria is a legend in her on mind. The 138th district which cant Vote for you or against you. Hector tell Maria to go take her MED”S. When you were in Office Maria was out playing with FIRE. Tell Maria to speak about being in the Psych Ward.

        1. Ernie,

          I am starting to think you have a crush on me.

          Exactly when can OIB readers expect you to stop responding to me?

          Any crime related to elections or ABs is incredibly relevant to a candidate running for elected office.

          You have ZERO knowledge about what “meds” I may or may not take, my over all physical or mental health, and I have repeatedly asked you to post ANY conviction I have related to being a ‘fire lady.”

          I have three misdemeanor convictions from 2005 involving my former significant other. He plead guilty to four misdemeanors

          I have no other convictions in CT, in the United Stated or anywhere else in the WORLD.

          I have never been charged or convicted of any crime related to betraying my elected office, dishonest or unethical behavior.

          We all know you can’t say the same.

  3. Maria
    All you do is talk about peoples past. You of all people should talk about anyone. You need to take a look in the Mirror. You have a RAP SHEET to I understand you are getting ready to be sued. You already have been arrested Ms. Fire Lady Just remember the way you judge you shall be judged!

    1. You are a public figure, Ernie. Remember that. You violated the public trust when you took a bribe and misused campaign funds for personal expenses. Then you declared yourself “The Moses of my people.” Where did you lead them?

  4. Ernie,
    Hmm…Now that I think of it, the day I saw you in a bright, red suit, with matching red shoes I couldn’t help thinking that you looked like an old fashioned matchstick.

    Maybe subconsciously I have an obsession with fire???

    I better seek professional assistance pronto. 🙂

  5. Hector, my opinion of you wasn’t based on article in the paper or your past affiliation with the DTC. Let he who is without sin cast the 1st stone or made a misstep in their lives. I 1st met you as president of the Firebird Society from 1992 to 1998 and you’ve always carried yourself as a grown ass man. Understand this my Brother, I don’t care what people say about me and sure as hell don’t care what they say about you. Let me know when I can write that check.

  6. If I were able to vote in this election Kate Rivera is hands down the candidate I would support. Here is just a short version of Kate’s extensive resume: “Kate Rivera, M.A. is a Social Justice Advocate, Activist & Educator. She is the Creator of Kate Rivera Consulting specializing in workshops on race, education bias, mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, police brutality & community organizing. Kate is a Social Justice Educator for the National Conference for Community & Justice, a Community Organzier for CT CORE/Organize Now!, Co-creator 2017’s Bridgeport Black Lives Matter March. She served on the Action Council for Bpt Generation Now and is a Member of the Bridgeport Juvenile Review Board.”

    In addition, Kate brings fresh ideas to Bridgeport, resides in the 130th where she has raised her children. Her Children have attended Bridgeport Public Schools and Kate is a former member of the BBOE. Kate has been and continues to be a strong force and voice for Bridgeport. She is an outsider to the DTC and is highly respected in Bridgeport and around the State for her extensive work in Social Justice and Community Activism. I can honestly say that Kate loves Bridgeport and recognizes where the struggle are. Kate is not to be overlooked. Donations can be made here:

  7. Hector, ignore the negative comments (if the show fits wear it.) You are a genuine man with intelligence, kindness, and wisdom. Like my friend Donald Day, I also have a check for you, just say the word. I admire Christina, she’s like family, I look forward to meeting Kate Rivera, I hear great things about her, but this is a time when I make my choice, and it’s mine alone. I hope all candidates respect the office they’re aspiring to, especially since Zeke served impeccably. My hope is that this election is kept honest, especially when it comes to absentee ballots.


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