The campaign fraud trial of State Senator Dennis Bradley and his 2018 treasurer Jessica Martinez has been continued to March 14 at the request of Martinez’s public defender requesting more time to prepare a defense.
This is the third time U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden has granted a delay.
Bradley and Martinez will be on federal trial together charged with manipulating Connecticut’s campaign finance program to leverage roughly $180,000 in public grants for his state senate run.
Both have been charged with multiple counts of wire fraud. Martinez, however, faces additional counts of providing false statements to both FBI agents and a federal grand jury, violations nearly indefensible.
The delay also layers another wrinkle to the status of Bradley’s seat whether he prevails in his case or loses. This is the time of year candidates lay the groundwork to raise public money for a state office run measured against the election calendar.
Delegates are selected in March in advance of the party endorsement in May. A number of politicians examining a run for Bradley’s seat have hit the pause button awaiting his outcome. Wait too deep into the process and it becomes difficult to raise money in time to qualify for public financing for the August primary. Candidates can opt outside the public finance system and raise money the old-fashion way of larger donations, but those dollars may fall short of the nearly $100,000 public grant
Also, some delegates may not commit support until they have a clearer picture on Bradley’s future. If it goes forward as planned March 14, the trial will bump up against early April.
What if the trial is delayed again, be it by legal request or covid? It makes things even more uncertain for potential candidates.
This delay will allow Bradley to attend the initial days of the legislative session starting next month, if he so chooses. He has been stripped of committee assignments while under indictment.