Calling All Candidates, Peruse The Election Calendar

Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa will select the endorsement date.

2019 is a full municipal cycle with offices for mayor, city council, school board and city sheriff slots. The Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office has posted the November election calendar, see here, that includes key processing dates. Screw up the paperwork filings and it’s curtains to candidacy.

How does this stuff work? State Senator Marilyn Moore is the most viable announced opponent to Mayor Joe Ganim. Let’s assume (she has not yet specified) she challenges him in a September primary.

Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, according to the election calendar, will schedule the party endorsement between July 16-23. The wily town chairman will likely wait until the final day or two to schedule the convention (where Ganim, barring a major event, will cruise to the endorsement) to lessen the time for Moore to secure petition signatures for ballot approval. Mario, of course, will not admit to this strategy but he’ll rationalize the gamesmanship in some fashion. “I’mma gonna be in Italy.”

Essentially Moore’s campaign (or any other citywide primary challenger) would have about two weeks to hustle five percent signatures from registered Democrats in the city. Bridgeport has roughly 47,000 registered Democrats.

More than 2,300 certified signatures would be required to qualify for a primary. In reality the candidate must secure 3,000 signatures as a cushion to guard against invalidated hancocks. Slush is key when trying to petition onto the ballot.

Primary petitions must be available from the registrar’s office on the day following the party endorsement, so likely July 23 or 24. Primary petitions must be filed by 4 p.m. on August 7. Then the registrar’s office undergoes the process to review the petition sheets to determine if the candidate has satisfied the five percent threshold. These things are not automatic. Depends on the organization of the campaign operation.

So let the games begin.

Some key dates, according to election calendar:

Party endorsements: July 16-23, 2019
Certification of endorsements: July 24, 2019 (4:00 p.m.)
Primary and nominating petitions filed by: August 7, 2019 (4:00 p.m.)
Primary (6:00 a.m. — 8:00 p.m.): September 10, 2019

PRIMARY PETITIONS AVAILABLE. Petition forms for persons desiring to
oppose party-endorsed candidates for municipal office must be available from
the registrar of voters beginning on the day following the making of the party’s
endorsement of candidates for municipal office or beginning on the day following
the final day for the making of such endorsements, whichever comes first.

AUGUST 7, 2019
4:00 p.m.

REGISTRARS  PRIMARY PETITIONS — FILING. Primary petitions for opposition candidates of a major party for municipal offices must be submitted to respective registrars by 4:00 p.m. of this day. Registrars of voters, deputy registrar or assistant registrar must be in their office or office facilities between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to
accept petitions.

AUGUST 21, 2019
NOMINATING PETITIONS. Last day for town clerk to file nominating petition
pages, received by clerk on August 7th, with Secretary of the State.



  1. Thanks Lennie for sharing that important information because I remember two black candidates who threw tell name out there to run against Joe Ganim, business man George Bellinger and banker Carl Horton and both men came up short on having enough signatures to run. Now I wonder how that happened? Not really.

      1. Lennie, thanks, yes I was aware of Howard Gardner run for mayor in 2015 but I mention business man George Bellinger and banker Carl Horton because there were certain people involve with both campaigns that had the same result, these people were not involve with Mr. Gardner who I look at with high regards as I did for Bellinger and Horton.

      1. wait….let me clarify that statement! being a convicted felon did not stop Joe from running for mayor. and it sure didn’t stop him from running for governor. so really….what will an indictment do? hmmmmm

  2. Indeed,this is a reminder that a sign I significant portion of city governance will be facing voters this year. Most times we use the words-elected or re-elected.” However,if we change to wording to- hire,rehire or fire- it creates a whole new paradigm and maybe some candidates and their supporters should start using the latter words. For example,The People of Bridgeport should FIRE Mayor Joe Ganim because of ____etc etc. A lot of focus has been put on the mayoral office but we have to remember that ALL CityCouncil positions are open to be hired rehired or fired. Right now there are a solid Twelve GanimTesta puppets on the Council and for those people who believe change is needed in governance and in the political structure and culture of Bridgeport must not take their eyes of the City Council. There is a lot of work to be done and starting earlier is better than starting late. There should already be discussions about challenges to the Twelve Puppets. A LOT OF WORK.

  3. We all know Don Mario will game the primary to his benefit then manipulate absentee ballots during the general election. He has been doing it for years. It’s all a game for him.

    1. Ernie,
      Great Question. I just printed my list of City Council persons. Will get back to you soon. I will say this. I’m less interested in what City Council People “SAY” and much more interested in how they “VOTE.” Voting for TestaGanim 85-90% of the time makes a CC rep a TestaGanim puppet. Those are the standards.


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