Candidates Position For Open State House Seat, 3 Dems File Paperwork For Petition Challenge Of Party Endorsed

Democrat Antonio Felipe and Republican Josh Parrow, endorsed by their respective parties last week, could have company on the May 7 special election ballot to fill the State House seat of Ezequiel Santiago who died March 15.

Antonio Felipe

Former State House members Christina Ayala and Hector Diaz, and ex-Board of Education member Kate Rivera filed their petition signatures with the Town Clerk’s Office prior to Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline. Paula Romero, an announced candidate for school board, missed the deadline. She made a plea to the Town Clerk’s Office late Monday afternoon that she was on her way with her paperwork but state law set the deadline for 4 pm. Petitioning candidates require 36 verifiable petition signatures of voters in the 130th State Assembly District to qualify for the ballot. Ayala, Diaz and Rivera are all Democrats. Rivera resides in the district in the South End.

Christina Ayala
Christina Ayala

Town Clerk officials will review the petition sheets to verify the voting addresses of the electors. Those sheets must be delivered by Wednesday to the Office of the Connecticut Secretary of the State for certification.

The district covers Downtown, South End, and portions of the West End and East Side. For district map see here.

Hector Diaz
Hector Diaz

On Monday morning Felipe, who had resided in Stratford, registered to vote in the Bridgeport district listing 666 Iranistan Avenue as his new address. He said he moved into the apartment over the weekend. On Monday he provided OIB a copy of his six-month lease agreement.

Felipe, 23, a former Democratic Town Committee member from the East Side, had previously lived in the district when he attended Howe and Batalla schools.

Kate Rivera

There’s no requirement to live in the district to run for office in the district. State law requires residency in the district upon taking the oath. Felipe was not the first choice of party regulars. Eric Amado, a Democratic Town Committee member, was the first choice of most. He declined. Others asked City Council President Aidee Nieves who resides just outside the House district on the East Side. She also declined.

Josh Parrow

Bridgeport residents Diaz and Romero also do not reside in the State House district. Diaz, a city police commissioner, represented the House district 20 years ago. Romero, 23, would have provided some intrigue in the race. She recently posted on her Facebook page that she was the fiancee of Santiago, after weeks prior denying they had a relationship in a Facebook post. Her only recourse now would be as a write-in candidate.

Paula Romero missed deadline

Ayala won the adjacent 128th State House seat in 2012. In 2015 she received a suspended sentence for providing false statements to state investigators about her voting address after losing her seat to Christopher Rosario in 2014.



  1. The only two who deserve to win are either Kate Rivera or Josh Farrow. They are weaved into the fabric of the 130th District and both have been actively involved in their community.

    Paula Romero looks disgraceful. She just buried her fiancé, State Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, 10 days ago and yet she attended the Latino Leadership Conference the Saturday after Santiago was buried, went to D.C. on Wednesday for a Latino Leadership event, and then returned and spent her weekend gathering signatures in the 130th District. Paula Romero lives behind my home a couple blocks over in the Thomas Hooker Precinct.

    This is not the behavior of someone mourning the love of her life. It appears cold, calculating, and heartless.

    Ambitious is clearly a perfect adjective to describe Paula Romero.

  2. Meanwhile, carpetbagger Antonio Felipe, is asserting he is moving to 666 Iranistan Avenue. He must be moving in with the devil at his Bridgeport hideaway.

  3. I am going to say a simple comment :

    How a person can lie and deny something so important and then say the opposite.

    And now for having or trying to get recognition or some power, for the lies, it says everything different.

    Do you think you can trust someone who is not sincere or can be trusted?

    You will know and decide what to you want !

    1. Fluffy,

      Are you referring to Ms. Romano. A month ago she denied dating or being involved with Ezequiel Santiago, now she’s claiming to have been engaged. OIB!

  4. Antonio Felipe registered to vote at 666 Iranistan Ave.and submitted a 6 month lease to OIB.

    I don’t know a single landlord that would give a tenant a 6 month lease. A 6 month lease shows his lack of commitment to the 130th District and that Antonio Felipe is hedging his bets

  5. How embarrassing for Paula Romero.

    All she had to do was submit her paperwork to the Secretary of State, pick up a valid petition, obtain 36 valid signatures from registered voters in the 130th District.

    My guess is she requested a petition from Registrar Ayala in error, Ayala knowingly gave Romero an invalid petition, Romero spent the weekend getting signatures, and when she submitted her petitions to the Town Clerk; they were rejected. This clearly would have helped Registrar Ayala’s daughter, Christina Ayala.

    It appears she drove to Hartford this morning to file her paperwork, obtained valid petitions, ran out to get new signatures, but missed the 4:00 PM deadline.

    Romero couldn’t manage the simple process to qualify, however she should represent the entire 130th District that she does not reside in

    The incompetence in Bridgeport would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.


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