Chalkboarding Ayala Versus Felipe Democratic Primary For State House

Video courtesy Jonathan Rodrigues.

In this peculiar election cycle, primary races for Connecticut legislature are in full bloom in advance of the August 11 vote.

Downtown businessman Kelvin Ayala makes no bones about his challenge of Democratic-endorsed incumbent Antonio Felipe: “I’m praying for a good weather day” so voters show up to the polls.

Take it to the bank, Felipe will win the absentee ballot count. The election pros experienced in that area are working for him.

Here’s the difference from past elections, in a state governed by excuse-only absentee voting, Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill are encouraging electors to vote absentee given the risks associated with the health pandemic. By Lamont’s executive order any party-registered elector may vote absentee by checking the COVID-19 box on the absentee ballot application.

So for all the hullabaloo about absentee ballot practices in the state’s largest city; come on in, the water’s just ducky.

Antonio Felipe

This is virgin territory in a city noted for its political infidelity. Bridgeport has had lots of practice in that area.

How many will actually vote by absentee proportional to the past?

In addition to imploring a nice weather day, Ayala’s waiting word this week on qualifying for public campaign cash to fuel the final few weeks of the campaign.

On Wednesday the State Elections Enforcement Commission approved a $30,575.00 public campaign grant for Felipe. Ayala’s hoping for the same.

As campaigns go, the candidates have been diplomatic on the trail, Felipe pushing assets in his district such as the boutique concert amphitheater under construction, the mixed-use Cherry Street Lofts, new Downtown housing and advancements at the Steelpointe Harbor redevelopment area. Ayala is highlighting his business development experiences as a necessity to attract more state dollars to the city.

Felipe won the seat last year in a special election following the death of veteran pol Ezequiel Santiago.

Connecticut’s 130th State House District covers the South End and Downtown, but also stretches from Yellow Mill Pond on the East Side across the Pequonnock River rambling to the West End from North Avenue south to Bostwick Avenue. It can give a map reader a bit of whiplash.

Precincts are Batalla, Bassick, City Hall and Barnum.

Ayala, although a self-described non-politician, is not alien to city government. His father Manny and late brother Anderson both served on the City Council.

Most Felipe operatives supported Joe Ganim’s reelection last year, most Ayala backers were aligned with his opponent State Senator Marilyn Moore who faces a primary against City Councilman Marcus Brown.

Felipe will appear on Line A next to presumptive nominee Joe Biden in the COVID-rescheduled presidential preference primary. Ayala appears on Line B next to Bernie Sanders who opted to keep his name on the ballot after suspending his race months ago. Sample ballot follows:

Presidential and State House 130.


  1. Looking forward to casting my vote for Kelvin. It makes total sense to have a downtown businessman represent the downtown district.

    Line B for Bridgeport!

  2. *** I know this young man since he was in his dads back-seat safety child-seat. His dad was into politics for many years & the type of guy whom does not let a physical handi-cap stop nor slow him from doing what he has to do in life! His son also appears to be cut from the same mode in the “never say never” department when it comes to politics. A Bpt. native with good people backing him & I hope he keeps an independent out-look towards politics by always doing his political homework & not becoming a party nor administration puppet over time. *** Vote, Antonio Felipe ***

    1. Mojo my friend, If we are going to compare fathers their are few as dedicated to the Puerto Rican community as much as Bridgeport as a whole than Kelvins’s , Manolin Ayala (former District Leader and Council person) Whom if I’m not mistaken served with you on the DTC, I’m sure that no ones mentioned to you that Kelvin is also Andy Ayala’s (RIP) brother. Kelvin is an Actual Bridgeport native (he lived next door to us on Burroughs St. when Born) and RESIDENT, I would encourage you to speak with both Candidates , than decide which of them you want representing the interest of your children and family. VOTE KELVIN AYALA…a Family that’s always been on the front-lines of Bridgeport’s battles…

  3. Sorry Mojo.
    I’m in with Ayala.
    I know both individuals and I truly believe that Kelvin has the smarts and the independence that Bridgeport needs in Hartford. Kelvin can do more and has more than Antonio does. Maybe Antonio will grow up to do the job and Kelvin Ayala is there already. An independent business man with a head for the game.
    Why select a question mark when we have a candidate who has already answered the questions.

    1. *** Well Bob, I don’t know Ayala nor his business savay & political history, however sometimes its the dark-horse that wins the race. I believe Antonio Felipe has the smarts & hopefully the political backing’s to direct him towards the right direction at the State capitol & keep him from getting caught up in foolish political do’s & don’ts.*** Its sometimes a crap-shoot when it comes to politics & its representatives in Bpt. ***

  4. It will be interesting to see how brown does against Moore since he is on the same line as biden. I think absentee ballots will be a lil less favorable to the establishment candidates then in the past because of people who usually vote in person voting absentee.


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