Gaston Outspent Incumbent Bradley By Nearly 3 To 1 In State Senate Primary

City faith leader Herron Gaston spent approximately $120,000, most of it public dollars, to defeat incumbent State Senator Dennis Bradley in the August 9 Democratic primary, according campaign finance reports filed with the state.

Gaston, the city’s assistant chief administrative officer, defeated Bradley 1,775 to 1,628 in Connecticut’s 23rd Senate District covering about two thirds of Bridgeport and a portion of western Stratford.

Bradley’s report, required filing 30 days after the primary, shows he spent about $46,000 but curiously shows more than $7,000 on hand at the end of the reporting period. If accurate, why wasn’t that money spent in what appeared to be a financially challenged campaign? He raised overall $53,000.

See Gaston report here.

See Bradley report here.

Gaston’s balance shows $157. Gaston, as the primary winner, will enjoy another $100K-plus for the general election because he participated in the state’s public finance system that triggers a qualifying grant after meeting low-donor fundraising thresholds.

Bradley did not leverage the program that is the focus of the government’s indictment against him as he awaits federal trial on charges he allegedly manipulated campaign finance reports seeking nearly $200K in public money.

Bradley raised money the old-fashioned way seeking larger, private-donation amounts. If Bradley put any of his own money into the campaign it’s not reflected in the campaign finance report.

Most of the local Democratic establishment backed Gaston with Bradley in limbo. Legislative leadership in Hartford also did not want Bradley to return.

Still, Bradley had support from his share of party insiders such City Council members Ernie Newton, Jorge Cruz and and Alfredo Castillo, as well as East End District Leader Ralph Ford who controls a Political Action Committee that dumped a late mail attack on Gaston highlighting a refuted allegation of sexual assault charges against Gaston when he was a student at Yale.

Bradley had an awkward moment primary night celebrating a premature victory dance with supporters, including former Mayor Bill Finch. Bradley operatives thought they had won the absentee ballot count handily, but the numbers showed otherwise. The mail-in vote was evenly split. Gaston won Bridgeport by about 40 votes and took Stratford handily.

Gaston is now an overwhelming favorite to win the general election as the Democratic nominee. Juliemar Ortiz, a former journalist and ex aide to Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, is the standard bearer of the Connecticut Working Families Party. She failed to qualify for the Democratic primary due to her petitioning snafu.

Ortiz has tried to cast herself into the reform mantle of the late State Senator Ed Gomes despite playing political footsies with the likes of city political operatives Gomes loathed such as City Councilwoman Maria Pereira.

And so it goes in city politics.



  1. Machine endorsed candidate. Out spent 3 to 1. Primary Opponent under indictment. Supported by many city coworkers. Co-opted the church and jeopardizes their tax exempt status to promote his campaign. Some of the same people on the payroll distributing Absentee Ballots as another close race.

    All that and only a 44 vote “victory”.

    The Machine is dying!

    Bridgeport say ENOUGH!

    Rage at the machine!

    Vote Julimar Ortiz for State Senate.

      1. Explain to me what is the machine? The democratic party? The republican party? Do tell me. What do you propose as the alternative since you seem like you want to abolish the party?

        1. Dr. Rev Gaston the Machine is led by Mario Testa and propped up by Joseph Ganim by giving our jobs in return for favors. Sort of like the $120k job you got after coming out with other pastors in support of Ganim during the last absentee ballot fraud case.

          1. My name is Stephanie Thompson Joseph. How dare you try to come for DR Gaston. Address me as such and don’t you try spin shit. I live on Stillman come address me directly. If you want to know who I am I will gladly meet you and tell you to your face. Don’t you ever speak to Dr. Gaston that way. If you got somethign to say to him. Say it directly to him.

        2. Sure, I would love to meet for coffee, name h to e time and place, bring ID and if I’m wrong I will do a Facebook live admitting I was wrong and also post it here on OIB.

          Where and when?

          1. You are not worth a cup of coffee nor my time. How about I will set up a meeting with Dr. Gaston and invite you to meet with him on my terms in the community?

        3. It was your suggestion to meet? Guess it’s hard to be two people at once? Only will meet with Dr. Gaston AND Ms. Thompson. So I guess you won’t gladly meet me. Guess the secrets out.

          Stephanie Thompson says:
          September 13, 2022 at 12:55 am
          My name is Stephanie Thompson Joseph. How dare you try to come for DR Gaston. Address me as such and don’t you try spin shit. I live on Stillman come address me directly. If you want to know who I am I will gladly meet you and tell you to your face. Don’t you ever speak to Dr. Gaston that way. If you got somethign to say to him. Say it directly to him.

    1. Please tell me who is the machine? If you candidate would have gotten the endorsement would you have been saying the same thing? Please tell me. Because she clearly was seeking the endorsement. Would you have said she was with the machine too had she got the endorsement from the democratic machine? Marilyn got the endorsement so is she a “machine” girl? You sound ignorant. Just because somebody got an endorsement does not mean they are a part of the machine. If you would put that same energy into helping to build up this community and its leaders, instead of always looking for the negative, this could be a better city. But no, we got people like you who love to stir up shit all day long. Tell me what are you doing productive in this damn city? Also, can you not count Dr. Gaston won by over 40 votes. Did you convientely forget to count Stratford? Besides, who gives a damn??? A win is a win.

      1. Dr. Rev Gaston, the machine is the institutional racist mechanism that keeps the majority black and brown, citizens of Bridgeport down. The machine are those who co-opt certain influential people of color to, especially clergy, to mislead their people and keep the white man in power.

        1. Joseph speak to me, not Dr. Gaston. I am calling you on your shit. Dr. Gaston is a grown man and can speak for himself. But you know what, he doesn’t have to because I will stand up for him. I know him to be a great man and my aunt attends his church. And he is a phenomenal pastor and leader of the community something you wish you were. Now that we got this clear, How are you dismantling racism when you are a part of the problem?

      2. Could read and subtract. Official results. Guess it’s best to pretend not to know what you won by.

        VOTES VOTES %
        Connecticut 23
        Democratic Party Herron Gaston 1,599 50.70%
        Democratic Party Dennis Bradley 1,555 49.30%

    2. Joseph, you need to focus on the Board of Education and finding a superintendent. You need do your damn job and learn from your mistakes and put our students and parents first. Stop keeping up shit and do the work that the people called you to do. Put up or shut up.

      1. Dr., Rev Gaston, i have the ability to multitask. And as you know from reading my posts in FB and OIB that I am the leading voice in dismantling the systemic racism that is still pervasive in our educational institutions and our beloved city.

      2. BTW Dr. Gaston I found it tacky that you were the only one that did not applaud when another BOE member spoke out against institutional racism at the stop the hate rally. Was it something she said?

        1. If you found it tacky did you address Dr. Gaston directly or were you a coward? Why are you talking about Dr. Gaston instead of speaking to him directly? He can speak for himself, paging Dr. Herron Gaston since Joseph is so into you.

          1. How about you invite Dr. Gaston to Join us for coffee? I’ll be happy to.
            The three of us, discussing where I believe Dr. Gaston has failed this city, how he could change to do better and to get egg on my face for being wrong. Paging Dr. Gaston, the three of us could sit down for coffee with Lennie if he wants to join. It would make a great post for the blog.

    3. Sorry all 44 vote victory in Bridgeport. 147 in total. Just went by SOTS Bridgeport total. Forgot multi district race included part of Stratford still not a landslide victory .

  2. Sadly, just a waste of taxpayer dollars and local contributors money. It takes money to campaign but really needs some kind of cap. SEEC rules are difficult and even their own law staff some times are not sure if what is and is not. That said Town Committees in BPT , both RTC and DTC have ruined local politics and trust.

    As for the absurd amount in this campaign or I as I recall over $1.4M in the 2015 mayoral primary. These are the only job creating opportunities the DTC has ever come up with. It’s sad and Bridgeport deserves better. You should listen to and engage some of these poll workers or door canvassers and the absolute nonsense spewed from their mouths. All for what, $15 an hour, and support people who have compromised themselves for a seat on the political throne?

    As for Dennis’s “extra” funds, I know many people who worked tirelessly for no pay, with the notion that maybe they can be paid later in campaign or for working polls. So I’ll assume, some checks still outstanding to report.

  3. Kelvin, what do you mean by this is an absurd amount of money spent on a campaign? Do you not know that there are over 150,000 residents in the City of Bridgeport? Do you not know how large the district is? Do you not know how much it takes to run an actual campaign? Do you even know what real money looks like? Because if you did, you would not think 100k dollars is a lot of money to run a campaign. When you go on to say and to “support people who have compromised themselves for a seat on the political throne?” what the hell are you talking about? Nobody is glued to a seat or own a seat. We live in a democracy and ANYBODY can run for office. Who are you to dictate who can run for office? Please tell me. Miss me with the bullshit. Speaking of people spewing stupidity and lies– take a look at the side you chose to be on. You and everyone else who was out there spreading lies about Dr. Gaston should be ashamed of your damn selves. Why didn’t you condemn the actions of the side you chose instead of talking shit. What is with all the hate and judgement! You and people like you are apart of the problem.

    1. With the same fervor that you have defended Dr. Gaston (whom I never once mentioned in my comment), you could have done a simple Google Search on my name. It may have helped you craft a different response.

      I apologize to you Miss Stephanie Thompson for having the audacity to comment on matters pertaining to Bridgeport, tax payer dollars, and the conflicts of interest of our potential elected officials.

      Kind Regards,
      Kelvin Ayala

  4. Joseph I will set up the meeting with Dr. Gaston and invite you to the meeting since you want to meet me. I am the same in person as I am online. I don’t bite my tongue.

        1. Ask Dr. Gaston to reach out to my pastor. I won’t post my number on OIB. He knows how to reach her, after all he tried to use our church to further his campaign and risked our tax exempt status. Why not just set a time and place?

          Don’t know when next meeting is as the last one was cancelled. I’ll ask Lennie to post it if he is so inclined. If not it will be on my FB page. You could find links in the NAACP post preceding this one.

  5. I am not interested in a post for a blog. I am interested in speaking to you about your plan for the Board of Education, address your hatred and issue with Dr. Gaston, and let you know you know my expectation for elected officials in this city and how they need to work together to improve this damn city. I am not interested in no damn blog. We got serious work to do. I will call Dr. Gaston’s church tomorrow and make an appointment to see him, and invite him to reach out to you for a meeting. What does Lennie have to do with attending the meeting? For what reason. We are all adults here.


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