Herbst: Disgruntled Ex-Republicans Hijacked Trumbull’s Democratic Party, Condemns Punishment Of Moore

Following Democratic State Senator Marilyn Moore’s blowout primary win over party-endorsed Tom McCarthy, including a strong showing in Trumbull in the multi-town district, Republican First Selectman Tim Herbst released this commentary calling her win a “repudiation of the party establishment and a repudiation of the politics of personal agendas and hatred.” Trumbull Dems who supported McCarthy accused Moore of working closely with the Republican leader. Moore’s response: isn’t it my job to work with everyone to help my constituents? Herbst pulls no punches.

The late Peter DiNardo and Richard Aiello were two giants in Trumbull politics. They were able to build the Trumbull Democratic Party into a significant force for more than thirty years. From 1971 to 2011, no Republican was re-elected to a second term as First Selectman. They built a strong organization that had a set of values. While I disagreed with a lot of what they stood for, I can say without hesitation that they at least stood for something. In 2011, those principles flew out the door, in favor of radical, petulant, militant, toxic behavior. Yesterday, voters in the 22nd Senatorial District got a real view of what the Trumbull Democratic Party has become and how the actions of a few do not represent the actions of all.

The Trumbull Democratic Town Committee preaches civility at the same time they practice outright hatred on a daily basis via social media. They have often been critical about how I need to be more inclusive and work across the aisle. Yet, throughout the course of this primary campaign, they openly punished an incumbent Democrat seeking re-election for working with my administration on issues impacting Trumbull. They even sent out a mailer basically saying that public officials from different political parties should not work collaboratively once elections are over. They claim to have a big tent at the same time they denied an African American woman re-nomination to an office she was elected to by voters. Instead of telling us what they stand for, they constantly remind us what they stand against. Their hypocrisy drowns out their piousness.

Herbst Moore mailer
Trumbull Dem insiders attacking Moore for working with Herbst did not work.

Yesterday, voters in Trumbull sent a message that they do not embrace the agenda of the current TDTC and they are tired of all politics, all the time. Almost unanimously, the Trumbull delegation denied re-nomination to an incumbent State Senator who had toed the party line loyally and faithfully for two years. Two former Democratic First Selectman, Ray Baldwin and Paul Timpanelli were among her biggest critics and among Tom McCarthy’s biggest cheerleaders. And despite having the entire Trumbull establishment behind him, McCarthy ended up tying Marilyn Moore in a community where she only received 19.4% two years ago. This is a repudiation of the party establishment and a repudiation of the politics of personal agendas and hatred.

One only needs to look to their leader to determine what the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee has become. It has become a dumping ground for disgruntled ex-Republicans who’ve hijacked the party by taking their toys and going home when they don’t get their personal agendas satisfied. Tom Kelly, their Chairman, ran for office in 2009 as a Republican, after returning to Trumbull as a resident in 2008. On November 15, 2010, Mr. Kelly switched his party affiliation from Republican to Unaffiliated. On April 12, 2011 he switched his affiliation from Unaffiliated back to Republican and on December 27, 2011, he switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. In 2010, he supported David Pia for the State Senate and Tom Foley for Governor. In 2012, he was supporting Anthony Musto and Barack Obama. Any person that can change their value system, their moral fiber and their ideals so drastically in so little time lacks honesty and integrity. Mr. Kelly is motivated not by principles, but by a pure personal agenda.

This is not the legacy of Peter DiNardo or Richard Aiello. Peter’s daughter Nancy was the local DTC Chair for many years before she became State Party Chairwoman. I’ve had the occasion to work with Nancy and go up against her in many elections. Nancy DiNardo and I disagree on probably 90% of the issues, but I respect her. She always acted like a professional and never allowed it to get personal. If she’s reading, it is my hope that Nancy DiNardo can honor the legacy and the memory of her father and take her party back from insurgents that stand for nothing and advance nothing positive for the public good.



  1. Mario Testa is doing the same thing, hijacking Dem. BOE seats with Republicans, with the BOE. Don’t be surprised when the opposition takes them back.

  2. Well, let’s see for openers how quickly the Trumbull DTC steps up to apologize to Senator Moore and ask what can they do rather than telling her what she should have done.

    1. It was all about bullshit personal agendas. What does Trumbull want, what does Freddino want, what do parent group one-issue voters want, what does Mary Lee want, who ignored me, who didn’t ask nice enough, what does Ganim want, blah blah blah repulsive. Grow the hell up. There are many things bigger than “me, me, me.”

    1. Earlier this afternoon I placed a telephone call to Senator Moore to congratulate her on her victory in the primary. Even though Marilyn and I are on opposite teams and definitely disagree on more than we agree on, I did reach out to her to say congratulations because I felt it was the appropriate thing to do. Politics aside, she worked hard and ran a great primary campaign.

      I was appalled to learn not one Trumbull Democrat reached out to her to say congratulations. This should give every reader a better idea of Trumbull’s Democratic Town Committee and their leader, Tom Kelly. No class. Very nasty.

      1. Tim Herbst,
        Last night when I returned home, I sent Senator Moore congratulations on a race well run and won; and furthermore pledged my support to work to help her defeat Elaine Hammers. As you know I am a Trumbull Democrat and a member of the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee.

        I have no idea what any of the other 6000-plus registered Democrats in Trumbull did or did not do. As I always say, my mother taught me the right things to do. Senator Moore ran a good campaign and I congratulated her on her victory.

        BTW, saw you in the Bar at Testo’s about 5:40 but didn’t want to disturb you and your tablemate to say hello. When I came into the bar later you had already left.

        1. Hello, No Moore Marshall Law. “… I sent Senator Moore congratulations …” Can you be more clear on this? Did you send the congratulations by e-mail, smoke signal, a pigeon delivery? Moore and her supporters were celebrating at Thelma’s and I’m sure you had plenty of time to go and congratulate Moore in person.

          Momma raised a fool! So big a fool you figure out most of the 6000 registered Democrats in Trumbull did not vote.
          “As I always say, my mother taught me the right things to do.” When you endorsed McCarthy over Moore, you rewarded failure. You totally ignored the opinions and advice of the majority of OIB posters and you did it your way, not your mother’s way. I hope you’re not trying to tie Testo with Herbst again. What Tim Herbst wrote is called an OIBitchslap for you and your TC crew, take it like a man and go cry to mom.

          1. Joel,
            I sent my congratulation via an electronic medium. I would not have attended a party for either candidate after the polls closed. Mrs. M is recovering from surgery and I went home to be with her, relieving our daughter who gave me a few hours out of the house.

            Most Trumbull Ds don’t vote in primaries, but the turnout was higher than two years ago when one candidate was a Trumbull resident. Most Bridgeport Ds didn’t vote either.
            As for ignoring the opinions of posters on OIB, they are merely opinions, many from people who hide behind screen names and have their own axes to grind regarding Bridgeport city politics.
            In more than 40 years of voting and political activity, I have supported candidates who have both won and lost elections, that is the nature of our system, unlike the claim of Donald Trump, they are not rigged.
            Your hope I’m not trying to tie Testa with Herbst is absurd. Testo’s is a restaurant. I saw Tim Herbst sitting at a table in the bar with a gentleman I don’t know as I walked by the glass wall. Good manners would not have me walk in and interrupt their conversation. Mario Testa is a person. While much has been written about him on this blog, I don’t know him and have never had a conversation with him.
            What Tim Herbst wrote is a typical Herbst insult to all politically involved Trumbullites who don’t walk in lockstep with him. It’s not the first time Tim and I have disagreed and won’t be the last. That doesn’t stop us from being civil and greeting each other when we meet.
            As for going to cry to mom, I’ll be visiting her grave next month on her birthday and this primary will be the last thing on my mind.
            Your post personifies what is wrong with politics, the inability to discuss issues without personal attacks and insults.

        2. Marshall, you did what any gracious, well-taught person would do. Shame on the rest of them. This makes me happy I didn’t follow a good number of my family members to Trumbull. Say what you want about Bridgeport, but we know what to do, win or lose!

  3. LOL. Tim Herbst seems to always be mad at someone/something, it’s comical now and he’s hard to take seriously at this point. He wants to take a step up in gov’t, but honestly I’d have a hard time voting for him with that temper and his never-ending quest to revenge someone/something.

  4. I think it’s interesting Tim Herbst takes such an interest in Democratic politics. I have a feeling his interest has far more to do with the fact Trumbull Democrats won a special election for town office for the first time ever in 2014. Tim Herbst, who cruised to victory in 2013 with 69% of the vote in 2013, barely won re-election in Trumbull in 2015. And we are looking forward to 2017. We are continuing to build our party and we will be ready.

    Regarding the primary yesterday, I am proud of the fact almost 200 more Trumbull Democrats came to the polls yesterday than did in 2014, even though there was a Trumbull citizen on the ballot two years ago and none this time. Tom McCarthy actually won Trumbull by one vote, and that is certainly not a repudiation of anything we did. Mr. McCarthy beat an incumbent and that result speaks for itself.

    As with every primary, we certainly will support the party’s nominee in November, and I am quite sure Senator Moore will beat Elaine Hammers, the Republican nominee.

    Anyway, I am not going to spar with Tim Herbst on a Bridgeport blog. So I will give him the last word. Tim likes having the last word. I will leave you with this thought: Tim thinks issuing incredibly verbose statements with lots of insults demonstrates how tough he is. Meanwhile, does he even have the political courage to publicly state if he supports or endorses Donald Trump for President?

    Have a nice night, Bridgeport.

    1. “Anyway, I am not going to spar with Tim Herbst on a Bridgeport blog.”

      Excuse me! Lennie, would you please start another blog like www .onlyintrumbull.com?

      “Have a nice night, Bridgeport.” Lennie, about how many OIB readers are from Trumbull? Local Eyes can’t possibly be the only one. Good night to Trumbull and the entire OIB regional area.

    2. That’s one way to look at it, but the broader picture begs the question: How many more votes did Musto win Trumbull by? Moore went from capturing 19% of the vote in Trumbull in 2014, to capturing 50% in 2016 the way I read it. A win is relative, and I am sure Moore was not expecting to capture 50% of Trumbull’s votes in a primary. A shout-out to all the Trumbull folks who realized there was no valid reason for this primary. That would be half of the Trumbull turnout. It’s time for all to play nice.

  5. I’m not too interested in what little Timmie Herbst has to say. I do find it ironic Timmie keeps on being seen in Testo’s. Aren’t there any other food establishments in Trumbull and North End Bridgeport? I do think the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee really does have to look at itself and REALLY ask itself why it picked such a fool as in Tom McCarthy.

  6. Senator Moore, please make a note to self of this for future reference. If Timmy helped you out, assure yourself he will be seeking the same from you in his future political endeavors. It’s all about the reciprocity with him. Tread lightly and bear in mind he and Ganim have very similar traits.

    1. Godiva, Tim had nothing to do with our campaign. Nothing. Anything he did was on his own. Possibly the McCarthy supporters were a bit myopic in their assessment of who supported him. And the AB operations did not help either. This was always the case. Most of the folks in the 22nd wanted Moore. It showed on election day. That is the whole story.

      1. Godiva, this election cycle was about bad, premature decisions made on behalf of the establishment candidates, and Mario Testa. We call it shooting from the hip. In the case of Tom, had he slowed down, waited for the political landscape to redefine itself, and broadened his base of friends, he could have planned his next move more prepared to succeed. The same goes for Dennis. The outcome of the Senatorial districts should serve as a learning experience instead of a loss.


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