Highlighting A Multi-Town Theme, Marcus Brown Announces State Senate Primary Challenge Against Moore

City Councilman Marcus Brown.

Declaring the “success of Bridgeport, Trumbull, and Monroe are inextricably linked,” City Councilman Marcus Brown on Monday declared his candidacy for State Senate challenging Democratic incumbent Marilyn Moore in an August primary.

Brown, 28, made the announcement before the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee where the underdog needs to combine messaging and organization to gain traction against the familiar Moore who defeated incumbent Anthony Musto in a 2014 primary.

Balancing the interests of this multi-town district is key, a theme Brown focused on. “A vibrant Trumbull and Monroe has a positive impact on Bridgeport, and a thriving inner-city, better schools, and a better quality of life in Bridgeport also makes places like Trumbull and Monroe more attractive places to live,” he said.

Connecticut’s 22nd District covers all of Trumbull, the north and west portions of Bridgeport and the southern part of Monroe, as one of the most diverse districts in the upper chamber.

In 2018, Marilyn Moore accepted the Democratic endorsement in Trumbull.

Brown has the backing of Mayor Joe Ganim and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, both of whom faced a surreal 2019 reelection in which Ganim squeaked a primary win over Moore, won a court challenge brought by her supporters and the inexplicable failure of the Moore camp to petition onto the general election ballot as a Working Families Party candidate that relegated her to long-shot write-in candidacy.

Brown, who says he will file his official candidate paperwork on Thursday, will raise money to qualify for Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly financed campaigns. He must raise about $16,000 from at least 300 people donating between $5 and $270. If he succeeds he’ll have roughly $100,000 to spend in the primary.

Moore, as she has done since 2014, will also participate in the voluntary public money program.

Given his establishment support in Bridgeport Brown should be in play for the party endorsement. Moore won primaries in 2014 and 2016 without the party endorsement. Two years ago she was endorsed with no primary opponent.

Moore would just need 15 percent delegate backing – this would come from Trumbull where she has support advantage – for a ballot spot. In lieu of that she can petition onto the ballot via signatures. The party endorsement will take place in May.

Marshall Marcus, a member of the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee, attended Brown’s announcement. He says, speaking for himself, he’s supporting Moore. He shared this in the OIB comments section:

The TDTC is not really interested in Bpt city politics and infighting. We need to focus on unseating the three Republicans who represent Trumbull in the State House of Representatives, The last time D22 had a primary and some of us backed Tom McC(arthy), he got destroyed, time and money was wasted and the Republican candidate carried Trumbull. There is little to gain by getting involved in this contest. I like what we have and see no reason to change.

Legislative incumbents are difficult to take out in primaries given their profile, franking privilege mailers and goodies delivered to the district in an election year. In his presentation to the Trumbull Dems Brown contrasted the district’s lack of resources from Hartford while highlighting council initiatives such as reform of predatory foreclosure practices in the Water Pollution Control Authority, passage of a expanded property tax relief program for senior citizens and a ban on the sale of tobacco products to those under 21 years of age.

Moore must remind voters what she has brought back to the district, Brown must focus on what she has not and what he will do.

Brown is also engaged in a March 3 Democratic Town Committee primary in which his nine-member slate is opposed by Moore backers.

Here’s an except from Brown’s Monday night announcement.

My name is Marcus Brown. I am the President Pro-Tempore of the Bridgeport City Council, serving in my second term representing Brooklawn and the West End of Bridgeport. In addition to some part time work in real estate, my full-time job is with the Workplace where I assist the long-term unemployed with job placement. Tonight, I am announcing that I am a candidate for State Senate in the 22nd District.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to address the Trumbull DTC and to meet with some of you individually to talk about the issues that are most important to Trumbull residents. What’s amazing to me is how remarkably similar the issues are in Trumbull to those that I hear as a Councilman in Bridgeport every day…

–Property tax relief,
–ECS funding
–affordable housing,
–the WPCA,
–and the desire to build a successful regional economy in the Greater Bridgeport area.

So allow me just for a minute to tell you about myself and why I believe that I’m
the candidate that can best tackle these issues in the State Senate.

I am the son of a single Italian mother who raised three black children in the Marina Village Housing project in Bridgeport’s South End. My mom worked really hard–two jobs at a time–to not only take care of us, but also to make that extra pot of spaghetti so that the other kids in Marina went to bed with food in their stomachs too.

When my mother’s job was outsourced to Mexico, we ended up homeless for over a year. And yet, through even those toughest of times, my mother made sure that we were taken care of. Her resilience and strength has shaped the man that I am today.

As a candidate for office, I have the advantage of knowing first-hand what it’s like to be poor, to live in public housing, to be homeless, to attend underfunded, underperforming public schools, and to be a taxpayer.

These experiences are the reason that I was compelled to run for public office in the first place. Now, when I expressed interest in running for City Council in my district in 2017, I was told that it wasn’t my turn and that I had to wait in line. But I knew that a message of bringing new perspective and fresh energy to the problems that my constituents were dealing with would resonate, and it did. I beat the incumbent, endorsed candidate who held the seat for over 10 years. I did that by working hard, asking every voter for their vote, and promising that I would bring results.

Then I took office, and I got to work. For years, people in Bridgeport were victims of predatory practices of the WPCA that allowed lawyers to profit greatly off of others’ misfortunes and led to many unnecessary foreclosures. Elected officials had complained about it for years, but nothing tangible had been done.

As a chair of the Ordinance Committee, I led the investigation into the WPCA’s practices, subpoenaed the lawyers involved, and led the effort to bring about a resolution to this problem. After a lot of work, we implemented a mediation program for rate-payers, capped attorney’s fees for outside counsel working on WPCA cases, and brought justice to an issue that had raged in Bridgeport politics for a long time.

That’s just one example of what I’ve been able to accomplish. I can talk at length about other successes on the Council, including the passage of a Senior Tax Relief program which gives property tax rebates to some of our most vulnerable seniors, or the passage of Tobacco 21, which made Bridgeport the second city in CT to ban the sale of tobacco sales for those under 21 years old.

These are the kind of results that I want to deliver for the 22nd District in the State Senate. I want to leave you today with three important thoughts as you consider my candidacy.

First, is what I just mentioned. I’m going to fight for the district and I’m going to be the guy to bring dollars back to the district. For whatever reason, the 22nd District has really gotten nothing substantial out of Hartford in terms of legislation or major state investments. And while Hartford got an over $500 million bailout and Waterbury got a more than $7 million increase in ECS funding, it’s really difficult to watch as our district got little to nothing. I want to change that.

…Second, I recognize the challenge of engaging Trumbull voters in a primary in August with two candidates from Bridgeport. But I want you to understand the importance of this election. Because of the party make-up of this district and because it’s a presidential year, this election will most likely be decided in the primary. The people of the 22nd need to decide in August who they want their state senator to be. By time the general rolls around, it will be too late.

And while both candidates are from Bridgeport, I want you to know that I care about your issues. That’s why I am here tonight. The way I view things, the success of Bridgeport, Trumbull, and Monroe are inextricably linked. A vibrant Trumbull and Monroe has a positive impact on Bridgeport, and a thriving inner-city, better schools, and a better quality of life in Bridgeport also makes places like Trumbull and Monroe more attractive places to live.

So, I need your help this summer to engage Trumbull voters and let them know
why this election matters.

Finally, this is a big election year, with elections for state offices, Congress, and President. Now more than ever, the Trumbull DTC has the opportunity to get Democrats elected to the General Assembly. I commit to you that no matter what happens, you have my unconditional support and help as we go into the November elections to ensure that Sujotta and whoever you nominate for the 134th District gets elected. I will be here on the ground, knocking doors with you to make this happen. And you can ask those that have worked with me, I am not afraid to campaign and help get Democrats elected.

Although I am just starting out, I am pleased to say that I have already received commitments of support from many in Trumbull, including some of the influential members of this Trumbull DTC. As this process moves forward, I want to hear from as many of you as possible and get the opportunity to earn your support.

I believe that we can do better for the 22nd District, and that’s why I am running
for State Senate.




  1. Marcus Brown is a TRAITOR. He was initially elected to the City Council as an agent of change but he became infected by the Testa virus became another Tests puppet. So,no surprises here. Brown does what he is told to do and here he is. IMHO,I don’t think he has a chance. The goal may be to weaken Moore in the primary/general election and maybe Rich Deeken will run again as the Republican/Democrats for Deeken. Admittedly,Moore has been weakened by the WFP fiasco. Moore has refused to acknowledge and apologize to her supporters for her personal mishandling of the WFP petition/ballot line. I will strongly advise her to do so. If not,some of her previous strong support will be too embittered by what happened.

    1. In terms of Brown’s support in his own CC district,let’s remember that Brown (and Brantley) LOST on the voting in the primary but (won) with the illicit Testa AB operation. Brown and Brantley only win the general election because Kyle Langan (etc) ran on a weakened WFP line. The WFP line was weakened due to no one being on the top of the WFP line.

  2. Frank I was waiting for this article/blog to appear.
    It will be updated by Lennie soon and he has contacted me for background/impressions from last night’s meeting of the TDTC.

    #1 I speak for myself and not the TDTC. We have not met and discussed support for either candidate.
    #2 We own a condo in the building where Brown lives and he is our council member so I pay attention to his actions,
    Senator Moore was at the meeting and both made her regular report as our State Senator and kicked off her campaign. She has produced for Trumbull. She represents all of Trumbull and is our only Democratic representative in the state legislature. As chair of the bonding committee she has proven she can bring home the bacon.
    The nominating convention for D22 will be held in Trumbull (as it was in 2018) not at Testo’s
    Brown gave a short speech (printed in Lennie’s coverage). the TDTC members were polite and attentive. There were a few questions. I asked about his running on an opposition slate to the BTDC and then dumping his running mate and running for Council on the Ganim/Testa official DTC slate
    Brown complained that Waterbury got $7 million in ECS and Bridgeport none, I pointed out Bpt got $1.3 million. Maybe if Brown did his job on the Council and voted to fund BPS, the Bpt BOE would not have been short $20 million in two years. That wonderful tax cut/budget Brown voted for in 2018 got me a $53 property tax savings, better it paid for a textbook,

    The TDTC is not really interested in Bpt city politics and infighting. We need to focus on unseating the three Republicans who represent Trumbull in the State House of Representatives, The last time D22 had a primary and some of us backed Tom McC, he got destroyed, time and money was wasted and the Republican candidate carried Trumbull. There is little to gain by getting involved in this contest. I like what we have and see no reason to change.

    I did talk to some friends after the meeting and I think they have similar feelings about not fixing what isn’t broken. It reminds me of an insurance agent who wants to sell you a new policy instead of a renewal, because the commission on a new policy pays the agent moire than a renewal Brown has a job that seems to have come courtesy of the Bpt Machine, his condo mate draws a city salary, now that he has fallen in line he is being given the chance to collect a part time salary from the state………………

    AGAIN: these comments reflect only my opinion and observations. I do not speak for the TDTC who has not had discussions or taken sides in this brand new race,

  3. I like Marcus. I feel bad he is being used. He has no real accomplishments to speak of on CC level. If Tom McCarthy who is much more prepared to be in the Hartford LOB with credentials as an attorney and and as past CC president, could not come close to beating Senator Moore, whyyyyyyyy would they encourage Marcus to take on this task. That is the question?

    Could it be the DTC is really supporting a Trumbull Resident and needs Marcus to attempt to split the BPT vote? Food for thought.

  4. @jimfox

    Brown started his speech by saying he was the product of an Italian mother. Does that make him White enough? I don’t think any of us in Trumbull really care. This emphasis on color seems to be a problem in Bridgeport, especially to that so called minister/Ganim supporter questioning Senator Moore’s color.

    Damn, it isn’t the 1950s anymore, even if Donald Trump is trying to take us back there

    1. John,,
      Congrats on your promotion ( or,at least,I think it is a promotion). Next time I’ll be downtown I’ll try to stop by and say hello. We’re going to miss you.

  5. C’mon John, you’ve been around long enough to know it’s never about qualifications or what you can bring to the city! It’s always about what’s in the best interest of the DTC, Mayor Ganim and Mario.

  6. Marcus
    Make sure you mention when you’re in Trumbull and Monroe that, despite the fact that Bridgeport puts less money into its schools than nearly any other city or town, Mario and Joe say it’s the state’s responsibility to fund our schools to take care of jobs and construction projects and other favors they need to provide to friends.

    1. I caught Brown claiming the state was paying nothing in ECS dollars to Bridgeport when in fact it got $1.,3 Million.

      It was so obvious that he is interested in what he can bring back to Bridgeport from Hartford to be poorly managed by Ganiom/Testa. This won’t fly in Trumbull, and you can’t win by 9 questionable absentee ballots in Trumbull or Monroe.,

  7. Marilyn Moore has used a multi-town theme all along. What will make MB’s better?
    BTW, The multi-town trait of the 22nd District is circumstantial and reflects existing politics and not some new policy improvement. It’s early but Marcus Brown is celebrating reality while trying to remove an incumbent.


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