Kelvin Ayala Qualifies To Primary State Rep. Antonio Felipe, Other Challengers Await Word

The signature counting has begun in the Registrar’s Office and the first to qualify for a State House August primary is Downtown businessman Kelvin Ayala who’s challenging incumbent Antonio Felipe in Connecticut’s 130th District covering the South End, Downtown and portions of the East Side and West End.

Ayala submitted his petition sheets on Tuesday in advance of the Thursday 4 p.m. deadline. He needed roughly 300 certified signatures from registered Democrats in the district. Now that he’s on the ballot Ayala will begin raising money to qualify for campaign loot under Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races.

In other State House battles Bob Keeley, Wanda Simmons, Tony Barr and Robert Halstead also submitted petition sheets. Keeley, a former state representative, wants to primary incumbent Jack Hennessy; Simmons is eyeing incumbent Christopher Rosario; Barr is chasing incumbent Charlie Stallworth while Halstead pursues incumbent Steve Stafstrom.

What’s the impetus for this? Targeting incumbents who didn’t openly back Marilyn Moore for mayor last year.

Moore, according to several pols, is playing political footsies with Keeley to forge primaries across the city as payback. Keeley and company including Halstead think a common ballot line with Moore will help them. Be careful what you wish for. What was shaping up as a sleepy primary season has now raised the temperature of pols who may be hustling votes such as State Reps Steve Stafstrom and Jack Hennessy who have lots of experience turning out votes.

This could benefit Marcus Brown, the party-endorsed Democrat against Moore, who will be on the top line with Stafstrom and Hennessy if they have primaries.

Tony Barr, for one, relishes the challenge against Stallworth if he qualifies for the primary. “He’s stale bread,” says Barr about the city minister.

Nothing like breaking bread in ‘Port politics.

Funny thing about this whole thing, in some cases incumbent state reps didn’t back Moore for mayor for a very good reason. She didn’t ask them for support.



  1. Downtown Bridgeport has never had a better booster than Kelvin Ayala. Long before has was a candidate, he was stakeholder.
    What’s good for Mr. Ayala is good for Bridgeport.

  2. Black Rock’s walking Bridge to the RR Station never materialized under Stafstom.
    Fairfield commuters love’s their walking Bridge and they save on Parking Too!
    It’s like that old Burt Bacharach song here in BR, “Promises, Promises”.

    1. I disagree with the expense of the walking bridge ($3.8 million) in order to save commuters a 1/4 – 1/2 mile walk. Taxpayers should do a web search on Ash Creek Bridge Project and read the meeting history summaries. I have more questions and concerns than warm fuzzies about the project.

  3. Hey Jim I worked in Stamford for about 3 years and would walk to Fairfield Metro everyday to catch the train for work. That bridge would have been nice and would have been great to cut down on time and also when there was bad weather it would have been great to have that bridge but hey that was my daily form of cardio and it help me stay lean year round. I actually like Stafstrom I dont see myself voting against him at this point

  4. Back in 2007 the bridge was first discussed and became part of developments listed among others by the Black Rock NRZ. A version of such a structure to span a stream or small watercourse at the time from Oregon, suggested a price tag of $350,000. How it has increased to 10x or more is beyond my understanding at this time, but it is worthy of pursuit. At the same time 13 years ago, we suggested that urban parking in crowded neighborhoods be studied to avoid conflicts between residents with more autos than housing units can serve, and folks who will look to park near such a bridge. Any such study known to anyone over 13 years. Patience. Time will tell.

  5. Kelvin Ayala is the best Candidate or the 130th district, he’s lived in the district for the better part of his life. His Father served as both Councilman and as District Leader (if I’m not mistaken) , His Brother “Andy” Anderson Ayala (RIP) served the district as Councilman, Kelvin has a stake in the district due to his Downtown Business, Family sand Friends. I support him now as he has supported me in the past and wish him Godspeed in this his latest endeavor…Its time that District received the respect in Hartford that’s been lacking for so long.


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