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.