Mayor Delivers Endorsement, Crowded Field To Replace Caruso

Aided by support of Mayor Bill Finch, Rev. Charlie Stallworth of East End Baptist Church, a member of the city’s police commission, won the Democratic Town Committee endorsement today for the Feb. 22 special election to fill the state rep seat vacated by Chris Caruso.

Chanel Cathey, a 24-year-old graduate student at New York University, promoted by City Councilman Warren Blunt, appeared to have the support lead on Friday until the mayor weighed in on behalf of Stallworth. Stallworth is a member of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, a group of clergy that wields votes in the city. The mayor wants to keep them happy in an election year.

Judging by the potential  opposition, the endorsement sets the stage for a free-for-all special election. 

Other possible candidates include former State Rep. Bob Keeley, Shante Hanks, an aide to Congressman Jim Himes, City Councilman Carlos Silva, Joe Giaquinto, a retired Bridgeport educator, Mark Trojanowski, a Democratic town committee member from the East Side and former City Councilman Keith Cougar Rodgerson. City Republicans have tapped James Keyser to run.

Keeley, Silva, Keyser for sure will run. Cathey will run as well, but she’s up against a tight timeframe to secure signatures to qualify for the ballot. The deadline to submit more than 40 petition signatures is Tuesday afternoon. That means she must  access paperwork from the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office (Monday is a holiday), gather signatures from registered voters in Connecticut’s 126th State Assembly District and return the paperwork to either to the state or city’s Town Clerk’s Office before the Tuesday deadline. Keeley and Silva already have the paperwork. Paperwork can also be accessed via the Secretary of the State’s website.

If Cathey qualifies she’ll have support from State Senator Ed Gomes, a popular figure in the district, as well as former State Senate candidate Marilyn Moore, a strong campaign operative. The Finch forces must now deliver for Rev. Stallworth. But Keeley knows the district well from his years serving as a state rep. Silva, who brings his council district base of support, ran a primary against Caruso in 2008. Will Caruso weigh in on behalf of Cathey? He is close to Gomes and Moore.

And what about former State Senator Ernie Newton? He says he’ll be meeting with Stallworth within the next couple of days.



  1. I hope the leadership up there will get together and work this out. For the first time we have a opportunity to Elect someone of color, and this is the time for Leaders to lead. I believe everyone will look at the Bigger PICTURE.

    1. You don’t want people to look at “the Bigger PICTURE.”
      You want them to look at the “Black Picture.” “… to Elect someone of color …”

      I’m making a copy of this post and I’m using it. I told you Lennie Grimaldi was setting you up. But you’re too damn hard-headed to listen. You just OIBitch-slapped yourself.

    2. The bigger picture should NOT include race, Ernie. It should include qualifications, experience, and inclusiveness. Dr. King said people should be judged not on the color of their skin, but the content of their character. A good principle to live by. If the best candidate is of color, that’s the right candidate. It’s not about entitlement anymore, it’s about quality.

  2. Another low point in Bridgeport politics. Buying off the church’s endorsement. Between this and Stafstrom throwing Foster under the wheels of the bus. So sad. Well played Mr. Finch.

  3. Take back your city Chris Caruso!!!

    Broker a deal between Mary-Jane Foster and John M Gomes. End the machine!!! Can’t afford to live here anymore. DO YOU SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THIS CITY DAN MALLOY???

  4. Hey Ernie I thought the idea was to send the most qualified person to Hartford. A person who will work for ALL of the people not just the people of color.

      1. Ernie you know damn well a person of color can run and win an election but in Bridgeport we tend to point to seats as Black seats and white seats and Hispanic seats when we should be saying this person whether they be Black, white, Hispanic or martian is the best person for a particular seat.

          1. No one said that, in fact you brought it up in your earlier post. I quote, “I hope the leadership up there will get together and work this out. For the first time we have a opportunity to elect someone of color, and this is the time for Leaders to lead. I believe everyone will look at the Bigger PICTURE.” Ernie you are trying to turn the argument around and it won’t work.

  5. Ed Gomes and Warren Blunt plus Marilyn Moore thought they were going to be kingmakers and when it did not work out for their candidate they were pissed.
    Hey guys Politics 101 line up as many votes as you can to ensure that your candidate wins. They did not do that. There were 6 votes in my district and no one approached us face-to-face or on the telephone asking for our support.
    The reverend did mail all of us his resume and a brief Bio that could be why he received 4 out of the 6 votes from our district. Ann Barney & I abstained as we felt this should be an open primary based on all the people who are interested in this seat.
    Bob Keeley was there with a smile on his face as this division in the 135th was taking place. It would appear that Keeley and Silva are the early frontrunners particularly if The reverend Stallworth and Gomes’ candidate Chanel Cathey are both in the primary.
    I have to wonder what the mayor’s aide Ruben was doing campaigning for Shante Hanks. Does this mean that the mayor and his aide are not on the same page?

      1. Carolanne: Let everyone who’s interested file for the office and then the person who works the hardest and gets his/her points across to the most people and gets those people out wins the election. What’s interesting is the number of people seeking one elective office. I think it’s great. I think it also shows the alleged powers that be still have not learned Politics 101.

        1. I think it shows no guts. Few dared to step up to challenge Caruso and the last one who did got creamed. It’s a power vacuum and they are just trying to get sucked in now that Caruso unclogged the path.
          The ball is now in Caruso’s court again.

        2. town committee // Jan 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm
          to your posting

          That’s the finest example of a visionary scene for Bridgeport democratic/Democratic election process that should be at work for this special election. It is certainly small enough that the person who works the hardest … etc. etc. … wins.

          Mostly they, the alleged powers, have written their own set of rules: generate the least number of votes possible, have all the “City employees” with a “machine-made” resume get out to vote along with their relatives. Not a bad strategy … only costing the City millions in abused tax dollars … Their rules say not to care about that kind of exploitation. Is that how it goes TC?

    1. TC, you should have made a live report from there. You are Senior OIB reporter if you didn’t know.
      “… they were pissed …” Imagine if you would have caught that scene on tape.

      “… There were 6 votes in my district and no one approached us face-to-face or on the telephone asking for our support …”

      Were they six white votes? If so that may explain why.
      So if they didn’t need white votes, then Ernie Newton can forgive and understand Bill Finch. You guys gave Bill Finch the ‘green’ light to give the Reverend the 6 poor white souls you guys–and gal–rebuked.

      “… I have to wonder what the mayor’s aide Ruben was doing campaigning for Shante Hanks. Does this mean the mayor and his aide are not on the same page …”

      Sounds like a good book–Shante Hanks’ Redemption.
      Hey, One out of Two wouldn’t have been bad if it worked.

  6. Finch supports an IMA candidate and appoints an African American health director (who I happen to like) and all is well with the black community. Did they forget what he did to Dr. Evans or have the good ministers sold their souls?

  7. Hey Joel, you can say what you want, post whatever you like. I stand by what I said. It’s okay for the Latino community to have two reps in a minority district but it’s not okay for us.

    1. Ernie, it’s not okay for the IMA to sell their souls for a candidate. Were you here when Finch fired and publicly humiliated Dr. Evans? How soon we forget.

        1. Except now all is forgiven because Finch supported Rev. Stallworth? Finch brokered a deal to get the Black vote and IMA bought it. That is what’s wrong with Bpt, anyone can be bought even the clergy.

          1. Honestly, who cares or is surprised by this?

            Finch, it seems, doesn’t care that much who the state rep in the 126th is. The IMA appears to have a strong preference. Whoever it is will be friendlier to Finch than Caruso was. So, given the choice between pleasing and not pleasing an influential constituency, why not scratch their backs while he’s got the chance? Better an endorsement than something that shows up in the budget, I would think.

          2. The Fixer // Jan 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm
            To your posting …

            I’m working hard to convince OIB posters the simple sign of the times for any remaining good qualified-to-run-for-office candidate is “Not for Sale.” How many votes do you think you could get if the voters came to believe that message?

    2. Ernie who said you can’t have a black Rep. in a Latino district? Put one up to run against Mitch’s boy or Andres Ayala. The problem is you guys wait for a vacancy to jump in. The East Side is always battling for control among themselves. Run Black candidates when they are split among themselves. Do you know there are Black Puerto Ricans? I’m one. My father was as black as you–better looking. There is a town called Loiza in Puerto Rico. The Town is twice as old as America. It was where slaves from Africa were brought and unloaded and held to be shipped all over the Caribbean and eventually America. When slavery ended they made Loiza their community and mixed with Spaniards, Indians, French and so on. That’s why you see White Puerto Ricans and Black Puerto Ricans. Today, the Black Puerto Rican is still discriminated against in Puerto Rico and anywhere they go. Martin Luther King was not the original leader of civil rights for Blacks and the poor, Albizu Campos came before him.
      Want to see what happened to him and his story? Click this link:

  8. From today’s CT Post; article about all the damage caused by the untrained snowplow drivers. This one is of particular interest since it involved a supervisor who should know better:

    “A fence on Knoll Place also suffered damage when it was reportedly plowed into by Tony DePrimo, the city’s sanitation, recycling and roadway supervisor.

    Called to the street to remove the snow piled in front of her neighbor’s house after the December storm, according to a claim filed by Migdalia Nieves, DePrimo met with the neighbor’s daughter.

    “The employee stated he didn’t know what they wanted him to do and that if it weren’t for her (the daughter’s) husband who is employed by the city also, he would have just left and was being courteous,” Nieves stated.

    DePrimo then “stated there was nothing he could do but just push it (the snow) in more against my fence,” Nieves continued.

    In a police report accompanying Nieves’ claim, Bridgeport Police Sgt. John Gale, who was off duty at the time, said he told DePrimo not to push the snow against the small picket fence. “Against my advice, he pushed the pile forward anyway, knocking over the fence I warned him about,” Gale wrote in the report. “He said that’s all he could do and he left.”

    Good job, Tony. Next time your idiot drivers plow me in, I know who NOT to call.

    1. That’s true Ernie and no one is proud of that but it does not make what you said right. In fact it actually is divisive if taken at face value. I am not sure you are old enough to remember when there were no Black elected officials but be that as it may, it does not make your statements alright.
      There was always a chance for a minority to fill the seat occupied by Caruso while he held it. It just would have taken a lot of hard work a lot of time and a lot of energy which the leaders in the 135th did not seem to have. Now that Caruso is out they feel entitled. Right now it appears they will lose a golden opportunity to fill that seat. Time will Tell.

  9. None of this mess says anything of what will be done for the taxpayers or children. Deals get cut and who the hell knows if the person is qualified as long as his church votes for the adm that’s destroying our city. I repeat once again

    Caruso needs to get Foster and Gomes together and clean up this mess before four more years.

  10. Chanel Cathey, a 24-year-old graduate student at New York University, who is a candidate for the 126th State Assembly District, is one of the most dynamic, intellectual, personable and gifted persons who I have ever met in my life, in fact all one has to do is meet her and talk to her.

  11. Re: Mr. Newtons’ viewpoints and subsequent replies from other bloggers.

    Bridgeport has the singularly most diverse congressional delegation in the whole state, including (but not limited to): 1) Sen. Ed Gomes–Cape Verdean descent, 2) Rep. Andres Ayala–fluent Spanish speaker and respected member of the Latino community, 3) Rep. Santiago–similar background of Ayala, 4) Rep. Auden Grogins–one of a minority of female state representatives, 5) Rep. Don Clemons–African-American and retired Bridgeport firefighter, 6) Former State Rep. Chris Caruso is 100 percent Sicilian. I myself have no hesitation saying that, unfortunately, there have at times been pervasive anti-minority (including working class Irish and Italian) sentiment in Hartford.

    Given that our delegation is THE MOST DIVERSE group of legislators in the state, whoever fills the 126th seat should be a candidate who is qualified and ready to work hard with fellow Bridgeport delegates to help effect real and lasting change on behalf of the resident of this city.

    Saying “this is the first time we have an opportunity to elect a person of color” SERIOUSLY misses the mark our forefathers hoped we would hit. What about looking at it in these terms: I supported Barack Obama not because of the color of his skin, but because his educational credentials are somewhere in the 99.9995th percentile of American academic achievement. During this upcoming special election, I think ALL of us should encourage voters to speak with candidates face-to-face and judge them solely and specifically on their credentials, i.e. education, intelligence, moral character, willingness to put their own reputation at stake on behalf of their constituents, legislative experience, etc.

    Counteroffers welcome, sans ad-hominem attacks, please.

    –Mountain Man

    1. You need to get off the horse for a few and see things at ground level away from the trees in the Mountains. Bridgeport has the most gullible electorate I’ve ever seen. Most don’t even know the name or the job responsibility of any of the people you mention above.

      I recently wrote on Facebook:
      Action does speaks louder than words, but convincing words trigger action.
      –Joel Gonzalez 1/10/2011

      The voters in Bridgeport need honest convincing words to trigger some action. Education is key. I’m glad you have joined us here at OIB. You are an educated and disciplined man–can tell by your writing. You reminded me of something. I remember I do not like white–horses that is. I was maybe 8 years old and this man had a Big White Horse. One day I was watching him comb the horse when he then fed the horse. I had a short branch from a tree on my hands and I started to touch the horse on the side as he ate, when all of a sudden the horse just turned on me and nearly trampled me, had I not rolled down an embankment. I hate white horses!

      1. Glad I can be of some service, I think. You said the people of this city are gullible–and I feel like that is a situation created by two things: 1) EVERY citizen not getting involved with the issues and candidates important to them and 2) Candidates–for the most part–not doing enough door-to-door work in their districts so residents can associate names to faces. This then allows a resident to say, “Hey, that’s Auden Grogins, she is on the environmental affairs committee so if I have x problem in Black Rock I should go talk to her.”

        Representative democracy works wonderfully when open dialogue and long-term interaction takes place between electors and electees.

  12. Hey tc,
    Let’s cut the BS. How many votes in the 138th that were cast for Stallworth were cast by city employees or spouses of city employees?
    You district is more of an insider than most in the city. The mayor said jump and Martha jumped and Paoletto jumped and Curwen jumped so cut the crap. It had nothing to do with who did not call you and had everything to do with who told you how to vote.
    Lock step!!!

    1. Grin 4 of the 6 votes were cast for Stallworth. The 4 that voted for Stallworth all work for the city and in Curwen’s case his wife works for the city. My original vote and the 138th’s vote was going to be for Silva. When I arrived at the meeting I was told we were voting for Stallworth. Ann Barney and I refused and abstained from the vote. I know that Ann & I would have voted for one of the main voter seekers if they had asked. By the way I have signed multiple petitions of people who want to run for this seat and the only minority candidate who asked me to sign his petition was Carlos Silva which I did sign.

        1. Martha, Paoletto, Curwen, Monks and newest member Chris Anastasi did what they were told to do. The night before the actual meeting we were going to back Carlos Silva. There was no meeting with the candidates. I did speak to some of the candidates who came to my house as I signed their petitions.

          1. Martha–city employee. Richard–city employee who recently was promoted and then had his sexual harassment conviction negated because of a financial hardship. Curwen–wife is city employee. Monks–city emploee. Chris–newly hired under CitiStat and son of city attorney. All marching to the political drum. I wonder how Carlos feels after Martha switched on him? There is no honor in this city. Very sad.

    1. Mary-Jane went under the bus Joel. Mario and John S are now supporting Mr. Finch and all is happy in Machineville. Greed and Money conquer all in politics. People and what’s best for them come way down on the list.

  13. Riddle me this …
    The 135th meets, interviews a slew of candidates and votes 8-1 to support Cathey.
    They found a young, intelligent, energetic, independent African American woman.
    The next day the mayor, Mario and Mother Goose decide that won’t do.
    Two days later the 135th loses 3 votes and the other lemmings fall in line.
    You sound very proud of your Town Committee and I guess Mario gave you permission to abstain.

    I nominate you for the next edition of Profiles in Courage. You obviously know what it means to put your balls on the line. You are a member of the town committee. The Town Committee’s job is to endorse Democratic candidates for office. You and your partner vote No Endorsement. What the f is up with THAT???

    1. With all the people who are seeking this office and I think the number is at least 8 an open primary with no endorsement would have been the way to go. Less hurt feelings, less divisiveness. It’s not my job to endorse just anybody or to endorse who the party bosses want. There were a lot of candidates there who did not want to be nominated for the endorsement because the 17-delegate vote had already decided which candidate they supported. My candidate and Ann’s candidate were among them. If you don’t like that too bad. My job is not to be a lemming to the power brokers. You don’t like what I do move to the 138th and run against me.

  14. On behalf of all “people of color” I would like everyone in this forum to know that Ernie Moses Newton is not our spokesman. I know this may be hard to believe, but there are a lot of people who aren’t happy he has appointed himself the voice of the community. Especially when that voice is one of a convicted criminal.

    Please Ernie. If you are going to speak for people of color, you should keep in mind that your speech, appearance, and syntax shouldn’t reflect that of a street hustler.


  15. *** When any political seat is open & available any willing & hopefully qualified candidate should be able to do their lobbying & work towards seeking that seat regardless of race or gender. It’s just taken for granted in Bpt that if you’re the party-endorsed candidate, the race is on autopilot, no? However the more candidates, the better the chances are of voters hopefully picking outside the usual box. Work hard & good luck to all and always do the right thing for your voting district & Bpt. *** Out with the old & in with the new. ***

  16. parkcity I may not speak for all people of color but there’s nothing you or anyone else can do to stop me from running for office. I’ll be back. TC AND Joel know that. As I said before meet me at the polls.

  17. Always been a Caruso backer as he was going to do the right thing. That being said, Chris it’s time for you to get behind Gomes and save this city. Anything short of Caruso doing that and he is a sellout like the rest of the politicians. No more machine. Caruso needs to throw everything he has into Gomes’ bid or his words over the years are as empty as the rest of the sellouts.

  18. City Hall; There is no honor in this city, period. The leaders in the white community, the leaders in the Black Community and the leaders in the Hispanic Community care for one thing and one thing only, what’s in it for them and a few close confidants. They will bleed the city for every free dime they can get and conditions be damned.
    Tell me where they leaders have been with our 68% dropout rate? Have they rallied their various factions to demand action by the Board of Education? NO they have not. Have they pressured the 8 elected members of the Board of Education to demand action on this hideous problem? No they have not.
    Do these leaders really give a shit about the people in this city? NO they don’t.
    They populate the boards and commissions with their people and do they make them do what is good for all the people? NO they don’t. Do they put pressure on the Police Department to increase the number of cars on patrol? No they don’t and in the meantime the people are the victims of murder, burglaries, muggings and such that are all on the increase. You see to make waves and do the right thing could mean they lose their access to money and BS jobs for their close friends.
    All these minor power brokers have to be thrown to the curb. This city needs new leadership from people who are not worried about feathering their own nests. Can it be done? Yes it can. Will it be done? I am waiting.

  19. “With all the people who are seeking this office and I think the number is at least 8 an open primary with no endorsement would have been the way to go. Less hurt feelings, less divisiveness. It’s not my job to endorse just anybody or to endorse who the party bosses want.”
    At least we now know TC stands for Total Crap!
    This a special election not an endorsement session for a regular election. There is no such thing as an open primary.
    With Malloy’s victory, the Democrats are back on the top line. So TC wants you to think it is best not to endorse anyone and have the Republican get the top line.
    TC says he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Oh so nice of TC. He sounds so tough on the blog but in real life he’s a wuss. Or is this just more Total Crap?
    TC says he is not going to endorse whom the party bosses want but by doing what he did he in effect supported the candidate of the party bosses. He wouldn’t endorse another candidate. He apparently did not make a motion for No Endorsement so he has not included in those present and voting and therefore helped the same party bosses he claims not to help. Total Crap.
    Politics 101 according to TC. Do what the party bosses tell you and lie to the public. A true Profile in Courage.

    1. I am right on the money.
      You helped Stallworth.
      If you had any balls you would have made a motion for no endorsement and if you did and voted that way your votes would have counted in determining 50%.
      By voting present or not voting or whatever cowardly way you went, you helped deliver the endorsement to Stallworth. And if your votes were needed Mario would have told you to vote for him and you would have.
      You do no one a service by not voting. And this is not an open primary. So I have no clue as to what you think you know that I don’t.
      Your actions speak louder than words.

      1. Grin you are full of it. There was no way any of the people in either camp would go for an open primary. BTW Stallworth had 9 votes to 6 for the other candidate Cathey. My not voting helped no one. Do the math 17 eligible voters 9 for Stallworth, 6 for Cathey, 2 abstentions. In what convoluted world did abstaining help Stallworth? Nice try.

  20. *** Remember OIB bloggers, “snakes are cold-blooded” & will always go towards areas that offer warmth or a free easy meal, no? *** J.E.T.S., JETS, JETS, JETS. *** HERE WE GO! ***

  21. Lennie, remember when the mayor “delivered” these words?

    September 20, 2010
    By Mayor Bill Finch
    “This past year has been a tough one for our City. But with Bridgeport’s typical resiliency we have managed to weather many storms – some figurative and others literal …”

    You think he spoke too soon?

  22. If there ever was a time when real diversity in Bridgeport was a necessity, it’s in 2011. For once, the voters should choose the Republican candidate, James Keyser. Only true political competition can save Bridgeport. For once, look further than the color of one’s skin or the party label after his name!

    Keep blindly following the same leaders and Bridgeport will only become more of a laughingstock to the country! Take a close look at your schools, your crime and your poverty. If you like what you see, by all means keep voting the same way. If you hope for change, try a different direction, for a change!!!



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