Palming Your Way To Victory In A Special Election

You thought just church palms were handed out over the weekend? Plenty of palm cards as well. In this seasonal rite of passage, political operatives were out in force knocking on doors, lit dropping neighborhoods, canvassing voters in advance of the May 7 special election to fill the 130th State House seat of Ezequiel Santiago who passed away March 15.

Antonio Felipe campaign supporters from left, City Council President Aidee Nieves, former city councilor Evette Brantley, the irrepressible East Side District Leader Wanda Geter-Pataky and City Clerk Lydia Martinez.

You could, in some ways, call this event the battle between the old guard and the new, except some of the old is supporting the new, 23-year-old Antonio Felipe, the endorsed Democrat, vice president of the Greater Bridgeport Young Democrats. The challengers: two former State House members Hector Diaz and Christina Ayala, as well as ex-school board member Kate Rivera and newcomer Republican Josh Parrow, assistant director of development at the University of Bridgeport.

Special elections are all about identifying friends and dragging them out. And oh, if you cannot make it to the polls May 7, please vote by absentee ballot. Why is that? Because this district covering the South End, Downtown and portions of the West End and East Side, is loaded with senior citizen buildings that could swing a difference.

The political pros know their serial absentee voters they call upon in meaningful local elections. It cuts both ways: someone knocked on my door, how should I vote?

None of this matters unless the candidates put the work in. For the most part these kinds of races rely on hand-to-hand combat; personal touch can mean as much as money provided all things being equal.

Josh Parrow at Seaside Park bandshell.

In a low-turnout field of five candidates 400-500 votes could be enough to win. So yes, rally your friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, drinking partners, Game of Thrones friends, Yankee fans, Met fans, Red Sox fans. Sox fans? Not in that district!

Christina Ayala
Christina Ayala


  1. Hector Diaz – Calm, Compassionate, Intelligent, Porspicacious, Solid.
    He’s not a reciprocate candidate from Stratford, like Mario’s new Snotnose kid!

  2. Josh Parrow (R) — experience and dedication are his D-130 trademarks. He lives and works in the district.
    Democrats for Parrow (R). Make the switch. On May 7th, only 1 can be the best.

  3. My vote is for someone and not against anyone. My vote is for Kate Rivera, as a former Bridgeport Board Of Education member Kate knows and understands first hand the needs of funding Bridgeport public schools and to prepare the 21,000 plus students to be productive young adults. Kate brings new ideas and a hard work ethic to be able to work with a coalition of our State Representatives in Hartford to help solve the issues that 130th District, Bridgeport and Connecticut have in 2019 and in the future. My vote is for Kate Rivera.

    1. Hey Ron. Off topic but I thought you’d want to know, the Supervisor’s Contract came out of the Cotracts Committee which is CoChaired by none other than Earnest Newton with a unanimous recomendation which would place it on the CONSENT CALENDAR.
      So next time you see the Honorable Earnest T ask him “What upwth THAT?”


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