Republican Cat Scratch Fever

European Wrestling Championships, April 2, 2009, Vilnius.
The job is mine, you witch! No, it's mine!

Scratch, claw, hiss. Who says Bridgeport Republican Party politics is boring? A cat fight to select the next GOP registrar of voters has split the party and the result will actually juice the local Republican primary turnout for governor, U.S. senate, congress and state senate. 

Say what! A freaking primary for registrar? Yes sir. The city’s GOP, underfunded and underrepresented, has just a couple of paying jobs in local government that they get to choose and they’re in the GOP registrar’s office. The respective registrars for both parties are elected and each leader chooses a deputy. (See comments about the Working Families Party.)

Come August 10 the Linda Grace versus Theresa Pavia fight will be settled along with a bunch of other primaries. What gives?

Grace, a veteran Republican leader, former party chair with a long history in local and state party politics, has put her time in and wants the job and has support from the veteran wing of the party. Hold on a minute, says Pavia, who served as deputy registrar, has built her own relationship with party regulars and believes she’s the natural person to replace GOP Registrar Joe Borges who has decided to pack in it.

Pavia won the party endorsement over Grace who qualified to wage a primary. But Pavia was canned by Borges over an allegation that she changed the affiliation of a part-time machine technician so she can wire the deputy job to him if she becomes registrar.

This thing has gotten personal. In fact, the most recent meeting of the Republican Town Committee, known for its sleepy meetings loaded with Modern Maturity subscribers, erupted into a nasty explosion of name calling with one of the candidates slinging the C word (and I don’t mean Cat).

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Does it really matter? This thing will be settled in five weeks. But party regulars haven’t been this juiced about an intra-party battle in a long time, and maybe it’s not such a bad thing that the GOP has a battle royal of its own. The claws are coming out. Just be careful for the cat scratch fever.



  1. Omg the Bridgeport Republican party has its own story the first time ever in oib history!!! Wow maybe 700 Republicans will turn out in the city if you’re lucky!!! The presidential primary only drew 900 and change in 2008. This will not be a Bpt Republican Primary. It will be a Black Rock School, Winthrop, Blackham school primary because that’s where 75% of the Republican vote will come from am I right or wrong Lennie? I personally think you might get fewer than 500 voters in this primary so better start going around Black Rock and hope you get 75 votes out of the 150 that might be cast there for Republicans if you’re lucky you will have 150. We all know Democrats will have over 500 voters at Black Rock come August 10.

  2. From the CT Post
    “12th homicide Sunday matches Bridgeport’s 2009 total”
    “Halfway through the year, the city has matched last year’s total in homicides.”
    From WTNH
    “Man shot in Bridgeport; Conn. city’s 12th homicide”
    “New York man killed in Bridgeport”

    How many bad headlines can Finch take if he goes ahead and lays off cops???

  3. Grin Ripper makes a good point about Working Families and the Registrars.

    The law calls for the election of two registrars from two different parties. They don’t have to be Republican or Democratic.

    Working Parties represents a left wing of the Democratic Party. It would be interesting to see if they wished to test their city-wide voter strength or stay subsumed inside the Democratic Party where they are largely stifled by leadership.

    Republican registration is the lowest in decades. They might be weak enough to be knocked off.

      1. Good point by marlys.

        State law says the registrar candidates with the highest and second highest number of votes win the posts. But if a major-party candidate is not among the top two, that candidate is also named a registrar.

  4. “Bridgeport Now”–there will be no program tonight. As for the GOP, what do they really have to offer? Why don’t they show an interest in helping Bridgeport?

  5. This thing has gotten personal. In fact, the most recent meeting of the Republican Town Committee, known for its sleepy meetings loaded with Modern Maturity subscribers, erupted into a nasty explosion of name calling with one of the candidates slinging the C word (and I don’t mean Cat).

    You mean they uttered the C word for Conservative?
    That crowd has a tough enough time spelling cat never mind “cut up no toast!”

    1. I’ll stand by the endorsed Republican candidates. The Jamaican running for Secretary of State had to drop out since not even donj supported him. Corey Brinson is his name in case you don’t believe a Jamaican can be a Republican.

  6. “Just be careful for the cat scratch fever.”

    It’s too late Lennie! I hear the Republican State Rep. candidate in Monroe has vowed to “scratch” an OIB cat.

  7. Seems like Lamont is showing his true yellow color. He refuses to participate in Channel 8’s debate. I wonder whose advice Lamont is taking, would this be a Woody decision? If so it just shows Wood’s history of bad political advice is consistent. Although, after Lamont’s awful performance in the last debate, he is following the adage: It is better to remain silent and appear a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
    From the New London Day:
    The Day and WTNH had also planned to sponsor a Democratic gubernatorial debate for late July, but those plans have been shelved after Ned Lamont, the 2006 Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, refused to participate.
    His rival for the Democratic nomination, former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, did agree to take part in the proposed debate, planned for July 27.
    “To say we are disappointed with Mr. Lamont’s decision to avoid a live televised debate before an audience of 1,500 primary voters in New London would be an understatement,” said Gary Farrugia, publisher of The Day, in a written statement announcing the debates. The paper said Farrugia made a “personal appeal” asking Lamont to participate in the debate, but that the Lamont campaign said it had already participated in debates and forums with Malloy and would focus on other campaign events in late July.
    Democrats and Republicans will choose their nominees in primary voting on Aug. 10.
    The Republican gubernatorial debate will be moderated by WTNH’s Ann Nyberg. Questioning the candidates will be Mark Davis, WTNH’s chief political correspondent, and Paul Choiniere, the editorial page editor of The Day.

  8. Thanks for the clarifications by marlys and Up on the election of registrars.

    Has any third party challenged the preferred status of the Republicans and Democrats state-wide as discriminatory toward them?

    1. There are some minor-party benefits, like not requiring conventions or town committees to endorse candidates and being able to make nominations later in the calendar (up to September).

      Since the largest minor party is 0.5% the size of the Republican party in CT, I think the law is more generous to minor parties than any other aspect of reality ever will be.

  9. Jim
    I believe there have been some challenges specifically in the Public Finance section of elections. Think it was a Green Party thing. Not sure.

    Condolences to Joe Grabarz on the passing of his dad last evening.


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