The 90-member Democratic Town Committee will convene Tuesday night at the Madison Avenue restaurant of Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa to select party officers with the leader the prohibitive favorite for another two years. Will anyone issue a perfunctory challenge or cause a stir?
City politics is starting to heat up in this gubernatorial cycle with delegate selections taking place late March in advance of May nominating conventions between May 3-24. Testa traditionally fields delegate requests from district leaders for sign-off by the town committee.
Many town committee members will become delegates to respective party conventions.
For multi-town districts such as Bridgeport’s two state senate seats delegates issue endorsements. For single-town districts town committee members make endorsements. Six of Bridgeport’s seven House seats solely cover the city.
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Herron Gaston, a city minister, has emerged as the party establishment’s likely antidote to State Senator Dennis Bradley under federal indictment for alleged campaign finance violations. Jury selection for his case is schedule for late May.
Gaston is expected to make a formal entry into the race soon.
Unclear if Bradley will schmooze party regulars who have doubts about his future and/or defend his turf in an August primary if Gaston is endorsed for Connecticut’s 23rd Senate District that covers roughly two thirds of Bridgeport and a portion of western Stratford. A conviction will certainly stall Bradley’s political career. An acquittal could embolden him.
State Senator Marilyn Moore is poised for an easy path to the party nomination representing Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe. No names are floating to challenge her. Either way she’d be an overwhelming favorite as she seeks a fifth two-year term while eyeing another potential run for mayor in 2023.
Challengers in a multi-town district must secure 15 percent support at a convention to qualify for a primary. Failing that they may petition via signatures.
Another city minister Fred Gee, head of the city’s Small and Minority Business Enterprise, could be the party’s choice to replace State Rep. Charlie Stallworth who’s not expected to seek another term. Stallworth also has mayoral ambitions.
State House primaries? It’s decision time for potential challengers.