The Signature Hunt Is On For Potential Primary Qualifiers, Tito Ayala Challenges Rosario

Tito Ayala
Tito Ayala campaigning for daughter in 2012.

Maria Pereira, Charlie Coviello and Tito Ayala have hit the streets to secure signatures from registered Democrats to qualify for State House primaries in August. If they all make the ballot that means five of eight members of the city’s state legislative delegation will be campaigning this summer.

Incumbent State Senators Ed Gomes and Marilyn Moore were denied party endorsements at their respective nominating conventions Monday night, but both had enough delegate support–under the rules of multi-town districts–to wage a primary which they will do in earnest against Dennis Bradley and Tom McCarthy respectively.

Under the rules of engagement for single-town State House districts, challengers must secure signatures from five percent of registered Democrats within the district, the number is generally 400 to 500 signatures. They have until June 7, 4 p.m. to submit signatures to elections officials.

Pereira and Coviello have been campaigning for weeks, raising money and building field teams to challenge State House incumbents Charlie Stallworth and Andre Baker respectively.

Chris Rosario sworn in
State Rep. Chris Rosario.

The surprise is Ayala’s late entry against State House incumbent Chris Rosario in Connecticut’s heavily Latino 128th Assembly District that covers the East Side and Hollow neighborhoods. Ayala, a former City Council member, is the father of Christina Ayala whom Rosario defeated in a 2014 August primary. Can papa exact revenge? Rosario is a popular figure with constituents and most of the city’s political establishment. Ayala has catching up to do, especially if he wants to qualify for Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races. He’d need to raise $5,000 in small donations to receive a larger grant that would provide him more than $30k to spend.

Rosario is considered one of the bright lights in city politics with a future beyond the State House. A supporter of Bill Finch for mayor, Rosario was pink-slipped from his anti-blight city job by Joe Ganim after he won the mayoralty. Tito Ayala supported Ganim for mayor. Rosario is now working for Mayor Mark Lauretti in Shelton.



  1. Christopher Rosario 2016 on the same line with Hilary Clinton. Everybody loves Chris Rosario. Like Andres Ayala, you can slow them down but they are well liked and respected. I cannot vote for Rosario, but he has done an amazing job! He is respected among his peers and he is loved by his constituents. He also just happens to be a nice guy!

  2. *** Why is it when you finally get a political person who is liked by his peers and voters alike, is doing a decent job for his district and happens to be a minority, his own people, political party members or party outsiders always seem to try to do them in by running against them? Never mine they have to campaign against the opposing party as well! Everybody wants to be part of the political circus only to end up doing either the same or most times, worse than the incumbent leaving. Personally I think Rosario is and will continue to do a good job if given a chance and has help from his other Bpt State delegation members up in the capitol. It takes teamwork to get things done up in the state capitol, “TEAMWORK!” ***

    1. Mojo, I like Tito but I don’t have a dog in that race, but you definitely hit a nerve when you said, “his own people.” Man you got that one truly right and they need to be called out and their names posted on OIB.

  3. What used to be called the incumbency is now called uprooting the status quo. Conclusion: everyone thinks they can unseat the sitting official. So they all get challenged.
    When it comes to candidates in the 128th Assembly District, I like Chris Rosario. Why? Answer: Solo uno puede ser el mejor.


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