Torres And Blagys, Brannelly And Stafstrom To Face Off In Forum Wednesday, BOE Candidates Thursday

City Council candidates in the 130th District that covers Black Rock and a portion of the West End will square off in a forum on Wednesday, 7 p.m. at the Black Rock Branch Library, 2705 Fairfield Avenue. The race in the 130th is the highest-profile council battle for the November 5th election featuring incumbent Democrats Sue Brannelly and Steve Stafstrom challenged by Republicans Rick Torres and Phil Blagys.

Torres, Blagys
Rick Torres and Phil Blagys campaigning on a bicycle built for two.

Two-time mayoral candidate Torres and newcomer to campaigns Blagys, with deep roots in Black Rock, are trying to oust incumbents Brannelly and Stafstrom. This race is key on a number of levels including the GOP’s efforts to become a relevant voice on the city’s budget and legislative body and supporters of Mayor Bill Finch who want to return the Democrats to office.

Brannelly, Stafstrom
Democrats Sue Brannelly and Steve Stafstrom.

On Thursday all eight candidates from thee political parties have agreed to appear at a Board of Education forum 7 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church at the corner of Park and Fairfield Avenues, sponsored by The League of Women Voters of the Bridgeport Area. Five school board seats are on the line. Two of the five seats are reserved for state-mandated minority-party representation.

The Democratic candidates: Andre Baker, Howard Gardner and Dave Hennessey; Republicans John Weldon, Steve Best and Joe Larcheveque; Connecticut Working Families Party candidates Andre Baker (he will appear on two lines), Sauda Baraka and Eric Stewart-Alicea.

See ballots for various Bridgeport district races:



  1. Rick and Phil will serve as coalition builders and not be afraid to ask tough questions to the administration. They know how to read a financial statement and not be “hoodwinked” by Finch et al.

    They are Fiscally Fit for the job!

  2. It’s about time there was serious opposition to the rubber stamp. I know Rick Torres. He is a hard-working, honest, diligent and dedicated man who will make the city council earn its stripes. Phil Blagys, if from the same mold, will also hold the city council accountable.

  3. Why wait for a forum? Although its importance can never be underestimated, the power of blogging allows us to pontificate now.
    Let’s discuss the backstory–that’s where the narrative begins.
    A while back, Rick Torres seemed happy to have run; disappointed to be defeated and resigned to a wait-and-see approach to further political aspirations. Then things changed. Readers of this blog are allowed to differ but it seems RT was convinced and then persuaded to seek an office he had previously disregarded. At the same time, a popular local figure–never involved in politics–was recruited to be his running mate. A ticket was born.
    The powerful force that impacted both of those decisions has a proven legal structure, a wide breadth of experience, enough money to buy a baseball team and the backing of men who’ve dedicated their life fortunes to electing people who share their political viewpoints.

  4. I know all four candidates well and think they are all excellent candidates.

    Do not agree Brannelly and Stafstrom are “rubber stamps” in the literal sense but they do agree with the Mayor on many issues. As to their raising taxes by 1 mil, many of OIB posters need to get a grip. For all practical purposes, that’s a non-issue other than the emotionalism.

    That said, this election does look to be more of a referendum on the Mayor. That’s going to make it tough for the incumbents.

    Either way, I think we will be well-represented assuming Rick learns to work well with others as opposed to being the next Bob Walsh.

  5. *** Other challenged districts need political face-offs just as well to get more voters aware of the upcoming elections and some of the issues at hand, no? *** HERE WE GO! ***

  6. I don’t live in Black Rock so Sue is not my council person.
    I have attended almost every Budget & Appropriations meeting at budget time. The first two years I attended Sue was a member of the B & A, the third year she was co-chair.
    Sue never asked a tough question nor did she ask for paperwork regarding budget items. The first two years I attended there were a total of $10 million in salaries for vacant employee spots. Not one committee member asked about this, no one asked where the money was going.
    This year as co chair she agreed the mayor’s budget for his office did not need to be reviewed and it wasn’t.
    In the three years I attended these meetings NOT ONE department’s budget was cut.
    When asked questions about the budget she often becomes nasty and defensive. It’s time for a change.

  7. Lennie,
    The Troll is getting ready to get away for a week. How about that; vacationing the week before the election. Ask Donna Curran if the Troll could reach across the aisle. Ask her former Republican partner Tom Freer. It takes two to negotiate. It take two to compromise. It takes two to tango.
    But you do not compromise your principles. You need to identify the common ground and accept the areas where philosophies will not allow for it.


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