The bus 2011 Republican mayoral candidate Rick Torres enlisted for a variety of campaign stops was totaled by a fire Tuesday afternoon in a Stratford lot where it was being stored with construction trailers. Torres says he had hoped to convert the bus into a remote vehicle for his popular Harborview Market in Black Rock.
Torres notfied OIB the lot in Stratford, owned by a friend, was locked and the only vehicle burned was the campaign bus he was planning to use for his November run for City Council in Black Rock. Torres says Stratford officials are investigating the cause. The lot has no surveillance camera, according to Torres.
“I spent many many thousands repairing it,” Torres wrote OIB in a text message. “It was a gorgeous GMC Eleganza … it was a classic. My hope was to convert this to a Harborview Market remote vehicle.”
Torres does not suspect political shenanigans from his campaign opponents, but that will not stop some of his campaign supporters from fanning flames of political underhandedness. Torres and Phil Blagys are the GOP-endorsed candidates taking on Democratic incumbents Sue Brannelly and Steven Stafstrom in what is a hotly contested November election.
The 1975 Eleganza is registered in Bridgeport and valued at $500, according to city records. The tax payment on the vehicle is $20.93. Torres is current on the tax payment.