Will Absentee Ballots Decide School Board Primary?

Dem boe ballot

More than 700 absentee ballots have been returned to the Town Clerk’s Office for Tuesday’s Democratic primary involving citywide school board seats and four City Council districts. It’s likely more than 10 percent of the overall vote will come via absentee ballot. The size of the absentee ballot spread could determine what school board candidates emerge from the primary to move on to the November general election.

Operatives for both school board slates are working absentee ballots with many of them coming in from various senior citizen buildings throughout the city. The endorsed slate of Kathryn Bukovsky, Simon Castillo and Brandon Clark will benefit the most from the absentee ballot voting. Many of their campaign supporters aligned with the Democratic Town Committee have been crafting absentee ballot operations for years. The larger question is how close can operatives for the the challenge slate, Andre Baker, Howard Gardner and Dave Hennessey, keep the absentee ballot count?

By Tuesday overall votes from absentee ballots will approach and may exceed 800. If the endorsed slate wins the absentee ballot count two to one, that places a premium on the challenge slate to win the machine count by several hundred votes for its three candidates in what is expected to be a light turnout. Based on recent voter history for local primaries, most political operatives project the turnout in the 12 to 15 percentage range.

Democratic primary electors can vote for no more than three school board candidates from the two lines. The top three vote producers among the six candidates move on to the general election.

The school board primary is a major campaign test for political supporters of Mayor Bill Finch trying to stave off a challenge that is well financed by education interests and a ground operation led by the union representing teachers, the Bridgeport Education Association, as well as Connecticut Working Families Party and seasoned political operatives aligned with the opposition slate. Both sides are also receiving independent expenditures from education advocacy groups.

City Council primaries:

In the West Side 132nd District, Bob Halstead and Trish Swain will face incumbents John Olson and Evette Brantley.

In the North End 135th District, Mary McBride-Lee and Richard Salter will challenge incumbents Warren Blunt and Richard Bonney.

In the East Side 136th District, Richard DeJesus and Alfredo Castillo are opposing incumbents Carlos Silva and Angel DePara.

In the East Side 137th District, incumbent Lydia Martinez and Milta Feliciano will take on endorsed ex-councilwoman Maria Valle running with Aidee Nieves.



  1. I will be voting row B at Black Rock School. I doubt even 300 people will turn out at Black Rock School onTuesday and I doubt 3,000 will turn out citywide and wtf, 600 votes??? That just seems wayyy too many votes for a primary election when the 2012 presidential election did not even see 2,600 absentee ballots.

  2. Rumor Mill:
    Seen on hundreds of t-shirts throughout all sections of Bridgeport: CW4BB.com

    Disclaimer: those t-shirts and that website are neither covert nor overt operations of any organized political entity–they belong to my Political Action Website (PAW), which remains solely responsible for its content.

    1. Intellectual property (IP) theft–patent and copyright infringement, trade secret loss and counterfeit and pirated goods–can result in costly lawsuits, reduced competitiveness, product issues and reputation damage.
      Jim Fox was the first to coin the phrase CW4BB right here on OIB.
      If I know Jim he’ll have your ass in court on this one, LE.

  3. An 80-year-old volunteer at our school told me today a young person working for the DTC candidates came to her door, showed her a ballot and offered to fill it out for her.

    Unfortunately, she slammed it in their face–and now wished she’d kept a copy and took a picture. Well, at least she had the gumption to blast them.

    1. The DTC candidates hire these young people all over the city to push absentee ballots. So here are BOE candidates advocating the use of teenagers to break the law. Sadly, the young people don’t even know what they are doing is illegal.

          1. Not only backing the challenge slate but raising money for them, volunteering on the phones and door knocking. Working for the challenge slate, the endorsed candidate Nieves and Valle in the 137th, primary candidates Swain and Halstead in the 132nd. Hope everyone on this blog gets out and volunteers, too. And of course, vote Tuesday.

    1. A capsule history of her community life is she was a teacher, presumably retired today. Did she teach Civics or citizen responsibility in any form? How many lives did she touch as an educator and what lessons were taken from her class? Time will tell.

  4. The election results should probably be thrown out if they get names of people offering to fill out absentee ballots. This is more blatant even than Lydia’s famous absentee ballot seminars.

  5. *** Because of “low” actual voter turnouts, he who has the majority of A/B’s always wins the race; sad but true! That’s why it’s important to call voters and pull them to the polls. And if they make the A/B use easier for voters to get, fraud cases will increase! *** Vote by phone or computer next. ***


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