City Democrats largely stick with inc...

City Democrats largely stick with incumbents

Posted in the Trumbull Forum


Edison, NJ

#1 Jul 22, 2013
BRIDGEPORT -- Democratic leaders nominated new faces for open city school board seats Monday night, but the city council nominations went mostly to incumbents.

The party held its nominating convention for the November elections at chairman Mario Testa's Italian restaurant.

In 18 of the 20 council districts, incumbents were nominated. Councilwoman Lydia Martinez, D-137, was the only person seeking re-election who didn't get an endorsement.

Instead, the Democrats backed former councilwoman Maria Valle and running mate Aidee Nieves.

"It's OK. It's the voters who will make the decision," said Martinez, who is planning a primary challenge with running mate Milta Feliciano.

The 139th District, on the other hand, was united in its endorsement of Eneida Martinez-Walker, a city activist, to run alongside Councilman Jim Holloway. She will replace Andre Baker, who will wage a primary battle for a school board seat instead.

Baker will face three Democratic nominees: Brandon Clark, a counselor at Achievement First Bridgeport Academy, a city charter school; Katie Bukovny, who works in education market research; and the Rev. Simon Castillo, a supporter of Mayor Bill Finch and pastor of the Good Shepherd Christian Church.

Castillo, 74, is a familiar face in Bridgeport, after serving in many appointed capacities, including as a member of the fire and parks commissions. Castillo, who is now a police commissioner, is also known for opening his church's parking lot on Hancock Avenue to day laborers.

Clark, who lives in Black Rock, said he decided to run because he has a 4-week-old son that he would like to see succeed in Bridgeport schools someday.

"I want Bridgeport to be a place where I can send my children to a good school and not have to rely on a lottery," he said. "I see these kids and I talk to parents every day and then go to the board (meetings) and see these conversations that are so far removed."

Over the last several years, the school board has been known for heated arguments between members.

Bukovny, sister of Black Rock District Leader Dan Roach, has a child in the public school system -- her 12-year-old son attends Black Rock School -- and three other children who attended Bridgeport schools.

"I want to do what's right for the kids of the city of Bridgeport and I feel that's been lacking in recent years," she said.

Baker, who before the meeting said he was preparing to collect signatures to force a school board primary, received a surprise nomination but failed to gain an endorsement with one-half the votes the other candidates received.

The councilman has the support of his district and the backing of former state Sen. Ernest Newton, a popular figure in the East End. Ex-state Sen. Ed Gomes and the Rev. Mary Lee also supported Baker, voting for no other candidate but him, despite being able to vote for up to three candidates.

Before Monday's convention, Baker, who has earned the ire of the Democratic establishment for constantly questioning Finch's agenda, said he would rather run without the party endorsement.

"Sometimes, when you get the endorsement of the town committee, it's like you owe people," he said.

Still, Baker has reached out to the Working Families Party for support. The minor party already controls two of the nine school board seats. Those individuals, Maria Pereira and Sauda Baraka, are up for re-election this year.

Testa asked the party to stay united in support of Democratic candidates and warned members that it is not the GOP they should be worried about, but the Working Families Party.

"They're going to come after us with everything (they) have," Testa said.

The city's Republican Town Committee will meet Tuesday at the North Branch Library to make their endorsements. The Working Families Party has said it will finalize its nominations by the end of the month.

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#2 Jul 22, 2013
Testa and Finch belongs in jail now.

Waterbury, CT

#3 Jul 23, 2013
democrats voting for other democrats? what a concept, no foolin.

Stratford, CT

#4 Jul 23, 2013
Stick with the plan and it will all work out.
sunny day

Naugatuck, CT

#5 Jul 23, 2013
Chester wrote:
Stick with the plan and it will all work out.
ThosefuckersinDC are the source for most of our problems.
sunny day

Naugatuck, CT

#6 Jul 23, 2013
Look at kenya....

Stratford, CT

#7 Jul 23, 2013
For a moment I thought that the incumbents all had large sticks.


Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#8 Jul 24, 2013
Ayalas protecting Ayalas.... and the sheeple will keep voting for what they know

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#9 Jan 21, 2014
Their family are full of crooks.

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