Bridgeport Democrats took a step tonight toward sending a felon to Hartford, endorsing former Sen. Ernest Newton II over Sen. Ed Gomes, according to the Connecticut Post and Only in Bridgeport.

Newton, 56, who struggled with drugs during his tenure in the General Assembly, then was forced to resign after his conviction and prison sentence on corruption charges, won the votes of 27 of 54 delegates in a three-way contest with Gomes, who had 11, and Rep. Andres Ayala, who had 15.

Next step is a Democratic primary on Aug. 14, when Ayala will have the backing of Mayor Bill Finch, a former state senator not eager to Newton become the face of Bridgeport in Hartford.

Newtown was known at the Capitol for a colorful wardrobe and a more colorful lexicon, including a habit of referring to himself as “the Moses of my people.”

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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