The Working Families Party was the biggest outside spender on Democratic legislative primaries Tuesday, committing $70,000 for field staff in three winning races, while two charter-school groups provided late support to help Rep. Charlie Stallworth of Bridgeport defeat a prominent opponent of charters, Maria H. Pereira.
Joshua Elliott, the outsider recruited by the liberal Working Families Party to challenge House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, won a Democratic primary Tuesday, easily beating the establishment candidate endorsed after Sharkey abruptly decided to retire in May. Sens. Ed Gomes and Marilyn Moore of Bridgeport also won with WFP backing.
Four Bridgeport state legislators, New Britain’s state senator and five other state representatives are gearing up for primaries on Aug. 9. There will be 12 primary contests in total.
Summer is coming to Bridgeport, where the living never is easy, not in even-number years, not for Sens. Edwin A. Gomes and Marilyn Moore. On the day after the Democratic machine denied Gomes and Moore its backing for another term, Mayor Joseph P. Ganim lavishly praised them at a public ceremony Tuesday – taking care to stop well short of an endorsement.
With the departure of five senators, Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, took the opportunity Tuesday to change the leadership of more than a dozen committees, effective next month on the opening day of the 2015 session.
A longtime state senator fended off a high-profile challenge, while two Bridgeport politicos facing legal troubles lost their bids to return to Hartford. Another Bridgeport candidate knocked off Sen. Anthony Musto of Trumbull, and the House Democrat who co-chaired the legislature’s Sportsmen’s Caucus defeated a challenger who took issue with her vote against new gun restrictions passed in the wake of the Newtown shootings.