Tuesday, Aug. 14, is the Democrat primary in Bridgeport. We encourage all registered voters to go out and vote for the best candidate. We, at the Fairfield County Independent, endorse Ed Gomes for the state Senate seat in the 23rd District.
Among the three candidates fighting for the nomination in 23rd District, we believe Gomes is the candidate who has consistently shown the most commitment to serving the people. We have seen that when he sees a good cause, Gomes detaches from the Democratic Party organization to fight for what is best for his constituency.
We have seen over and over how he is not afraid to take strong positions on issues, even when those positions put him at odds with the Finch administration. In that regard, Andres Ayala normally aligns himself with the party organization’s position, which indicates — to us, at least — he is not serving his constituents 100 percent.
For example, for many months members of the Board of Education, the terminated Superintendent of Schools John Ramos, the Mayor’s Office and the community were debating internal problems affecting students’ education in Bridgeport’s public schools. Finally, six members of the school board voted to surrender that body to the state.
In that particular matter, we saw the advocacy work of Sen. Gomes. Gomes’s other rival in the primary, Ernie Newton, is excused because he was not an elected official at that time. But Ayala never showed any real leadership. In fact, he was not present at crucial meetings related to this issue. We believe that as a teacher in the city’s public schools, and as a legislator, it was his duty to be involved in the whole process. It was his responsibility as legislator to be a voice for the people about the process that ended with the surrendering of the school board to state control.
If we really want to see Bridgeport move forward, our state legislators, and city councilmen and councilwomen, must put aside their loyalty to the local Democratic Party and be vocal on issues affecting our city.