Bridgeport city Councilman will keep his Democratic endorsement for state Senate as the party’s “Dispute Resolution Committee” dismisses a complaint of a conflict of interest from for state Sen. Ed Gomes. The Hanging Shad reported Wednesday the panel decided in favor of DeJesus. The parties were officially notified early Friday afternoon.
Recent reports of DeJesus’ tax problems did not enter into the opinion. “There was simply no evidence to support a claim of any violation of state [Democratic] party rules,” said John King, DeJesus’ attorney. “For there to be a conflict of interest, there would have had to be a quid pro quo—or the exchanging of something of value in exchange for a vote. That didn’t happen,” he said.
In a nutshell, the two Bridgeport Democrats were vying for the endorsement to replace former state Sen. Andres Ayala who is the new chief at the department of motor vehicles. The delegates who originally chose Ayala met last Thursday to decide between the two.
The two camps agreed on attorney Edwin Farrow as the convention chair. After the vote was twice tied at 26-26, Farrow broke the deadlock by voting for DeJesus. Upon questioning by the media, it was disclosed that DeJesus is a client of Farrow’s law practice. They didn’t disclose the relationship before the vote. Gomes officially objected to the state party and is seeking a “dismissal” of the DeJesus endorsement. The official party backing is key because the endorsed candidate is eligible for public financing.
There was some speculation that news of DeJesus tax troubles—he is said to owe some $100,000 in back taxes—would somehow sway the resolution panel. It was not taken into consideration.