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Ed Gomes of Bridgeport and the Working Families Party (WFP) made history Tuesday when Gomes won the state legislative seat with only the WFP endorsement. Gomes held the seat until 2012 when he lost it in a primary while battling some health issues. Although this 2015 special election win was fraught with controversy, the erstwhile WFP can consider itself an emerging political force.
The whole mess started with the Democratic delegates making an endorsement, chosing Richard DeJesus over Gomes in a tie voted broken by the gathering’s chairman. Gomes appealed the vote to the state party which let the vote stand.
“The delegate process is not a bad thing,” Gomes told The Hanging Shad early Wednesday morning. “It was bad in this one instance—we kinda got zinged on that one—but the people had their say in the end.”
Although he lost the Democratic Party endorsement, Gomes was still on the ballot as the WFP’s candidate. “Senator Gomes came from behind to win because voters know him as someone who will always fight for working families,” said Lindsay Farrell, the personable and effective executive director of the state WFP told the Ct Post. “He can’t be bought and he can’t be bossed,” she said.
Readers may remember that it was the votes Dan Malloy got on the WFP ballot line that put him over the top in the 2010 gubernatorial election. Malloy got 26,308 votes on the WFP line in an election he won by less than 7,000 votes. WFP also backed Toni Harp in New Haven as she became the first African American Mayor of the Elm City.
It’s difficult to discern what influence the WFP had on this special election other than getting Gomes’ name on the ballot (which may have been enough). After the state Democratic Party sided with DeJesus for the nomination, the city councilman basically self-destructed. He was facing a State Election Enforcement Commission probe as well as some well-publicized personal financial problems.
Regardless of how it happened Gomes is heading back to Hartford where
he said he enjoys strong support. “Don’t forget, I’m a labor guy. My former colleagues, the staff, even the Capitol Police were asking me, ‘When are you coming back?’” They got their answer Tuesday night,