BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)–It has been a long time since Bridgeport picked a Republican to lead the city as mayor; in fact, the last time a Republican was elected was 1990.
This year, the Bridgeport Republicans are taking a shot on John Rodriguez. The city’s town committee endorse Rodriguez as their top choice for mayor.
Rodriguez told News 8, “The Republican party, I told them, you need to do more. this city looks upon the Republican party as the devil, as evil. It’s not; it’s another set of ideas that need to get out there.”
Rodriguez is the chairman of the board at a charter school in Bridgeport. He said it’s time that politicians, like incumbent mayor Joe Ganim, sep aside and allow some new voices and ideas to take over.
If passion and the gift of gab correlates into votes in the ballot box, then Rodriguez may have a chance. But considering the last GOP mayoral candidate received only 13 percent in 2015, it may take a Hail Mary pass to pull it off.
Before Rodriguez can face off against either Ganim or petitioning democrat State Senator Marilyn Moore, he will likely need to get by a primary challenge.
23-year-old Dishon Francis is gathering signatures to try and get on the ballot by focusing on voters around his age.
Francis, a graduate of Housatonic Community College, switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican about 6 months ago. He says the party is more aligned with his values.
“I made the switch because i believe that’s what’s being done in our cities and what will continue to go on if we don’t step in ad push people in the right direction is gonna be atrocious,” Francis said.
Francis will need at least 216 signatures from registered Republicans by August 7th in order to make it on the primary ballot.
The primary is on September 10th.