Bridgeport, some basic steps to run for City Council or Board of Education in Bridgeport for you — according to independent political veterans we’ve asked.
- Assemble a team of trustworthy activists or soon-to-be activists to plan, budget, and run your campaign with you. One must be the treasurer and be responsible for careful budgeting, bookkeeping, and reporting to the CT State Election Enforcement Commission (SEEC). Be sure you and your Treasurer study up on the regs HERE. Also, you may want to have a Deputy Treasurer for your campaign.
- With your team, read the SEEC’s Guide for Municipal Candidates HERE.
- Get an EIN for a political committee from the IRS HERE. Be sure to “View Additional Types, Including Tax-Exempt and Governmental Organizations” and then select “Political Organization” and follow the instructions to the end.
- Fill in a Form 1 — available online HERE or at the Town Clerk’s office. The Form 1 needs to be signed and dated by the prospective candidate and the treasurer, at minimum.You’ll likely select “1A” on this form to set up a new candidate committee. In this way, you’ll be able to fundraise for your campaign and take donations. Town Clerk’s Office 45 Lyon Terrace Room 122. Open Mon-Thurs 9-4 PM and Fri 9-noon.
- Open a political committee escrow account. People United Bank at 850 Main St downtown knows how to do this, e.g., Elisabete Esteves.
- Be sure to review all rules and timelines for your 2017 municipal election with the CT State Election Enforcement Commission (SEEC) for candidate committees HERE.
If you’re running as a Democrat for the first time, you’ll likely have to run against a Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee (DTC) endorsed candidate, in many cases an incumbent.
Each Democrat in office you encounter in Bridgeport is likely a person endorsed by a majority of the 90-member DTC. They’ve placed this person into local office as an investment for the DTC; one that gives them something they want — a reliable vote, no questions asked.
If you have integrity and are independent and intelligent, you are too risky for the DTC’s investment strategy. You are even worse to them if you’re someone who’s researched the law who cannot be fooled by the quasi-authoritative and conflicted opinions of the City’s Attorney Office — who serves at the pleasure of the mayor.
If you run against the DTC candidate, this will put you at a serious disadvantage in these respects:
- you and your campaign team will have to collect signatures in a span of several weeks to earn a spot on the ballot
- you’ll not have the “absentee ballot” rackets and access to group-home populations that the DTC has long had. Specifics depend on which office you’re seeking. And if do get on the ballot, you still have to fundraise and campaign.
No matter your political affiliation, you can seek the endorsement of the Better Bridgeport political committee by contacting us for our candidate questionnaire. We will review all questionnaires received and invite select candidates to an interview by members of the committee. During the summer, we’ll invite candidates to public forums to decide whether we will endorse any candidates.