BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — It has begun. Former state Sen. Anthony Musto hosted a small gathering on Sunday for Tom McCarthy, the endorsed Democratic candidate for the 22nd Senate District.
McCarthy bested incumbent Marilyn Moore at the May 23 party convention to gain the Democratic nod, though Moore garnered sufficient support to qualify for a primary on Aug. 9.
About a dozen Trumbull Democrats attended to help McCarthy raise the $15,000 he needs to qualify for public funding for the election. The district he hopes to represent includes a part of Bridgeport, all of Trumbull and a small portion of Monroe.
Musto thanked everyone at the event, and introduced McCarthy, saying simply, “We’re here to support Tom.”
McCarthy began by thanking everyone “who dipped into their pockets” and said he wants to wrap up fundraising within the week so he can get on with campaigning.
“Trumbull deserves a senator” who will spend significant time in town, something his opponent has not done, he said.
As a veteran campaigner, McCarthy looks forward to knocking doors and asked for “a couple of hours from supporters” to introduce him to Trumbull voters. One attendee asked for talking points to tell friends about him. She said she had asked Moore for the same two years ago but received nothing.
In response to a question about the relationship between Bridgeport and Trumbull, he said, “Where Bridgeport goes, Trumbull will go.” He cited the hospitals — though located in Bridgeport, they also serve Trumbull.
The same goes for Bass Pro Shops — and all of Steelpointe. He said Bass Pro’s customer counts are way ahead of projections, and shoppers are coming from as far as Long Island. “We knew we turned the corner when we got a Starbucks,” he said.
McCarthy added that discussions are underway to add a number of restaurants, a high-end movie theater and other attractions at Steelpointe. And a boardwalk around the center is under construction, scheduled for completion by early 2018.
The Fairchild-Wheeler Magnet School was also brought up. McCarthy said he and former Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch led the city’s effort to build it. Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst never bought in to the idea, lost 100 seats, and, in the end, lost out on the whole project because it seemed he did not want Trumbull students in schools with Bridgeport students, he said.
McCarthy is a lifelong Bridgeport resident who has represented the 133rd District on the City Council for 15 years. He has been its president for the last nine.
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