2nd Place- $500
3rd Place – Art Supply Gift Cards for up to $400 value
February 12, 2016. For more information please visit:
Tizzy, Mandy, Lenny; The Mega 1983 Mayoral Turnout by Lennie Grimaldi
There was a day when turnouts for municipal election were huge, including 33 or so years ago when Charlie Tisdale became the first African American to be nominated by a major party in Bridgeport, winning a Democratic primary in September before falling short in the general election. Oh, what an election ride!
Republican Lenny Paoletta’s 64-vote win for mayor over Democrat John Mandanici in 1981 set up the 1983 general election between Paoletta, Tisdale, Mandanici and perennial independent candidate Ralph Cennamo.
Mob hits, fire bombings, bulletproof vests, charges, counter charges: you name it, elections in the early 1980s had it all. The ’83 race, 33 years ago, is memorable because you’re never going to see a turnout like that again in a mayoral election. Turnout was approximately 70 percent. Yes, that’s correct, 70 percent. Three full-blown operations.
By contrast, the turnout for Joe Ganim’s 2015 win for mayor was considered high at approximately 40 percent as turnout for Bill Finch’s 2011 reelection win for mayor was only 18 percent.
Mandy had served the city for three terms before Paoletta squeaked a win, amidst an FBI probe of Mandy’s administration and party chaos. (Mandy was not charged.) Think of a cross between John Fabrizi and Archie Bunker and you have Mandy. Pure emotion, in your face, sausage finger in reporter’s chest: “Look, you little bastard,” he’d say, “here’s how you’re going to write this story.”
For his part, Lenny had balls that clanked. Handsome and stubborn, he could turn a pretty good line. Mandy really didn’t worry about appearances, so Lenny promised: “One of the images we will improve upon is how the mayor conducts himself in public.”
Tizzy, who had managed (like he does today) the city’s anti-poverty agency, emerged as the single greatest political organizer in the city stitching together disaffected Dems, young political organizers and swelling registration ranks by inspiring the black community. His followers were dubbed the Tizzies. Cagey, calculating, smart policy wonk, he had challenged Mandy in a 1981 primary. Mandy won, but couldn’t make peace with Tizzy. Fifty percent of the black community, believe it or not, voted for the Republican Paoletta. Two years later, following a deadlocked party convention in which no one received the endorsement for mayor, Tizzy won the primary, in a field loaded with white guys including former mayor Mandanici and future mayor Tom Bucci, becoming the first African American to run on a major-party ticket in the city.
After the primary Arthur DelMonte, who had secured a ballot spot on the Taxpayer Party line, ceded his ballot line to friend Mandy.
Some Democratic party regulars, and white voters suspicious of Tizzy, split off with Mandy. Electorally, the city was a much different place, white voters were the majority and the gap between registered Democrats and Republicans not nearly the 10 to 1 of the current registration. Seemingly it was the best chance, considering the times, for Tizzy to win the general election, three white candidates splitting that constituency. Tizzy fundamentally did not campaign north of Capitol Avenue in heavily white neighborhoods. He worked turnouts in heavily black precincts. He ran a close spirited race.
Lenny won the election approximately 16,000 to Tizzy’s 15,000 to Mandy’s 10,000.
Interestingly, every other candidate on Tisdale’s slate won.
Taken from Lennie Grimaldi’s article:
For locations of free tax preparation centers:
The BPL acquires two additional sites for renovated East Side Branches.
Share your thoughts on BPL service.
Let us know what you think and be entered into the drawing for a new Mini iPad.
The Bridgeport Public Library is pleased to announce the return of Sunday hours to the main Downtown Burroughs – Saden Library. The main Downtown Burroughs – Saden Library will be open every Sunday from 1:00 – 5:00 PM.
The Black Rock Branch Library is a full service facility providing a wide range of library services to the diverse and vibrant community in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, CT.
(Need larger print? Click here)
The BPL is committed to providing library services to all of our patrons. All BPL locations are wheelchair accessible, ADA compliant and equipped with both audio and visual aids.
In addition the BPL provides:
|All Music||Homeward Bound Books Program||CD Audiobooks|
|Downloadable Audio Books||Downloadable ebooks||Downloadable Videos|
|Large Print Books||Playaways|
Both beginners and longtime researchers welcome.
Check out our newest online language learning courses for Children- let us know what you think!