She has a criminal investigation hanging over her head and opponents are lining up to oust her from her legislative seat. But freshman state Rep. Christina Ayala, D-Bridgeport, said she looks forward to a second term representing the city’s 128th District. “I feel as if I’ve grown,” Ayala said last week, as she and the rest of her colleagues count down the final busy days of their 2014 session. “I’ve learned quickly and I’m ready to keep moving.”
At least three others — Dennis Bradley, Teresa Davidson and Chris Rosario — are either challenging her for the Democratic Town Committee‘s nomination in May or considering the idea.
If she loses the nomination, Ayala would then have to win a primary election to run for her seat in November as a Democrat.
Of those opponents, Rosario, 35, head of Mayor Bill Finch‘s anti-blight program, is building a coalition that includes administration allies and opponents who view Ayala as a common problem. “She should have been out a long time ago,” said John Gomes.
Gomes is no friend of Finch. The mayor fired him from a city job and Gomes has since become a political opponent. But on Thursday, Gomes hosted Rosario’s campaign kickoff fundraiser at his Red Rooster Deli.
Last October, state elections enforcement officials announced the results of a nearly year-long probe prompted in part by Hearst Connecticut Media reports that Ayala did not live in her district when she ran in 2012.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission recommended that the chief state’s attorney prosecute Ayala and her mother, Santa Ayala, Bridgeport’s Democratic registrar of voters, for conspiring to let Christina Ayala use a false address while voting, campaigning and participating in the state’s public campaign-finance program.
That case — which is still pending — culminated an embarrassing year for Ayala that begin with a hit-and-run arrest, followed by an arrest over a fight with her boyfriend and allegations she attacked her ex’s girlfriend at a bar.
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