BRIDGEPORT –– Back in the 1980s, Ernest Newton was leading a effort on the city’s mean streets called MOLD, which stands for “Minority Organization for Leadership Development.”
The idea behind MOLD was to create the next generation of leaders, be they state legislators, mayors or city councilmen, by teaching the have-nots of the lower East End and other pockets of poverty in Bridgeport how government works, and how to navigate the political landscape.
The Post caught up with Newton on Wednesday, a few hours after what must have been a crushing loss for the former state senator. He was hoping against hope that voters would give him a redemption of sorts by sending him back to the state Senate, two years after his release from prison.
“We had a lot of grass roots help with our campaign, and a lot of those people were interested in the political process, and they could get a lot out of a program like MOLD,” he said. “I’m thinking about bringing that back. We’re going to bring in those people and train them –– train them in politics. So that’s my goal.”
The unofficial results for the state Senate race in the 23rd district were Andres Ayala, 2129; Newton, 1739; Ed Gomes, 1138.
“On a one-on-one race, I would have won,” Newton told the Post. “I lost on absentee ballots, and you know how that goes in this town. I had the numbers to win that election.”
Despite the disappointing night for Newton, he was upbeat. “The sky is still the limit,” he said. “Who knows what might happen in the future?”
Newton said that he’s might consider a run for the state legislature, or even for the 23rd District seat when it’s contested again.
“I think I did very well,” he said. “I ran on a message of redemption and opportunity, and I think that there is a role for me to play.”