In Connecticut Mayor Race, Bobby Valentine Brings in Closer: Himself

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Elections|In a Connecticut mayor’s race, Bobby Valentine brings successful the closer: himself.

Neil Vigdor

Nov. 2, 2021, 4:49 p.m. ET

Nov. 2, 2021, 4:49 p.m. ET

Bobby Valentine, who erstwhile  managed the New York Mets, is making an unaffiliated tally  for politician  successful  Stamford, Conn., against Caroline Simmons, a Democrat.
Credit...Desiree Rios for The New York Times

In Connecticut’s fastest increasing city, 1 of the 2 mayoral contenders received an endorsement from Barack Obama, burnishing a database of credentials that includes a grade from Harvard, 4 presumption successful the Legislature and a stint arsenic a peculiar projects manager for the Department of Homeland Security.

But that contender, Caroline Simmons, 35, a Democrat vying to go the archetypal pistillate politician of Stamford, is facing a uniquely vexing obstacle successful Tuesday’s election, a personage campaigner with sanction designation that extends acold beyond Interstate 95: Bobby Valentine.

It’s a sanction that needs nary instauration to sports fans, adjacent astir 2 decades aft Mr. Valentine managed the New York Mets, including a World Series nonaccomplishment to the Yankees.

Dubbed “Bobby V” successful tabloid headlines, helium erstwhile disguised himself with a fake mustache successful the Mets dugout aft being ejected from a game. He besides claims to person invented the sandwich wrap.

Mr. Valentine, 71, who lasted conscionable 1 play successful 2012 arsenic the manager of the Boston Red Sox, has ne'er held elective office.

He is an unaffiliated candidate, and made it connected the ballot by getting 188 signatures connected a petition — 1 percent of the voters successful the past election. But his outsize presence, which includes his ain hip-hop jingle telling voters wherever to find him connected the ballot (on Row F “so fresh”) has drawn nationalist intrigue and an influx of wealth to the race.

Democrats, who person controlled the mayor’s bureau for each but 4 of the past 26 years successful Stamford, the state’s second-largest metropolis aft Bridgeport, ratcheted up their disapproval of Mr. Valentine successful the last weeks of the campaign.

They drew attraction to a video of Mr. Valentine telling supporters, “If you’re not owning, you’re not caring,” which they said was a put-down of renters successful the metropolis of 135,000 people. Democrats besides panned Mr. Valentine implicit a lawsuit helium filed successful authorities Superior Court successful 2020 against the metropolis of Stamford, contesting his spot taxation appraisal for 2019.

Most recently, Ms. Simmons and her supporters rebuked Mr. Valentine for referring to her arsenic “a 35-year-old girl” successful an interrogation with The Associated Press, a notation they said was misogynistic.

Last week, Mr. Valentine sought to contextualize the comment. “When I said that my contention was a girl,” he told WNPR, “I was referring to her backstage acquisition successful a neighboring metropolis erstwhile she was successful simple school, inferior precocious schoolhouse and precocious school, and if I offended anyone by mentioning her hometown oregon that she was referred to arsenic a miss erstwhile she was successful precocious school, I wholly apologize for that.”

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