So after Stonington Connecticut (think Mystic Village), you hit the Rhode Island border. Such is life on the campaign trail for Mayor Joe Ganim. Thursday night he addressed the Stonington Democratic Town Committee searching for party support in an uphill battle for governor. Thirty years ago the film Mystic Pizza featured secret ingredients in its special sauce. Joe’s gonna need secret ingredients and a special sauce to overcome what appears a fundraising disadvantage for a projected August primary with failed 2010 gubernatorial self-funder Ned Lamont in the hunt, as well as Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz likely qualifying for large public grants.
Ganim, prohibited from public funds because of his 2003 conviction on public corruption, is forced to raise loot via large-money donors. Lamont, the wealthy cable television entrepreneur, will self-fund all he needs to win or lose. Bronin and Bysiewicz, assuming they qualify for public funds, will spend roughly $1.4 million respectively. Ganim, so far, has raised more than $200,000. A big test comes February 22nd at Testo’s Restaurant at a large-ticket fundraising event. And what after that? Ganim must troll for dollars outside his tapped Bridgeport area fundraising base to compete financially. He’ll need to persuade relevance for donors to write the check.
Ganim (see video above) touched on a recurring theme before the Stonington DTC, “I’m not a perfect candidate but no one has the experience” to address “the challenges facing Connecticut.” Ganim highlighted development successes in the city, some underway such as the Cherry Street lofts in West End and power plant coal-burning conversion to natural gas in the South End, and some announced but not underway including the promised redevelopment of vacant Downtown theaters.
As far as the fiscal condition of the state of Connecticut, Ganim declared, “I’ve never seen it this bad.”
He said the state cannot tax or cut its way out of the financial mess “… much of it has to be a commitment to focus on job growth.”
In an indirect swipe at Donald Trump, Ganim added “As a party we blinked and we got what we got in the White House … real people are getting hurt.”
And so on it goes for Ganim the next several months moving around he state leading to the party’s May convention where he’ll need 15 percent delegate support to claim a primary ballot spot in August.
None of that matters unless he’s able to blend secret ingredients in a special sauce. Translation: money, organization and message. And a lot of serendipity along the way.