After Tuesday’s Vote, How Will Dust Clear?

Lamont Ganim CT News Junkie
Will they come together after primary? Image from CT News Junkie.

Bill Curry, two-time Democratic nominee for governor in Connecticut who twice lost to Republican John Rowland, writes “We Democrats will learn a lot about ourselves from the fates of Lamont and Ganim and Mattei and Tong. If Mattei goes down, or Ganim wins a town outside Bridgeport, it will be a sign we’re far too little invested in rooting out corruption, and also a sign of trouble looming in November.”

Many of us will learn something following Tuesday’s primary results that can be applied to the general election in November. Curry references attorney general candidate Chris Mattei, the former federal prosecutor who won a conviction of Rowland for violating federal campaign finance laws. The Bridgeport-based attorney finds himself in a lonely ballot slot on Row C by virtue of state-law alphabetical order below party-endorsed Bill Tong who has the top line and Paul Doyle on Row B.

Leading Row B is Joe Ganim in his Runyonesque challenge of party-endorsed Ned Lamont who enjoys mighty party support and campaign cash that dwarfs Ganim. Some voters snicker at Ganim’s candidate chutzpah after he regained the mayoralty in 2015 following his 2003 conviction on federal corruption charges. Ganim was among the front runners for the 2002 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. When Ganim was forced to bail on his gubernatorial run to craft a legal defense that failed, Curry filled the candidate void in 2002.

Part of Ganim’s rationale for governor is getting this out of his system. It grates him that he’d likely have been the Democratic candidate for governor in 2002. Joe’s conduct and a federal investigation torpedoed his ambition then, but not now in his ambitious world all these years later.

Once you advance beyond the rationale for running, can you put the pieces together for a winning strategy? We’ll find out tomorrow.

Campaigns are about dear ol’ MOM–money, organization and message.

Ganim is a skilled retail politician who knows how to spin free media opportunities. When you’re outspent heavily while the other guy presumably has more available boots on the ground you must mix it up to create a few breaks.

Ganim’s second-chance message resonates with some urban voters who feel cut out by their elected officials. Most electors, however, vote on the future, and Ganim has failed to chart out clearly where he’ll take the state as governor. He talks often about what he has done, without marrying that to what he’ll do. He’s offered very few policy ideas to cut through the static of a campaign to resonate with voters.

Ganim may be competitive in cities tomorrow. The larger looming question: can he sway suburban and rural voters from Lamont? Unless there’s been a major shift in the psyche of this race the past two weeks as Democratic voters focus on the primary, that should be Lamont’s sweet spot.

Winning is relative. Presuming Lamont runs up a heavy vote outside of cities what becomes a win for Ganim while losing? The ability to show his urban support is equal or better than Lamont. It provides him some relevance that Lamont–who has bristled lately at Ganim playing the wealth card–cannot totally ignore.

When Lamont was pressed by Channel 3’s Dennis House if he’d support Ganim if Ganim were victorious in the primary, he replied “probably not.” Does that mean Lamont doesn’t want Ganim’s support in the general election?

It would’a been better for Lamont to rejoinder “I look forward to Joe Ganim being a good mayor for Bridgeport for a very long time. Joe and I will sit down after the primary.” But Ganim’s repeated jabs at Lamont’s wealth while fawning the regular Joe persona unnerves Ned. Has he crossed his Rubicon “who cares whether Ganim supports me or not, I don’t need him?”

There’s no point in winning a primary only to strategically lance yourself in the general election. Lamont cannot win the general election without a sizable urban turnout against the Republican nominee who comes out of the primary. Unaffiliated voters who swing statewide races in the state are cranky about Connecticut’s future.

What Lamont communicates to the larger electorate after the primary is key while inspiring a representative turnout in urban areas he needs for a win.

As for Ganim, one thing he needs is a convincing win in Bridgeport tomorrow. Without that it could encourage a strong primary challenge against Ganim next year.

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21 comments

  1. *** If they don’t come together as a united party, then its only about them & their campaign to be Gov. In this day & age it should be about regaining control of local & fed. Government that either looks the other way or makes excuses about Trump politics & their supporters! ***VOTE***

  2. No matter the outcome tomorrow, it will be interesting to see what the Tale of the ABS can tell us. There has been a cancer in Bridgeport that has not been surgically removed, been subjected to chemo, nor any other remedy. Complaints go to Hartford, only to return to the City with few consequences serious enough to dent the attacks.

    Eligibility to vote with absentee ballot is at least one thing to keep an eye on. If results in other major cities increase the size of the ABS cast in other recent elections, does it mean that the Bridgeport disease has metastasized? Time will tell.

  3. After Ned wins tomorrow,I agree that he will need Joe’s help to win the urban vote in November.Joe will need to work with Ned to get an inside track on getting his Law license re-instated,or maybe Ned will offer him a job in his admins.Let’s face it,obviously Joe doesn’t want to be Bpt’s mayor anymore,so if Ned offers Joe a job answering phones in Hartford,he would jump at the chance.They need each other.

    1. Harvey, Joe is a smart politician. He may know his chances of winning the Statewide primary tomorrow are slim to none. However, he does know what he wants. I don’t believe Ned or Joe will let political pride or arrogance stand in the way of putting a Democrat in the Governor’s Office. They will get together after tomorrow and work out an arrangement. Joe will not settle for an obviously submissive deal, he doesn’t have to. Assuming Ned is the Democratic candidate for Governor, he will need Joe’s support and following. If tomorrow doesn’t work out for Joe, he can cool his heels, use his exceptional marketing skills and personality, finish his term as Mayor, and in less than two years Trumps gone; it’s not a stretch for Joe to position himself for a Government position,reclaim his law licence and get the heck out of Bridgeport. Joe thrives on challenge and strategy, and he has the energy and patience to springboard to where he feels he belongs.

      1. Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, that’s the old Joe Ganim that you are describing but this new Joe Ganim is different and will Mario Testa go along with what you suggest that Joe would do if he follows your have outline.

        Lisa, I think that the words of Michael Corleone would serve Joe Ganim well in making his decision after his lost.

        https://youtu.be/Bo7zkd0kRS4

        1. Testa has only a few years left. It’s going to be interesting in Bridgeport politics for the next couple of years. Frankly,I don’t think that Bridgeport Republicans will improve in any way due to local leadership and they are also stuck with Trump.

        2. Ron, I’m only editorializing, you may be right, I’m drawing my comments from the Joey G. I knew and served with. I’ve had nothing to do with this cycle so I could be off. Let’s see what happens, the day of reckoning is here. If any part of my guesswork is right and he does get out of Bridgeport, I hope he takes that little Italian with him.

  4. Ned cannot win the general without big margins in Bridgeport. 70 percent of the vote in bpt will not fo it he needs at least 75 or over to have any chance of winning come Nov. Anyhow go ned!!!

  5. I believe it depends on the size of the victory. That being said, the victory will be significant.
    Joe’s draw will be in urban areas and could be mire diminished if Eva out draws Ganim. Also other candidates running on Lite 2 or 3. The stronger they look the more diminished Joe looks.
    If Ned believes he doesn’t need Joe then he can say to him support me, work hard for me and we’ll see if I can find something for you.

  6. Watched MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today. there were campaign adverts from Lamont, the “angry guy at the restaurant counter” spot, and Joe Ganim at the gym wearing boxing gloves punching a bag. What a joke. After he loses the primary Joe could have a career street brawling for money.

  7. The best thing for Joe is to lose to Ned. No way he can win the general, No Democrat is likely to win. This one of the main reasons Dan was not seeking reelection. Joe has to support Ned if he wins, he is a sitting Democrat Mayor of the largest city. Ned, if he lose, just walks into the night, and the party takes over. You people think Joe was like this Super Law who lost his licences and he’s doing all this to get it back. Joe a 60 year old politician, He hasn’t practice law his entire life. He probably never even tried case. Joe’s the front runner in for years for Governor if the Republicans win. Baring Joe loses his reelection in to years. Good Job Dan OK :)PS I read a lot about Finch being less then supportive to UB. Maybe it was because they had like a dean for every two classes.

    1. Joe Ganim is anathema to the rest of the State of Connecticut,especially the suburbs. Do we really think that there is goung to be a high turnout in CT urban centers tomorrow. Too many are fighting to survive on a day-to-day basis.

  8. Police Capt. Mark Straubel has been a right-hand man to Police Chief Perez.

    “PD Captain accused of racist texts leaves under fire”

    BRIDGEPORT – Police Capt. Mark Straubel, the top aide to Police Chief Armando Perez accused of sending racist texts, left the department Monday. A memo announcing Straubel’s retirement was distributed in the Police Department and City Councilman Ernest Newton said the chief told him of Straubel’s decision. Perez and spokespeople for the mayor did not return calls for comment. Straubel was placed on paid administrative leave last month after another officer filed a complaint in June with th…

    https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/PD-Captain-accused-of-racist-texts-retires-under-13153330.php

  9. Ned said he would not support Ganim if Ganim wins- I think that was a huge mistake- Ned will lose the general election to a Republican- end of story.

  10. It was a double edged sword, if Ned said yes, then wins the primary, the Damentiacans would call him out as a Governor soft on crime.
    Then the Damentiacrats like you, will just stay home.
    Ned that was a good answer!

  11. Oh Lisa Parziale you are such laugh . So simple in the mind you have become. pH Kid you are so funny. So spot on. You always make me laugh. Lisa I am so sad Everytime I read your commentary. I’m just waiting for you to threaten another run for office. At least you have the support of the Eunuch from Black Rock – “Stephanie” so sad .. so funny Lisa. For a woman that stole steaks from Stop and Shop and kissed Mario and Zjoes ass for 30 years you really are a joke.good thing you didn’t put your reputation on the line to support Joe .. oh wait you did.and you just continue to loose every attempt to become relevant again.Your protege has moved on from your worthless input!! Now what??oh yes you are Derick Browns main supporter. 2 friendless losers if ever there were 2.

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