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Any Mayoral Takers Against Ganim?

October 8th, 2018 · 36 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, State Politics

Ganim Gill East End

Economic Development Director Tom Gill, center, with Mayor Joe Ganim, left and East End City Council members Eneida Martinez and Ernie Newton, right, at neighborhood announcement.

Need a java jolt for this election cycle? Four weeks to the general election featuring races for governor, General Assembly and federal offices. So far it’s been rather sleepy with the Supreme Court confirmation hearings gripping interest nationally. Still, there’s a lot on the line in Connecticut with an open seat for governor and the State Senate locked at 18 ahead of a new legislative session in January.

Maybe we’re waiting for next year’s municipal cycle to juice political energy? Maybe not. Mayor Joe Ganim has raised about $200k for 2019 against no announced opponents but with some higher-profile pols giving it consideration, or being pushed that way. Among them State Senator Marilyn Moore, State Rep. Chris Rosario and former State Senator Andres Ayala. When we last heard from him publicly in January 2016 Ayala resigned as commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles after a nightmarish year of problems.

Ganim enters the municipal cycle coming off a failed run for governor. (Anyone remember that?) If Joe’s suffering from a post-primary-loss hangover to Ned Lamont it’s not showing publicly. He’s announced economic development initiatives in several neighborhoods with an eye toward reelection including a retail-grocery store project in the East End, ice rink and apartments proposed for Downtown and an update regarding the ongoing project to revitalize the troubled Marina Village housing complex in the South End. The Steelpointe Harbor redevelopment area is also going vertical with marina and oyster bar under construction.

Transformation of the former ballpark at Harbor Yard into a 5,500 seat amphitheater for warm-weather concerts is also underway with a projected opening mid summer 2019. Ganim will not raise taxes in an election year, making three straight years of holding the line after the 2016 implementation of property revaluation clobbered some neighborhoods such as Black Rock.

It’s difficult to take out an incumbent mayor in a primary where things are settled in Bridgeport given the Democrats 10-1 registration advantage over Republicans. It has only happened once in the city’s history when in 2015 Ganim lanced Bill Finch on his way to a general election victory and an improbable comeback.

Ayala has been making the rounds trying to generate support for a run. Who will back him? Can he raise money? How can he run a city after his crash at the DMV?

Moore and Rosario have been in the public eye the past several years emerging with legislative leadership positions that bolster profile and standing. Why mess with that when they have seemingly safe seats. For them it’s a free run, assuming they win reelection next month. But both will be involved heavily in the legislative session that extends into June while trying to raise money and build coalitions in advance of a September mayoral primary against a skilled retail politician like Ganim. Might be more trouble than it’s worth.

A lot of this depends on the visibility of economic development projects next year, city crime rate and fire in the bellies of potential candidates. No fire, no campaign energy.

The anti-Ganim crowd doesn’t have a candidate yet it can rally behind.

There’s some political chatter, real or imagined, if Lamont becomes governor he’d offer Ganim a state job, setting up a free-for-all mayoral election. If that happens, what could Lamont offer that Ganim wants? Would Ned even make an offer?

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36 Comments so far ↓

  • Jimfox

    I can only say, thank you Mayor Finch for Joe Ganim’s achievements.

  • Local Eyes

    When it comes to money, Marilyn Moore and Mayor Ganim have too much in common: they both rely on state-bonded funds! Ganim has much to thank for the bond money that preceded him and Moore’s $15M magic wand cements her position as the queen of recent debt.
    Leadership always means adding value in excess of its cost but as the most expensive money there is, bond money prevents that from happening. Only when its value exceeds its cost has leadership occurred.

    • Frank Gyure

      and Donald Trump,D.C. Republicans just threw a (total) 2.3 trillion tax cut/deficit into the mix. We all know Joe Ganim loves bonding,you say bonding is a bad idea and you supported Ganim for Governoir. Time for you to connect the dots.

  • Frank Gyure

    It’s time for State Senator Marilyn Moore. The mayoral campaign has already begun. Mayor Marilyn Moore can act as a unifier instead of a divider. Mayor Moore will give the City and the People 100% of her attention while Ganim uses the People of Bridgeport for some type ego-driven mania. Ganim is a PR creature. Marilyn Moore has scheduled many community meetings. I don’t think Mayor Ganim has even had one community meeting. Ganim puts together these highly scripted PR events-along with the ubiquitous tent/canopy- but he is completely unapproachable.

    • Frank Gyure

      BTW…IMHO.. I don’t think a “Governor Lamont” can offer Joe Ganim any position in state government. Joe Ganim’s ego is too big for that. Maybe “Governor Lamont” might have some influence in restoring Ganim’s attorney satisfaction. So,then Joe Ganim go back to making money–his Number One goal.

      • Frank Gyure

        *** attorney license*****

        • Frank Gyure

          maybe put Ganim on the CT. State Supreme Court. I think that position is a cushy,lifetime job. Please correct me if i am wrong

          • Marshall Marcus

            Sorry Frank,
            Federal Judges get lifetime appointments, CT judges are out at age 70, but may serve as judicial referees on a per diem basis after that, not on the Appellate Bench

    • In The City

      A unifier? Where was she for the opening of the Democratic headquarters in Bridgeport on Saturday woth the rest of the delegation. Oh I forgot, she has her own headquarters. Seems like dividing to me.

      • Marshall Marcus

        @in the city?
        The question is: Was Senator Moore invited to share the Bridgeport Democratic Campaign HQ? She was not in 2016 when City Council President and BDTC member Tom McCarthy challenged her in a primary (and lost).
        She was invited to share Trumbull Democratic Campaign HQ (after all she represents all of Trumbull.
        Technically, there is only ONE candidate running for municipal office this year, and that is the Registrar of Voters>>>who runs unopposed. Town Committees have no need of campaign HQ in even years, BUT their purpose is to elect Democrat party members to office, and if an HQ helps, then so be it.
        On Saturday, instead of opening a Town Committee office, Senator Moore was out campaigning…only had 30 days left before Election Day. Let the BDTC members open the office, they have pretty much made Senator Moore unwelcome in their midst.

  • Maria Pereira

    The same Marilyn Moore that voted with the entire delegation to REDUCE school dunding to Bridgeport by $1,000,000. The same Marilyn Moore that just shepparded $3,000,000 for three charter $chools in Bridgeport while giving less than $200,000 to dour (4) bridgeport public schools combined.

    No thanks.

    Carmen Lopez for Mayor or BUST!

    • Frank Gyure

      Hey.. Maria.. we need to meet again. Why would (Ret) Judge Carmen Lopez get involved with a BPT mayoral run? I still say Carmen Lopez for a Charter Revision Committee where her talents,expertise and intelligence will be better served. As for Senator Moore,those of us,including me,should fight for either a local or statewide referendum of expansion of charter schools. Massachusetts had a state-wide forum in 2016 and the people of MA voted against Charter School expansion.

      • Maria Pereira

        There is NO ONE more qualified to be Mayor. She is brilliant and understands every aspect of governance and the Charter. No one in the City Attorney’s office will ever be able to pull the wool over her eyes.

        She will represent honesty,integrity and core values which cannot be taught. You are either raised with these inherent qualities or you are not.

        Bridgeport will be cleansed from one corner to the other and residents of Bridgeport will actually come to believe that elected officials are working on their behalf, not for their own interests.

        Rest assured that every member of her administration would be highly qualified.

        That’s why.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Len, I know it’s time to juice up the speculation, and you’re timing is about right, but, this is a unique situation. Until Joey G. decides his next move, even if it’s to run another term as Mayor, everyone should zip it and watch what happens in the next couple of months. Surprises abound!!!!

  • Mojo

    *** Being Mayor of Bpt. can be a “thankless job” where no matter what you do, its never enough or your concentrating on the wrong issues? ***

    • John Marshall Lee

      MOJO,
      “Never enough” occurs where expectations are oversized about what other folks should do or where resources are slight (and those judging have little in terms of resources to offer?
      “Concentrating on the wrong issues” means what when a Mayor keeps to himself so regularly that he fences, walls, or otherwise separates himself from the people.
      I wonder whether some type of referenda (binding or non-binding, advisory) system might get people used to expressing their interest in specific issues. It might put some stiffening in decisions that on their face look difficult.
      Is Joe afraid to face a public and discuss what is on the mind of the public? He seems afraid to raise issues that have a price tag to be discussed. And the surplus in the past couple annual operating budgets come June get no comment because they are evidence that taxes are too high, and budgets have been padded, at a minimum.Time will tell.

      • Mojo

        *** You took the words right out of my mouth, JML. Though my words were a bit shorter & right to the point! However, I say “DITTO” to you! ***

  • Ron Mackey

    A lot of the glow and shine has come off of the one time “golden boy” Joe Ganim with his blowout lost to Ned Lamont in the primary for governor. This is a different Joe Ganim, this Joe Ganim’s base didn’t come out in big numbers, the question is, why? In Bridgeport Ganim only got 5,009 votes or 57.5% while Ned Lamont got 3,703 or 42.5% and most voters don’t know who Ned Lamont is and he has no relationship with Bridgeport and that was the best that Joe Ganim could do, in fact there was less than 9,000 votes that came out in Bridgeport. The Joe and Mario show has taken a big hit.

    • In The City

      How much of that 42% came out of BlackRock

    • Maria Pereira

      Ganim won Thomas Hooker by 150 votes in 2015. With little to no effort on my part, he lost Thomas Hooker by 47 votes. That is 197 vote swing in support of Ned Lamont which had no base or name recognition in Bridgeport.

      Ganim lost Winthrop, Black Rock, Park City Magnet, Central/Madison School. Ned Lamont got 188 votes at Dunbat School for heaven’s sake.

      Ganim is defeatable.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Ron, I know a little about Joey G’s political personality. He knew he wasn’t going to win the primary; it was his intention to show that he could qualify, and he did. Granted, he had a built-in, free campaign staff (City employees), the ability to raise the money he needed to fund this endeavor, and the energy to pull it off. This is not an endorsement, just the facts. Don’t underestimate him, he knows his next move. What should be of concern to the last vestige of so-called politicians in Bridgeport is to change leadership. Not only at the top, but at every district level. Joe should be just about caught up with those he owes, they should be preparing for what’s to come.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    I thin Moore should stay in the senate where she is well known and has seniority. She can help Bridgeport more in Hartford smart lady. I would vote for her if Carmen Lopez runs for mayor then I would vote for Lopez.In either case we are lucky to have them both.
    I dont give a damn about surprises however I do hope this little prick is out as mayor

    • Mojo

      *** Their democrats not republican nationalist, maybe your favorite party will put someone that’s Trumpish enough for you, no? ***

    • Ron Mackey

      Andy, I truly believe that State Senator Marilyn Moore and retire Judge Carmen Lopez should be deeply involve in the operating and the running of Bridgeport in the next election. Now I don’t know if there is any type of relationship between Senator Moore and Judge Lopez but with this upcoming election for mayor there needs to be a new coalition so that there’s no fighting between candidates that would split the votes if they want to stop Joe
      Ganim’s money and Mario Testa tricks from winning. I strongly suggest that Moore and Lopez just sit down and have a talk over a cup of coffee or tea.

  • Jimfox

    Black Rock is waiting with baited breath for 20% Joe!

  • Denis OMalley

    Bring back Jacob Ukeles. Just like Hartford, Bridgeport does not have elected politicians with either the knowledge or backbone to run a city.

    • Ron Mackey

      Denis OMalley, here is one thing that I’m 1oo% in agreement with you, in fact there are items from Jacob Ukeles original report that could help the running of the City.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Little Joey G. will not be elected to another term. He showed us he could get on the statewide ballot, an accomplishment that left many asking “So what?” His sojourn into statewide politics cost him in political capital back home in the ‘Port. He let the city founder. No job creation, taking credit for development projects that Wild Bill Finch should be given credit for, etc. Ganim is a clown, the same tired clown that has been entertaining in the single ring of Bridgeport’s political circus…

    “Now the moon is almost hidden
    The stars are beginning to hide
    The fortune telling lady
    Has even taken all her things inside
    All except for Cain and Abel and the hunchback of Notre Dame

    “Everybody is making love or else expecting rain
    And the good Samaritan, he’s dressing
    He’s getting ready for the show
    He’s going to the carnival tonight
    on Desolation Row…”

    • Frank Gyure

      Joey G has more factors that favor his re-election. His 5000 votes from BPT may still give him enough votes to win in a mayoral primary. As Lisa Parziale said above;Do not underestimate Joey G. and the Testa machine. They are already trying to scare away any challengers.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Kid, loved that! As to my conjecture and what I glean from some in-the-know, I don’t mean the local yokels, regarding 2019, right now I see potential interest, but not “the fire in the belly” type. If Joey G. decides to try again, that’s what it’s going to take from a challenger. First and foremost, they must have a very thick skin. I personally observed the little guy campaign. He’s like a machine, he can turn on the charm, charisma, has the ability to sway, and believe it or not, he knows what he’s talking about. He worked harder than any person in his 2015 campaign. I personally think another term is his worst nightmare, he wants out, but if nothing appealing comes his way, he will run again. Everybody needs a job. Again, not an endorsement, just practical, common-sense comments.

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