As Convention Approaches, Harp Endorsement Music To Lamont’s Ears

Harp, Lamont
Harp supports Lamont. Image from New Haven Independent.

Weeks from the state party convention, high-profile Democrats are pushing to coalesce behind Greenwich entrepreneur Ned Lamont for governor. New Haven Mayor Toni Harp on Thursday announced her support for Lamont. Mayor Joe Ganim had been courting her for months. Ganim has opened a campaign office in New Haven, adding to offices in Bridgeport, Hartford and Waterbury.

Ganim needs 15 percent delegate support at the convention to qualify for the August primary ballot. He is also waging a petition drive as a backup plan if the delegate convention support does not materialize. Lamont is now piling up enough support as the favorite to win the party endorsement. Former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz is also eyeing an August primary. New Haven and Bridgeport sport the largest convention delegations.

Paul Bass from the New Haven Independent has more on this:

Ned Lamont has snagged a prize in his quest to win the Democratic nomination for governor: the endorsement of New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

Harp, in return, has snagged an ally in her quest to expand airport service in New Haven.

Lamont and Harp are scheduled to announce the endorsement at a press conference at Tweed-New Haven Thursday at 2:30 p.m., according to multiple people connected to the event.

Lamont and other Democrats vying for the nomination to succeed retiring Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have been courting Harp’s support, including seeking to convince her to run as their lieutenant governor candidate. (As of Wednesday night, Harp was standing steadfast in her position that she has no interest in the post; some of her supporters have been urging her to take the plunge.)

The endorsement comes one day after Emily’s List, the DC-based political action committee that supports female candidates, endorsed Lamont opponent Susan Bysiewicz for the Connecticut governor’s race. So the timing of Harp’s endorsement serves in part as a response: Harp is New Haven’s first-ever female mayor. She was just featured in an Essence magazine feature declaring 2018 “The Year Of The Black Woman Mayor.” (Harp also just completed a term as president of the national African-American Mayors Association.)

Thursday’s endorsement also brings Lamont the support of the leading elected official in a city that will send the most delegates (100, including super-delegates) to the May 18-19 state Democratic Party convention. Harp’s endorsement does not mean Lamont gets all 100 of those votes for the party endorsement; Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, for instance, has been winning some New Haven support for his Democratic gubernatorial quest.

Full story here.

News release from Lamont:

“For months I’ve said I’ll support the candidate I believe will be the best Governor for all Connecticut cities, and that candidate is Ned Lamont,” said Mayor Harp. Ned Lamont understands that the cities in this state need infrastructure investment to spur economic development, and he understands the state budget must consistently support our cities. Ned’s unique experience as a businessman and local leader, coupled with his track record as a progressive make him the right leader for our state.”

“I am honored to earn Toni Harp’s endorsement and proud to have her standing with me today,” Lamont said. “From her tireless service in the legislature to her leadership in New Haven, Mayor Harp is a real change maker who puts the people of New Haven and Connecticut first.”

Lamont continued, “Mayor Harp is a leader on the pressing issues that all of our cities face today. She has prioritized keeping all of her citizens safe by protecting New Haven’s status as a sanctuary city. She is a force of good on public education. She has made tough decisions and lead serious fiscal reforms. Mayor Harp will be a critical partner as we build the grassroots movement that will bring opportunity and growth to our cities.”

“Our cities face significant challenges, but they are also the heartbeat of hope for our future. As Governor I will be a partner to all of our Mayors and local leaders.”

In endorsing Lamont, Harp joins Attorney General George Jepsen, Commissioner Jonathan Harris, East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc, Milford Mayor Ben Blake, Woodbridge First Selectwoman Beth Heller, Bridgewater First Selectman Curtis Read, State Rep. Sean Scanlon, State Rep. Mike DiMassa, State Rep. Michelle Cook, New Britain City Council President Eva Magnuszewski, Waterbury Board of Education Chair and former State Rep. Liz Brown, Woodbridge First Selectwoman Ellen Scalettar and Fairfield DTC Chair Steve Sheinberg.

Ned Lamont has leveraged his lifelong experience in the academic and business worlds to create jobs in Connecticut. For the past decade Ned has been training the next generation of entrepreneurs as a professor at Central Connecticut State University. Ned Lamont became a well-known figure in Connecticut politics when he challenged Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in 2006 over the Iraq War. In 2008 he was the Chair of the Obama campaign and helping him win the support of Connecticut Democrats. In 2010 he challenged Dan Malloy in the primary for the nomination for Governor, saying that if real political courage wasn’t shown Connecticut would find itself in an economic crisis ten years later.



      1. Steve, how many years in jail did Toni Harp get? How many years in jail did Joe Ganim get? I think that I would go along with Toni Harp seeing that you posted that story.

  1. I repeat
    Joe must be going bull shit over this announcement.
    He thought he had wrapped up New Haven’s support for Governor.
    Of well,I guess he can go yell at Mario!!!

  2. Mario to Joe
    Donn worry about Harp. She no count. Ive gotta secret New Haven strategy.
    We will make public plans to pull Yale away from New Haven and then we’ll announce that we give up. New Haven will love Joe Ganim!!!

  3. Ganim has an Airport, too. Of course we did our safety improvements, with Capital contributions bonded by taxpayers, and annual deficits of $350,000 to $500,000 in recent years. PLUS we had the Driveway Tale, of which Tom McCarthy was a committee member, but never told the full story, or did you hear it? And it cost Bridgeport taxpayers how much additional? $400,000 plus legal plus fees or?? And this is with John Ricci still with the City in a an overall management position to Sikorsky? Where are the managers who can see a budget and provide service within range and balance?
    New Haven has Tweed in the burbs of East Haven and from their budget looks like an annual contribution of $325,000. No muss. No fuss.
    With the traffic conditions on 95 and the parkway, one would think that Sikorski might be more relevant to current upscale business needs where sitting in a car for more than two hours for a 50 minute journey, each way, is offputting? If Ganim2 does not win his way towards gubernatorial candidacy, will he be the person to return to Bridgeport and manage our affairs? Who governs? Time will tell.

  4. Wow,this development must have Joe seething,he was courting her hard a few months ago.One would assume,now that Harp is behind Ned,other Dems will join her.Hey Joe,are you starting to see the big picture yet?,you can’t win this..#ANYONEBUTJOE

  5. I’m surprised that any of you are surprised by this development. I’ve been talking to political connected Black’s in both New Haven and Hartford and they said without trepidation that Joe wasn’t going to get an outpouring of support from either. Toni Harp Isn’t going to jeopardize her political career to help Mayor Ganim do anything, must less endorse him.

    1. @DonaldDay
      I was born and raised in New Haven Democratic politics. Toni Harp knows how the game is played. She succeeded her late husband, Wendell, in the state legislature and then became mayor. She moved to the ‘Golden Ghetto’ after the final stages of white flight in the 90s.
      She is not one to be taken in by JG2’s hype. He doesn’t have the juice to deliver big state bucks for Harp and New Haven.
      The astute Black New Haven Dem operatives have their hands out and are being paid by the assorted campaigns. Mr. Smith, who won’t come to the convention, has hired the ‘Rev’ Boisie Kimber to run the New Haven campaign. The only thing Kimber has accomplished in decades is to line his pockets and also move to the ‘Golden Ghetto’ to the street where I lived until 1988. All these Fairfield County White males are being played and the money is not going to buy the nomination.
      New Haven Black Dems are not the sheep of the 1960s, and also not one cohesive group.

  6. But Don,
    Think of all of the ex-convicts Joe can help in the state like he helped in Bridgeport.
    Oh, wait a minute, he hasn’t really helped but a handful in Bridgeport.
    Run like hell. Run to anyone but Joe…

  7. Where is the silver lining to this? I expect that Steve A. will attempt to find it for us. However, as a boatman with some experience, I practice strapping and securing my PFD before getting settled in a boat. Personal Flotation Device or PFD is what keeps you afloat when your ship disappears below the sea level. It is at those moments that you want something to automatically act in the most positive way for you. And if the boat does not sink on this outing, perhaps you can use it as a pillow when your ship reaches land. Time will tell.

  8. Don, we told Ganim’s top people what we have been hearing from some key black Democrats in New Haven and Hartford have been asking and saying about Ganim. They wanted to know what has he done for blacks in Bridgeport and we told them nothing. We all believe that women’s vote and especially a large turnout of black women carry the election just like in Alabama, Virginia and New Jersey and in a number of special election around the country and that New Haven mayor Toni Harp had to be in the mix some kind of for the Democrats to win. Steve A will be on a suicides watch.

    1. Ron M. Steve A. will be on Suicides watch? Seriously? You slay me :-). What has Toni Harp done for Blacks that you can recommend to Joe Ganim. What has she done for whites? This racist crap is just unbelievable. Joe Ganim has huge support in the Black Community. As one of 2 blcks that supported Mary Jane Foster, can you tell me who is listening to you? Who are yu talking to that is taking your advice? Just curious. I have no idea who you are supporting. I am supporting Joseph Ganim. Not sure who the anti Ganim folks are supporting and you can be certain I could care less. Toni Harp supporting Ned Lamont a Greenwich multi-millionaire is sort of laughable. Especially to the minority community. You and your friend will have to educate the black Community in New Haven because Ned and Toni have done wonders for the black community. I am also curious what Ned Lamont has done in the past 8 years when he lost his bid. Has he been a public servant?

      1. Steve, you said, “What has Toni Harp done for Blacks that you can recommend to Joe Ganim. What has she done for whites? This racist crap is just unbelievable.” Steve, “this racist crap is just unbelievable,” what the HELL are you talking about?
        Steve, you wrote, “Who are you talking to that is taking your advice?” Steve, I have audience of just myself, I give my Afrocentric view of what I know and see as a black man and that’s something you know nothing about. As a black man I worked in a white world and live associate with other blacks all year long for my entire life, this is what blacks have to do, they live in two world. Steve, you are Jewish and gay but if you stood next to Donald Day and myself with a group of people who don’t know us they know that you are a white male and Don and I are both black, they wouldn’t know you are Jewish and gay, that’s the big difference with race in America.

        Steve, you asked me, “I am also curious what Ned Lamont has done in the past 8 years when he lost his bid. Has he been a public servant?” Well, Steve, tell me what has Joe Ganim and David Walker in the past 8 years as a public servant? We all know what Toni Harp has been doing as a public servant, you was a State Senator and then the mayor of New Haven. Toni Harp just completed her term as president of the African American Mayors Association.

        1. Ron Mackey, As I am enjoying my break I had to respond. I am totally disappointed that in everything you wrote you are guilty of simply doing what you do best. Restating my comments. You have not answered any question I asked. Case closed. Talk about Ned Lamont and Toni Harp and answer the questions I asked. Not being Black I do not know what the Mayor is supposed to be doing for “Blacks”. Only you can answer what Harp has done that you can recommend to Ganim and about Lamont. Me I am not going to be responding defending Ganim and provide entertainment and clicks on the blog. I do not need others to repost my comments without resp0onding to me. Personally, I respect your Afro Centric comments. I know everyone on the blog loves it.

          1. Steve, here are some of your questions to me, others I’ve already answered.

            M. Steve A. will be on Suicides watch? Seriously? You slay me :-). What has Toni Harp done for Blacks that you can recommend to Joe Ganim. What has she done for whites? I said suicides watch because because you are the number one supporter of whoever in office, starting with Mayor Mary Moran, Russo, Finch, Ganim, it’s always the person in office that you make known who you support, that’s I said suicides watch. Donald Day and myself recommend to Joe Ganim a number of things that Mayor Harp has been doing like having a City Personnel Director who gives exams that the results have a diverse mix of employees. New Haven has had black mayors, female and male, that have had black fire chiefs and police chiefs where Bridgeport has never had a black mayor and a black fire chief.

      2. Steve,

        Joe Ganim had the support of the black community after he conned the congregation at Charlie Stallworth’s church and bought their votes on election day for twenty bucks and a slice of cheese pizza.

  9. Marcus, you say, “New Haven Black Dems are not the sheep of the 1960s, and also not one cohesive group. Welcome to the 21st century where New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport or any other city in America where Black voters are on lock step on local elections.

    Contrary to popular beliefs Black’s don’t have a political leader or otherwise that speak for all Black’s or that we follow with blind allegiance. We know that in our communities, but white people who bring their money to our communities haven’t figured that out yet. What CHOICES do they have and you can be absolutely sure that you’ll find some Black’s that will take that money and promise the white money anything they want to hear. Just like one white person doesn’t speak for you, well….

    1. @Donald
      I don’t believe Black voters are a monolith. But I am speaking to my experience in New Haven from the 1954 to 1990. Black voters could be delivered by the Dem machine in exchange for Model Cities housing, Jobs programs, etc. It started to break up when John Daniels was elected as New Haven’s first Black mayor.
      Today there are many factions in place fighting for a piece of the pie in the minority (albeit a majority in New Haven) community. Opportunists such as Boisie Kimber are raking in dollars doing this. I had the misfortune of having to overpay the late Wendell Harp for architectural services in order to complete projects in the Dixwell area.
      New Haven’s politics are as corrupt as Bridgeport, but not as white.

  10. Toni Harp cutting a deal with Gold Coast Ned is about as surprising as Dan Malloy’s billion-dollar Hartford bail-out gift to his political godson, Hartford’s appointed mayor, Gold Coast Luke Bronin…

    No surprises here… Money talks… The only variables in Connecticut’s high-level politics are all part of the same set of Gold Coast-acceptable politicians, consisting of Gold Coasters and those who can be bought to do their bidding… Toni will get a money for money for New Haven plus a “promotion” (Lieutenant Governor or Rosa DeLauro replacement) in return for her treachery… Not much honor among politicians… (Surprise!!! — Not!)

    1. Jeff, what’s the problem with Toni Harp trying to get the deal for New Haven and herself? Now I’m sure that your candidate for governor will address the Gold Coast, by the way , who is your candidate?

  11. Jimfox // Apr 30, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    In the end, for Bridgeport to stay relevant, Ganim will have to support Mario’s last choice for Governor. Better Ned then Dead!

    Jimfox // Apr 30, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    ……And Mario will still be the King Maker!

    Jimfox // Apr 30, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman who was the surprising, if convincing, winner of a recent straw poll by the AFL-CIO. Ganim finished sixth in a straw poll with five candidates and the additional choice of “no one at this time.”

    1. Joe, will have to play the part of the Spoiler with his 90 votes. Then Mario will throw in the towel if it go’s more then three rounds. Shades of Toby Moffitt, let’s hope that Ned wins on the Second round.

  12. I don’t know, Ron. What is the problem with that?

    All of the politicians do it — pretend to be friends and allies of other politicians, and committed to their constituents, and then stab their politician friends in the back even as they break promises to and fail to attend to their sworn duties to their constituents…

    Nothing wrong with that. All of the politicians do it. And then they get their turn at the nasty side of things as the universe seeks to balance action with reaction… It’s all part of nature, as we have witnessed during our decades on this planet…

    The only thing that would seem to be problematic is that the balance to all of these situations is accompanied by what can only be perceived as an unbalanced distribution of justice in the society in which politicians operate… We know that the universe seeks balance, so it must only be a matter of time until the people of Bridgeport and New Haven, et al., get a fair deal in the grand scheme of things in Connecticut and beyond… Right?! Isn’t that how the universe is supposed to operate?

    As JML would say. Time will tell…

  13. Now, to be clear: Joe Ganim and Mario Testa can’t afford to hop on the “$Ned$ wagon”… If the Ganim campaign were to capitulate to the Gold Coast-Hartford $hegemony$ that seeks to secure the vice-grip on prosperity and advantage for the Gold Coast at Bridgeport’s (and the rest of Connecticut’s) expense, Joe Ganim and the Bridgeport Democratic Party would have to resign themselves to an even lower position in the Connecticut political/socioeconomic food-chain than we presently occupy — which hardly seems possible, except in a nightmare…

    Joe Ganim has to slog on to the end of this election, one way or the other. Right now he seems determined to reuse a Bridgeport victory “plan” that simply doesn’t fit as a statewide, gubernatorial strategy. Indeed, it is a non-strategy that is capable of only one-time, successful application — and only in Bridgeport… He should have thrown that plan away after he used it up in 2015… It simply isn’t recyclable for a second usage — especially at the state level.

    Toni Harp might have tried to steer Joe away from the political catastrophe implicit with the following of his present “strategy” and then decided to make a smart exit from her alliance with Joe when he seemed determined to perseverate on a dead-end course using his non-plan/non-strategy. (But then, maybe she just decided to hop on an easy political road to fame and fortune on Ned’s $gravy$ train… And maybe elements of both forces at play…)

    In any event, let’s hope that the Gold Coast hasn’t already bought an easy, bloodless win of Connecticut Gubernatorial Race 2018. That would be disastrous for Bridgeport and the rest of the state — even the Gold Coast, because they are being suffocated by the weight of their own prosperity (think traffic logjam and ultimate effect of statewide economic stagnation/state budget deficit…).

    Let’s hope that the Ganim Campaign can get its head back in the daylight and mount a real challenge to $Lamont and Company$, or we will see even starker differences between the two Connecticut’s, even as we see the state fall behind in overall socioeconomic measures to places such as Mississippi and Arkansas…

  14. Jeff, it’s pure conjecture on your part to think, feel or believe that Toni and Mayor Ganim were friends and allies? Where did that come from, better yet who told you they made promises to each other? They owe each other nothing and now all of a sudden Mayor Ganim can be trusted and whose character is beyond reproach. Do you read the shit that you write?

  15. Good evening folks. Mr. JML there is a silver lining. First, to celebrate Toni Harps decisionnto support Ned Lamont, I went with friends to Vazzy’s for twin lobsters and they were excellent. Does anyone remember Wendell Harp and his failed development project that cost the city a fortune in the 1980’s. The renaissance Project- Housing literally on the train tracks. That was a Bucci deal.

    I respect Toni Harp for her decision. Afterall, as any minority of a big city will tell you, A white Millionaire from Greenwich really cares about th issues of Urban Centers. Just like Trump , he can fund his own campaign. Many followers beieve that their wealth will rub off on them. I will support the man that has Bridgeport and Urban centers as his number one priority. People will decide.

    I can remind everyone that Ned Lamont was the DTC choice 8 years ago. Mayor Finch had Lamont signs on his front lawn for 10 months into the Malloy administration. Malloy was surprisingly forgiving to Finch.

    As a delegate, I am supporting Mayor Ganim. I am but one vote. Nobody twisted my arm to the chagrin of everyone on this blog. My district leader, Mayor and town chair did not demand my support. Imam not sure how far my 100.00 dollar donation went but not one individual in the Ganim administration ask me for a donation. Honest to G-d this is the truth can you all fxxking stand it?

    Getting 15,000 signatures should not be difficult. When the population is aware that their candidate is not eligible to receive funding and still has raised over $550,000 you know he has support. For those gloating that Harp isn’t supporting Ganim, let them realize that a huge minority contingent is working their asses off for Ganim in New Haven , Hartford, Waterbury and New Haven. Harp my be supporting Lamont but will her supporters follow suit? Will New Haven support a big city Mayor or a Greenwich millionaire. We shall see. I m always optimistic. I really can not stand such negativity from locals on this blog. I will always only respond late at night as I work long hours and certainly will not cater to the haters out there. Let the best man win and may we all vote for the best candidate that will put Bridgeport first.

    I do wish all of the candidates the best of luck. I als am happy that David Walker has been receiving endorsements. Having 2 Bridgeport candidates is amazing. David Walker is certainly an extremely qualified candidate. His credentials are most impressive.

    The next few weeks will be very exciting . For me at least. I wish everyone the best of luck and hope everyone is enjoying the positive energy of the campaign and not that typical anti- Ganim rhetoric.

    From the Republican corner, I can say that many people are talking about David Walker. I knw I have many friends supporting Herbst but more are interested in Walker. I was actually surprised and very pleased.

    I look forward to the debates down the road. Que Sera Sera.
    The silver lining? We will all survive.

        1. Joe Ganim brings nothing to the table for Ned Lamont in winning the office of governor. Mario got out played by Toni Harp and what’s Mario going to do with Bridgeport delegates?

    1. As a delegate, I am supporting Mayor Ganim. I am but one vote. Nobody twisted my arm. Steve that statement shows what a lying sack of shit you are. Mario selects the delegates and they vote his way for at least the first round.

  16. Steve,I realize you have to support Joe,he gave you a job and you want to keep it afterall,can’t blame you for that.However,more than once you say “Joe is for Bridgeport and has Bpt as his #1 priority”..Bullshit,Joe’s #1 priority is Joe,always has been,he has done nothing for our city this time around,and the first time around,he stole everything he could from us.Joe can give a shit about anything but himself…

    1. Harvey,

      My support of Ganim has nothing to do with a job. I worked for Finch and he never ave me a job. Unlike most of the people you may associate with. I have worked on campaigns for 35 years- Republican and Democrat and never once asked for a job. So we understand that. Considering my assaults on Joe Ganim during the Finch Ganim election- It is surprising that Ganim would allow me to work for the city. I am a democrat, a team player and most pro Bridgeport. I was fired by Ganim in 1991 because I was Mayor Moran’s number 1 supporter. Couldn’t blame him and I voted for him a couple of times since.

      Harvey, I will say I respect your opinion about Ganim but I do not. It is hateful, redundant like a broken record. Why not spend time discussing a candidate you believe in? My support for Ganim should not affect you. I certainly will not spend months carrying on this blog . You know where I stand. You can join the choir here on the blog. It is absolutely suffocating to me. I admire Ganim’s drive in the face of adversity. I never supported the “anyone but Ganim mentality. I must remind you that so many of the anti Ganim bloggers were his biggest supporters 2 years ago.

      Harvey, lets be honest. Of course Joe Ganim is for himself and his family first. Aren’t you? Should he put the black community before the white community before himself or his family?

      How about some respect for his family and friends? Ganim has been tried and was in prison and released. He has paid his debt to society. Why are you and everyone o this blog repeating the same crap over and over and over and over and over again. Enough already. Have you folks have nothing better to talk about? There is an entire State out there.

      There are approximately 705,403 Democrats registered in the state of Connecticut. We only need 15,000 signatures to make Joe Relevant. I wouldn’t write him off. Also, as Maria Pereira would concur, getting an endorsement means crap. I might also add that during the election in November 2016 in our city. Mayor Finch had an endless list of endorsements from unions and every elected official. Bass Pro had just opened. Steel pointe fluff announcements were happening and instead of being positive. Finch focused on Ganim’ past. It was a failing strategy. His historic win was legendery. So, continue looking backwards. I am looking forward to our future. My working for the city is not relevant. I have had many very successful careers since I left the city in 1991. I know Andy Fardy focus’s on my years of substituting in Bridgeport. That is because Andy Fardy knows nothing about me. I am back where I belong and regardless of Mayor Ganim’s fate I will survive and so will he and you. We all have our own destiny. nobody needs anyone to validate it. It is what it is!

    1. Steve, how many years in jail did Toni Harp get? How many years in jail did Joe Ganim get? I think that I would go along with Toni Harp seeing that you posted that story.

  17. When are people going to realize that if a politician is talking he/she is lying. The people of this city have been screwed by the democrats for years.

    1. Long ago, it was a politician that made the promises you enjoy today. Other politicians have been upholding those promises as needed. They told the truth and it’s the truth that makes you an ungrateful Bridgeport retiree today.

        1. The promise preceded the contract.
          Let’s take it from the top: it was a politician who invented The Bridgeport Fire Department.
          You should put a halo over their heads.

    1. Uh-uh. Fire & Death existed before The BFD did and it was politicians who did the inventing.
      The latest contract is just the updated version of the promise.

  18. I know I’mate for this party but this may be TKO Keeley. Widespread negative publicity and court rulings tell the story about Joe and Mario. I think Mayor Harp is very astute in seeing the folly of aligning with corruption. Oh there I go…


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