On May 19 about 2,000 delegates to the Democratic state party convention will gather in Hartford to endorse candidates for statewide office. Mayor Joe Ganim needs 15 percent of that support to place his name on the August primary ballot for governor. Going in, Greenwich entrepreneur Ned Lamont and former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz enjoy the most delegate backing. See list of delegates by town here. Meanwhile Ganim is one week into a six-week petition drive to secure more than 15,000 signatures from Democratic voters in the state as the other option to make the ballot.
The convention momentum appears to be with Lamont as elements of the state party have rallied behind his candidacy. Internally the various camps are examining the value of the ballot lineup. The Bysiewicz analysis, as the lone female in the race, believes she’s better off with Ganim on the ballot, so if she has a comfortable delegate cushion, it could free up some extra delegates for Ganim. Last week Lamont was endorsed by New Haven Mayor Toni Harp but Ganim and Bysiewicz are not ceding the city to Lamont.
Deal-cutting is always a possibility. Does Lamont want Ganim off the ballot more than Bysiewicz wants him on? Republicans conduct their convention this weekend.
Ganim’s letter pitch to delegates:
Dear Fellow Democrat:
As the Democratic field narrows for governor, I would like to share with you why I am running for governor and what our campaign is about.
I have been honored to be elected Mayor of Bridgeport six times. Over these 14 years, working together we brought Bridgeport back from bankruptcy, balanced the budget for ten years in a row without raising taxes, attracted new businesses and jobs, built an entertainment and sports complex, drastically lowered crime, and created magnet schools.
At the same time, you know the story. I made terrible mistakes, broke the law, and paid a heavy price. When I returned to Bridgeport, I apologized for my actions and vowed that if I was ever given a second chance in elected office, I would spend every day giving back to make sure everyone has at least a first chance to succeed–let alone the second chance that I was given.
In 2015, the people of Bridgeport honored me by giving me that second chance when they elected me as their Mayor for the sixth time. Since then, we have continued to make strong progress. We’ve attracted new industry and jobs, accelerated development of our waterfront, and made Bridgeport a greener and cleaner energy efficient city. Like any city much more needs to be done, but real progress has been made.
Our campaign for governor is about building a new Connecticut economy that works for everyone–not just a few. We can’t tax or cut our way out of the state’s fiscal mess. We need to create jobs and get our economy going–and that begins by strengthening our cities to make them once again engines of economic growth and innovation. To attract new businesses and retain existing ones, we need to rebuild our transportation infrastructure, expand job training so workers have the skills for 21st century manufacturing and high technology jobs, and make sure every child has an opportunity to a first-class education.
Our campaign is about making sure hard working men and women are paid a livable wage, have access to paid family leave, are paid equally, and are allowed to collectively organize.
Our campaign is about inclusion and diversity—we are a stronger state and country when everyone can participate and contribute.
Our campaign is also about being a voice for all those who have been left economically behind. I will be a governor for them and all those who feel their voices are not heard.
And our campaign is about providing everyone who wants to work hard with an opportunity to contribute. That’s why I strongly support second chance re-entry programs and criminal justice reform to end the targeting of communities of color.
At this critical time in our state, we must have a Governor who has the skills and experience to manage the complexities we face. I humbly present myself as someone who’s been tested in good times and bad, who has navigated the state’s largest city through the toughest of times, and who has led the effort to create economic growth and jobs for everyone.
I have enjoyed talking to those of you I’ve met as I’ve traveled around the state–and I thank all of you who have given me your support.
For those of you who are undecided, I hope I can earn your support–and that you will join me in the effort to build a better Connecticut that works for everyone.
And finally, thank you for all that you do, for the countless hours you contribute to our party for the betterment of Connecticut.