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Ballot Order Set For Mayor In Historic Ganim Comeback Quest

October 10th, 2015 · 21 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

Seven candidates for mayor will appear on the November 3 general election ballot in this historic campaign cycle in which Joe Ganim seeks to cement redemption as the Democratic nominee, Mary-Jane Foster positions to stop him as a petitioning Democratic alternative and Enrique Torres offers a Republican voice outside the political establishment. Charlie Coviello, running on The New Movement Party line and petitioning challengers Tony Barr, Chris Taylor and David Daniels round out the field.

When voters enter precincts to receive paper ballots November 3, Joe Ganim will be on the top line, followed by Torres, the Working Families Party with no mayoral candidate comes next fielding two endorsed candidates for school board, Karen Jackson and Dennis Bradley who will also appear on the Democratic line. Coviello, on The New Movement Party, comes next, followed by petitioning candidates Barr, Taylor, Foster and Daniels.

Major party candidates, based on party results for governor and minor party challengers based on longevity existence come first on the ballot, followed by petitioning candidates in order of certification through signatures collected.

The last time Ganim’s name appeared on a general election ballot was 1999 when he secured 80 percent of the vote against Republican Joan Magnuson. It was the first time in city history that a mayor would be elected to a four-year term by virtue of city voters approving a charter referendum question in 1998 when Ganim was at the apex of his popularity.

It was around this time that federal investigators began moving in earnest to topple the popular mayor that led to his 2001 Halloween indictment and subsequent 2003 conviction on corruption charges. Ganim spent seven years in federal lockup, he toyed with running for mayor in 2011 after his release in 2010. Staying patient he saw an opening against incumbent Bill Finch and began his public rehabilitation in an East End church January 1, transforming his baggage into a second-chance credential that inspired voters leading to an improbable underdog comeback primary win he seeks to extend to the general election.

Foster, co-founder of the Bridgeport Bluefish and an executive at the University of Bridgeport, is now cast in the underdog role as a petitioning candidate with the backing of Finch and a portion of his political operation running as an alternative to voter trepidation about Ganim’s past. Foster is raising campaign cash from business community interests opposed to Ganim’s comeback. She’ll need a solid majority of Finch Democratic voters buoyed by unaffiliated voters who’ve not participated in large numbers in recent municipal elections.

Torres, a city councilor from Black Rock, has run for mayor twice before in 2003 and 2011. Life for citywide Republicans is a difficult slog from the era of 1971-1991 when 10 of those years were occupied by GOP mayors Nick Panuzio, Lenny Paoletta and Mary Moran. City demographics have changed dramatically. When Ganim defeated Moran in 1991 the Democratic registration over Republican was two and a half to one in an era unaffiliated voters leaned Republican. The disparity between Democrat and Republican is now 10 to 1.

Coviello, Barr, Taylor and Daniels with low name recognition and even less money are in a battle to place fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

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21 Comments so far ↓

  • Pat Fardy

    I believe Mary-Jane Foster will be known by many in this city before the Election comes in November. She will be active in many parts of the city and stating her case to make Bridgeport a city we all could be proud of.
    Of course she will not appear on the Front Page of the Post as other candidates because She Is Not a Crook and She is Not a Prejudiced Candidate.
    She is Capable, Willing and Able to do the job of Mayor for this City.
    No questions asked, a Vote for Mary-Jane Foster for Mayor is the correct, right and just way to go for this city.

  • Pat Fardy

    My comments are a repeat from a previous blog, and this message can be repeated over and over again as it is the Right Way to vote for our next Mayor.
    Mary-Jane Foster for Mayor. Vote Smart and this City will be Better and Things will change with the Right Mayor and persons in place.

  • Local Eyes

    Ganim has succeeded to the point of excess. He’s now a part of the status quo and is affiliated with the worst trend in politics today. It’s almost like he’s the incumbent. After all, he’s been there before.
    Ganim has become the standard bearer of his party at a time when America dislikes incumbents.
    Conclusion: Vote for Mary-Jane Foster. She’s a true reformer who will always put Bridgeport first. Think of the future.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    So The Crook has pole position, eh? That should be printed on the ballot, “The Crook,” like a Tarot card.

  • Jimfox

    Oust Finch Now!!! Vote for Ganim!!!

  • PavlickInTheNorthend

    Too many candidates! This will only hand the election to Ganim and take Bridgeport back to the 1990s when no out-of-state developers or anyone would do business with us due to the tri-state general knowledge of how corrupt the City was.

    Do we really want the Steel Point project to end up with only three businesses there? And don’t buy the promise of lower or “steady taxes.” The only way that happened back in the ’90s was by not having re-evaluation for over ten years and charging condo owners outrageous taxes based on high assessments!

    Personally, as much as I like Rick Torres, let’s face it, the Republican Party in Bridgeport is just about non-existent and will not give him the support he needs; therefore, I would strongly suggest every candidate other than Ganim form a united front and back Mary-Jane Foster to save Bridgeport from falling back into a very bad image again and discouraging developers from coming into the city.

    • WillisBpt

      Mary-Jane Spoiler handed the primary to Ganim. She now attempts to hand him the general too. Torres’ campaign is heating up and is the only chance of us avoiding more national embarrassment. Mary-Jane has little name recognition and those who know her don’t seem to like or support her. Her involvement with Bill Finch seems to be a net negative. She will only get enough votes to give Ganim the election. If she cared about Bridgeport she would ask her few supporters to vote Torres, our only hope.

  • Donald Day

    I know most white people are uncomfortable talking about race and as yet I haven’t seen it discussed in this forum, about this issue. Blacks and Puerto Ricans are 70% of the population of Bridgeport and I would guess they are close to being 70% of the registered Democrats, so one can also surmise people of color will carry this election.

    Wouldn’t it be safe to assume if a candidate is smart and astute they would put their energies in getting the vote of the segment of the population that will carry this election and let the 30% of whites vote for whom they want keeping in mind they’ll either vote Joe or Mary or even Rick?

    The person who can reach blacks and Puerto Ricans with their message will win this election and one can safely assume that would be Joe. When Joe was Mayor the National economy was booming under Bill Clinton and the trickle-down effect was in full effect, blacks and Puerto Ricans were being hired as police and firefighters in Bridgeport who were the fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers of Bridgeport residents and all was right with the world during his tenure.

    Honesty in government and transparency are quality issues when paying the bills and moving your family out of harm’s way aren’t the most pressing problem you have. They are quality issues for people who have great jobs and disposable income, but they aren’t shit for a family struggling to pay rent. Jobs are the most pressing problems facing people of color and I’m not talking about those minimum-wage jobs generated by Steel Point. I’m talking about transformative jobs, jobs that will allow you to buy a home, pay your bills and educate your children in private schools. Beloved, if your message to the blacks and Puerto Ricans of Bridgeport doesn’t offer hope in the immediate future then your chance of winning this election are slim to none, because the days when white people can carry a mayoral election in Bridgeport are gone forever.

    • LennieGrimaldi

      DD, we have chronicled often on OIB the reason Joe Ganim won the primary is a result of connecting with black voters. Bill Finch, in his eight years as mayor, was not viewed by a majority of black voters as someone who understood their concerns, be it public safety, education, blight, jobs, a post office or a market. With three weeks left to the general election, the race comes down to this: can Mary-Jane Foster share a message with blacks and Latinos that pulls them away from Joe? If she does that–not an easy task–she’ll be the next mayor.

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        You shouldn’t write off Rick Torres. At this point no one is an even bet to win the election. There are forces in play that do not want a crook re-elected to a job he was forced to quit for being convicted of racketeering. Mary-Jane Foster is an accomplished individual but she is losing traction with voters.

        • Ron Mackey

          And is Rick Torres gaining traction with black and Latino voters? Hell no, so how does he expand his base of voters? He can’t.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            Speak for yourself, Ron. Last I heard your opinion does not reflect that of the black and Latino communities.

    • Park City too

      Yes, and Joe was happy to tear down the projects on the Steelpoint property when he thought he was going to get $1 a square foot from development. While I believe projects are a form of prison from another time, Joe tore down 70 percenters’ homes for business progress coupled with personal greed. Hard to get a job when you don’t have a place to live. He is running a good smokescreen for sure.

  • Donald Day

    Thanks Lennie, but I was alluding to this election and not the primary. That primary ship has sailed and my last paragraph addressed Mary-Jane sharing a message that resonates with the 70%ers.

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