Outside of Black Rock and a few pockets here and there, it’s lonely for Republican political operatives. During the 20-year period from 1971 to 1991 Republicans occupied the mayor’s office for 10 of those years. They had strong representation on the City Council and some state legislative seats. When 32-year-old Democrat Joe Ganim was elected mayor in 1991 the city’s GOP registration was about 12,000. It is now down to under 4,000. Republicans have called for minority-party representation on the City Council and even some Democrats agree it would be nice to have a different point of view.
City Republicans say it’s better to play nice and offer solutions about the city’s fiscal challenges than just piling on with criticisms. Republicans kicked out this news release on Monday:
The Bridgeport Republican Party is offering to help Mayor Ganim and the all Democrat administration chart a new course that would result in the resolution of a decades-long problem. The over-taxation of the people of Bridgeport has been a burden for far too long and Bridgeport Republicans are opting not to take the standard political tact of simply casting blame on the mayor or the all Democrat City Council. They acknowledge that this is a problem that affects all Bridgeporters and that this latest tax increase is sending some our city’s residents into financial crisis. As such Republicans will attempt to forego political gain and simply try to help.
Mike Garrett, Bridgeport Republican Town Committee Chairman, says as a message to Mayor Ganim, “We would like to engage your administration in a collaborative partnership to begin this great enterprise of restoring the city of Bridgeport to a state that is more conducive to business and less oppressive to taxpayers. I hope you will be willing to approve such an initiative. The people of Bridgeport have elected you as our Mayor and as such we Republicans hope that your Election campaign that was based on the message to stop the tax increases was sincere. As such, we stand ready to offer our suggestions as representatives of a portion of your constituency and above all as fellow Bridgeporters.”
Republicans Hope that Mayor Ganim will open a door that has been shut for too long and invite those that have been unrepresented to a seat at the table. Furthermore, the sentiment among Republicans is that if the Mayor has been honest about wanting to get Bridgeport’s people out from under the current oppressive tax burden then he will accept the alternative voice being offered.