Foster Poised For Mayoral Announcement Wednesday

Mary-Jane Foster
Mary-Jane Foster

Mary-Jane Foster is scheduled to formally declare her Democratic candidacy for mayor Wednesday, 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, Main Street downtown, followed by a meet and greet 5 p.m. at the Metric Bar & Grill, 39 Cannon Street, located behind the Fairfield County Courthouse downtown. The public is invited to both events.

Foster, co-founder of the Bridgeport Bluefish and an executive at the University of Bridgeport, announced last week that she has raised more than $50,000 between an exploratory committee and recently formed candidate committee. That’s a good start but she’ll need a lot more. For her to be successful she must do so outside the Democratic party apparatus most of which supports Mayor Bill Finch who has amassed a mighty war chest for his reelection effort. A Democratic primary will take place Sept. 13.

John Gomes, former Finch deputy chief administrative officer and Charlie Coviello, three-time mayoral candidate, are also in the race. Former Mayor Joe Ganim, who served from Nov. 1991 to April 2003, has been positioning like he wants his old job back that he was forced to resign following his federal corruption conviction. Will he get in the game?



  1. We have been talking about candidates only one of whom can grasp the brass ring though we may have several riding the merry-go-round in September and/or November.

    People are talking about money big time. Perhaps some of you pros can talk about money and where it is spent. I am sure that may prove entertaining as a history lesson.

    But perhaps people can talk about our poor voting stats in the City. So many registered. So few who actually come out to vote. (And why that may be great for an incumbent, and prove so difficult to overcome as a challenger.) What’s the story, bottom line, in the City?

    I can understand voting for your job or a job, or a relative’s job but the % voting does not seem that large in any case. What non-presidential elections of the past 20-25 years got good turnout (relative to the usual) and why? Is it message? Relationship? Fear of higher taxes? No job? Fear of losing house? Not happy with education offerings? Lots of opinions out there. What’s up?

  2. The Democratic field is just as cluttered as it has been in the past. The difference this year is most if not all contenders for the Democratic nomination will make it to the starting gate of the September primary. The odds have increasingly been going in Mary-Jane Foster’s favor. If she wins the primary (and that’s not a big if) she would most likely win the general election in November. So she becomes mayor.

    The only mayoral candidate who is clearly not reform-minded is the incumbent, Bill Finch. The other three–Foster, Coviello, Gomes–have reform at the top of their agendas. Only one can become mayor of Bridgeport. Whoever it is will have to deal with an entrenched party machine. Good horse-trading skills are required.

    The GOP regained the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, a majority that included a bloc of maverick conservatives from the south and midwest and a contingent from the Tea Party. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s GOP minority leader, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican congressman from Ohio, claimed the midterm election was “a mandate for change.” They were going to change the way Washington takes care of business. Now they’re struggling to pass a budget after alienating their Democratic counterparts.

    Anyone foolish enough to enter the mayor’s office with a combative approach to the old guard is in for a rude awakening.

    1. I completely agree with your posting. The old guard may not be feared but they must be respected, they carry a tremendous amount of clout with the Voters who elected them.

      An open suggestion to both Foster and Gomes campaign people. Seek the party endorsement. All you need is to have a member nominate you and someone to else to second the nomination. There is much division in the town committee and it is very possible to steal the endorsement from Finch. He would be paying for his own re-election without the massive amounts of dollars given by the DTC.

      Insist on a secret ballot of the members to give them a safety net against reprisals from Finch in the event of a failed coup. I believe Chairman Testa would be happy to betray Finch in a heartbeat for a more attractive candidate.

      There are enough mavericks out there to effect these changes including but not limited to the Troll, Silva, Ayala, Fardy, Barney, plus closet opponents like McCarthy. It is very possible to put Finch on the ropes earlier than he could imagine. Please consider my thoughts and act upon them accordingly. We all talk about change but it is only us who can change things.

      1. If the staus quo is maintained, qui beneficiis? Certainly not the people of the city of Bridgeport. The BOE just had a public session. They received several tongue-lashings about proposed budget cuts, including the people who work with children after school to improve individual students’ academic skills and test scores. How does this benefit the poorest-performing school district east of Newark?

      2. Ronin, Good point, Finch does not have a lock on the DTC. As a Candidate for Mayor , you got to go before DTC for the nomination. Even if you’re out-gunned, you make your pitch out of respect for the DTC. You’ll have to work with them if you win.
        So start calling some DTC members now, you never know!

  3. At some point we must all put egos aside. There are only two serious candidates in this race against Finch. The only hope of our defeating the Machine is mutual cooperation. Foster & Gomes need to combine forces to topple Finch. The larger the horse race, the greater advantage to Finch. When & if Finch wins a primary is a worst-case scenario. Then there will be a greater likelihood of public backlash to oust Finch’s administration. We could conceivably be looking at a Republican mayor in our future.

  4. What has Bill Finch done, except hire his pals, give them raises, lie to the public (he never intended to do a $600.00 reduction in property tax), put together gimmick budgets that rely on givebacks and not funding pensions, and making the City worse off than when he started? Mary-Jane is an honest business woman, attorney, well respected in the State. She is smart enough to stay away from the strings of Mario and Stafstrom and get rid of the dead wood.

  5. “Anyone foolish enough to enter the mayor’s office with a combative approach to the old guard is in for a rude awakening.”

    Interesting viewpoint a la the Bridgeport Kid.

    It is disturbing to me that MJF steadfastly refuses to identify the failings of Paul Timpanelli and the BRBC as contributing factors to the failure of Bridgeport to attain even a modicum of growth.

    1. What I meant to say is a newly minted mayor, feeling emboldened by electoral victory, would do well to stop and analyze the situation. The GOP leadership in Washington went around gassing off that “the American people have spoken” and that the conservatives had a mandate to change the way Washington does business. (How many times have we heard that before?) The reality of the situation is the Democratic Party still controls the White House and the upper chamber of Congress. An unwillingness and/or inability to compromise on certain issues nearly caused a governmental shutdown.

      The City Council, as controlled by Mario Testa, is not going to roll over. Testa is involved in politics for the power, the sport and the brinksmanship. He’ll use his pawns to make life difficult for any mayor he did not personally endorse. That says a lot about the man and his vision for the city. In that way he is no different than Newt Gingrich.

      1. The biggest mistake made by the GOP was not shutting down the government. It was the perfect moment to show the moron in the White House that America had indeed spoken and is tired of being taxed and spent to death.

  6. This is not the time for political decorum. I want Gomes and Foster to publicly acknowledge they intend to rid this city of the detrimental interests of Mario Testa, Paul Timpanelli and each and every council member whose allegiance is to Testa and not to the people of our city. There is no more time to pussyfoot around. If you two candidates are serious, draw your swords and make your intentions clear.

    1. The gloves came off when Mary-Jane Foster filed an FOI request to see the City Attorney’s records. Which law firms and individual attorneys are being contracted to perform legal work for the city? How much financial compensation are they receiving? Is any of that money getting into other people’s pockets in the form of kickbacks?

    2. yahooy // Apr 12, 2011 at 10:53 am
      to your posting

      That’s a slam dunk …
      Every bit of good that can be done for Bridgeport has to come from new blood and new thinking. That rules out those who have been around for far too long.
      That means Testa and Timpanelli …
      And you know Gomes already has put out a letter to all “good men and women of Bridgeport” to become candidates for Council, Board of Education etc. etc.


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