Four Years Ago Ganim Apologized In Stallworth’s Church–Is Rift Real Or Imagined?

On January 1, 2015 in the East End church of Rev. Charlie Stallworth, Joe Ganim launched his historic comeback for mayor with his first public apology before a forgiving audience of worshipers at a New Year’s Day emancipation event following his 2003 conviction on public corruption charges. Video above. Now in an OIB twist Stallworth is posturing for Ganim’s job.

Ganim had declared for more than a decade that he did nothing wrong but has since, out of political pragmatism, turned a conviction into a second-chance credential.

Ganim’s six minutes at the pulpit lectern was part reminiscing, part apology, part coalition building punctuated by an embrace from Stallworth who is also a member of the State House representing the 126th Assembly District. It kicked off informally a surreal election season in which Ganim challenged and defeated incumbent Democrat Bill Finch in a close primary on his way to a big general election victory.

Fast forward four years and once again Ganim is in campaign mode, but with Stallworth as a potential rival. Is Stallworth posturing for something or really serious about a citywide primary that requires coalitions, hundreds of thousands in campaign cash with an all-out effort for the task. He also comes off of two primary scares from school board member Maria Pereira in 2016 and former Jim Himes congressional staffer Shante Hanks in 2018.

State Senator Marilyn Moore is also examining a run for mayor. Moore and Stallworth both enjoy a base of support in the African American-rich Wilbur Cross precinct where Ganim has also performed well. Supporters of retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez, as noted in the OIB comments section, are also urging her to run for mayor.

Bridgeport legislative delegation
State Senator Marilyn Moore, center, flanked by members of Bridgeport’s legislative delegation. From left State House members Jack Hennessy, Charlie Stallworth, Chris Rosario, Andre Baker, Moore, State House members Steve Stafstrom and Ezequiel Santiago and a retiring State Senator Ed Gomes whose term expires next week. Dennis Bradley won Gomes’ open seat.

Stallworth had been a key face of Ganim’s 2015 campaign. Ganim rewarded him with a $100,000-a-year job as special adviser to the mayor heading up the Minority Business Resource Center working out of the mayor’s office. A year later Stallworth was demoted in a shakeup of Ganim’s administration.

Stallworth had joined several black political leaders condemning the rank demotion of Lieutenant Lonnie Blackwell who was accused of fabricating a racial letter within the Police Department. Blackwell denied the charges. Stallworth speaking out was seen as a public swipe at Ganim. Stallworth, in frustration, made some internal noise about quitting his city position. Discussions between Stallworth and city officials ensued about staying or going. In lieu of Stallworth leaving the payroll completely, Ganim opted to reduce his role in the administration.

In March 2017 however, Stallworth resigned his city job. His relationship with Ganim, without public vitriol, is up and down, depending on the day.

Stallworth is poking around for political support probing pockets in Ganim’s soft spots. Stallworth declares that Ganim’s 2015 campaign promises have not measured up. Coupled with a property revaluation-led tax increase in 2016, as well as a misplaced run for governor, has anti-Ganim folks on the hunt for alternatives.

How vulnerable is Ganim? Depends on the competition. Ganim’s in full reelection mode, raising money, leveraging the public candy store touting successes including a New Year’s Day op-ed extolling his return as mayor.

Stallworth has made peculiar campaign declarations before, including a befuddling short-lived run for lieutenant governor in 2018.

Cynical Moore supporters argue that Stallworth and Ganim are actually in cahoots to split up a Ganim anti-vote should Moore get in the race. Conspiracy theorists abound in city politics. Could this one be correct?

Things will heat up soon. A clearer picture of Ganim’s opposition will sort out within the next few months. Stay tuned.



  1. In my humble opinion, Reverend Stallworth isn’t running for Mayor because he knows he don’t have a realistic chance at a win so this is nothing more than posturing for something, that which most District Leaders will do also.

    I’m still waiting for Rev to say something about how Black’s can’t get hired as police and firefighters like they were prior to David Dunn being just given the Director of Civil Service. I’m waiting for the Rev to speak to how no women have been hired as firefighters when they had for 30 consecutive years prior to David Dunn being just given the Director of Civil Service.
    I’m listening Reverend Stallworth, what say you?

    1. Don, as you know Reverend Stallworth has been well aware of these problems one month after Joe Ganim was elected mayor along with Wilbur Chapman who was also hired like Stallworth as aides to Mayor Ganim to help deal with these problems. What Stallworth and Chapman didn’t realize was that David Dunn had veto power over any suggestions they made to Mayor Ganim. Don as you know absolutely nothing has changed in two years because Joe Ganim doesn’t want them to change. Ganim’s base is black voters and Mayor Ganim has done NOTHING for the black community, the hell with Joe Ganim.

  2. Do ya really think so Len. He changes his mind about as often as Donald Trump. And with the swings being as radical. In the end it will all come down to the money.

  3. Joe Ganim said “I broke the law” with a level of contrition as if he placed a recyclable item in a trash toter.

    Joe Ganim has never admitted guilt for the felony crimes he committed, including lying under oath in his trial.

    Joe Ganim is a phony, as are the reverends that embraced him in his comeback.

  4. Joe Ganim is a fraud, a huckster. He reminds me of the elixir salesman in “The Outlaw Josie Wales”: “This stuff will cure anything!”

    That “confession” at Reverend Charlie’s church was a con job. “I broke the law…” Really, Joe? They didn’t send you to prison for meritorious service. That fell far short of frank admission that you accepted bribes and lied on the witness stand. Oh right, there’s no statute of limitations for perjury.

  5. 2018 was a year for learning about a political move called the “pivot”. Numerous times, commentators have pointed to our twittering leader and his close cropped communications and have indicated his “pivot” from a topical question from a reporter or subject on a panel, to a canned answer that did not advance the inquiry but only served to avoid a topic the “pivoter” chose to bypass.
    In such way please take note of the rapid pivot in this four year old video to where we sit today relative to advancing education for ALL OF THE CHILDREN OF THE COMMUNITY?? Joe talked about Ganim family scholarships. I thank the Ganims for their personal and private philanthropy of treasure. Perhaps they are giving of time and talent privately as well. But Ganim2 has not acted the EDUCATION LEADER that the City needs in place to provide the talent in the classroom, etc. And he has no excuse when he ignores public education as a priority. Why has he provided more increased dollars to Public Safety as Ganim2 than to Education ? Time will tell.

  6. Frank, are you in receipt of something that would substantiate Reverend Stallworth being a fake and a phony? C’mon man I think you’re better than that and I’m absolutely sure that Reverend Stallworth is better than your portrayal.

    1. Joe Ganim took to the pulpit in Reverend Stallworth’s church with the worst imitation of Jimmy Swaggart in the history of political theater. Stallworth was in full connivance as Little Joe feigned remorse to hoodwink an ignorant and vulnerable community. Don’t forget the double sawbucks passed out on Election Day.

      Reverend Stallworth’s heart is in the right place, more or less. Not all the time, however. He gave PSEG a hard time about an apprenticeship program the company offered that provided state and federal certifications and union membership to provide a livelihood upon successful completion of the program. Reverend Stallworth tried to divert the money to a program administered by Green Forest, a faith based nonprofit that offered training and the love of Jesus but no certifications and no union membership.

    2. Most respectfully, Mr. Donald Day. I would like to point out one bit of information about the Reverend Stallworth who also happens to be State Representative Charles Stallworth and ,for some time,was collection close to or actually a six-figure salary working in the Ganim Administration working on minority businesses. Let’s look at State Rep’s Stallworth work as a State Rep. His attendance? What bills did he introduce? What did he do to benefit his constituents as a State Rep? What did he do to benefit Minority businesses as part of his job within the Ganim Administration? (kudos to Maria Pereira who got me to start looking at this). Mr. Day,if you can substantiate the political progress of the Rev/State Rep Charles Stallworth ,I will be more than glad to say,PUBLICLY,that I was wrong. Mr. Day,please teach me and inform me of the political work of State Rep Charles Stallingworth. Thank you.

  7. Frank, Inefficiency is now a reason to be labeled as a “phony and a fake.” Frank, I have no idea how many bills Rev. Stallworth introduced or his attendance, but where does that rise to being “a phony and a fake?” Which is more important, introducing legislation or fully understanding legislation that one must vote on in benefit of one’s constituents? Wouldn’t those attributes that you subscribe to Rev. Stallworth be better described as not being very good at your job? C’mon Frank, as I said before, I think you’re better than this.

    1. Donald,

      Not to play the devil’s advocate. Frank is right to ask what Reverend Stallworth did to earn a fat paycheck from the Ganim administration. I’d like to know what his legislative accomplishments are. Has he proposed any legislation or is he a back bencher fielding for others? Valid questions.


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