Former Mayor Joe Ganim will report roughly $223,000 raised in his first quarter as a candidate seeking a comeback against a mightily financed incumbent Bill Finch. Most of Ganim’s campaign cash was raised in the last two months.
A near quarter of a million is an impressive haul for a pol trying to return to office following conviction on federal corruption charges in 2003. Ganim, as mayor, never raised that much money in one quarter. In actuality, he never had to raise beyond what was necessary to achieve nearly or at 80 percent of the vote against the Republican challenger in four November reelection campaigns in the 1990s. Ganim never had a primary as an incumbent.
But this is a different time and different era as Ganim tries to persuade voters to fire Finch and return him to office, a case all opponents must make against an incumbent. Finch, who’s been raising money for a few years, has amassed $515,000. This expected September Democratic primary will break records for spending.
Ganim did not officially enter the race for the city’s top position until early May after raising more than $50,000 in one night in an exploratory phase for mayor in April.
It further means Ganim, with more than two months to go to the primary, if he qualifies for the ballot will likely spend $300,000 in a compressed period of time. The fundraising strength also provides him a talking point for the few uncommitted Democratic Town Committee members he’s trying to persuade to his side for the July 21 party endorsement.
Finch, as the incumbent, should have an edge going into the endorsement session.
Candidates for mayor will file this week financial reports for the quarter ending June 30. Finch’s 2011 primary opponent Mary-Jane Foster, school board member Howard Gardner and multiple mayoral candidate Charlie Coviello are also candidates.
Ganim’s candidate committee fundraising by the numbers, according to the campaign:
– 629 total donors
– Received Small Business Advertising Book Proceeds from 60 donors (45 within Bridgeport)
– Two-thirds of donations (420 donors) were grassroots contributions of $100 or less
– Over half of all contributions were from Bridgeport residents
– 44% of contributions were from surrounding towns within 10 miles of Bridgeport
“I am humbled and grateful for the confidence residents and small business owners of Bridgeport have in me with their show of contributions and support since I announced my run for Mayor in late April. We can feel the momentum, and I am confident we will have the resources and support we need to come out on top in the September 16th Democratic Primary.
“This election is about the future of Bridgeport, and who is best equipped to tackle the major challenges we face. I speak with the people of Bridgeport each and every day, and the overwhelming sentiment is that the city is in neutral or worse. I look forward to having more conversations with voters about how we can improve quality of life and, as Mayor, how I can build consensus among our city’s leaders to get Bridgeport moving again. It’s time we build a Bridgeport that works for everyone.”
The Finch campaign for certain will remind voters this race is also very much about the past. Finch will conduct a campaign rally Wednesday night at Captain’s Cove Seaport.
Statement from Finch Campaign Manager Maryli Secrest:
“This isn’t surprising: Joe Ganim never had trouble raising campaign cash–legally or illegally.
“But Joe Ganim does have a problem with greed, corruption, mismanagement, criminal activity, and seeking illegal campaign contributions–all at the expense of hardworking Bridgeporters.
“We remain confident that on Election Day, voters will draw the same conclusion that the jurors did: Joe Ganim is a criminal who doesn’t belong in the Bridgeport mayor’s office.”
Very impressive! I saw a few Bridgeporters at the Ganim fundraiser. Most were out-of-town guests. Truth be told, it really doesn’t matter where the money comes from as long as you get your message out. Lennie, is there a reason why you only highlight Ganim and Finch? Do you see the other candidates packing it in?
WOW! Great news, Joe!
I think the Ganim camp owes Mary-Jane Foster gratitude for thinking he was a force not to be reckoned with. $200,000 is a very impressive take. And I thought this was going to be a sleeper. Actually, I still do.
I look forward to Mayor Finch’s Wednesday announcement.
I guess at this very hour Mary-Jane Foster is firing up her team.
Good luck to everybody.
Ganim did in eight weeks what took Finch years to do.
Yes, now if only those contributors actually could cast a vote in the city. It would be fantastic!
Steve, over half those contributing are from Bridgeport. Your comment would be better attributed to your candidate except he would never get 45 of 60 ads from Bridgeport’s small businesses.
Hector, you could be correct. I don’t think so. I think the business community sees a brighter future with Mayor Finch. I could be wrong. I do not think so. One thing is for sure. Joseph is definitely in the game. I imagine it is like Joe is climbing this huge mountain, every day he gets what he and his camp imagines is great news. The police endorsement, a take of $223,000 and just when he least expects it, Mary-Jane Foster wakes up from her slumber to realize Joe took all the money and all the anti-Finch votes. Her campaign get restless and disgusted. She realize if she does not even make a showing, it is over for her. You hear the music faintly in the background and it is getting louder. It is the theme from Rocky. She starts running up Ganim’s mountain. She starts going faster and faster and just when Joe thinks he has duped the entire city, Mary-Jane Foster tackles Joe and kicks his ass down the other side of the mountain.
Oh, who am I kidding. Finch will have to do it. It may get very ugly but the voters will understand why he deserves another four years and he will put on the same sincere performance and win the academy award, I mean another four years. Let Joe enjoy the moment.
I can see the lines forming like a giant “Conga Dance” rolling out of city hall.
Leading the way with Hamilton Burger, McCarthy, Wood, Nunn, Sherwood, Gaudett, Himes, Paoletto, Brannelly, Stafstrom, Both, Blumemthal. Mulligan, Timpanelli, Fabrizi, Ayala, Bucci, Broesder, Secrest and the Finchettes on OIB Now! 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3
Jim, you forgot Bridgeport Economic Development BS-artist, STAMFORD CITY COUNCILMAN David Kooris [as well as Connecticut Economy Slayer and Snake-oil Salesman in Chief, Dan (P.T.) Malloy, for whom the Bridgeport vote-spigot will be shut off come November 10, 2015.]
Thanks Jeff, I’ll get them next time!
No doubt about it. Joe will be the next mayor.
Would you want your 12-step sponsor to be drunk? Would you want a pedophile teaching school? Then why would you want a convicted felon of public corruption running your city again?
The word fool keeps running through my brain as I read this post, a fool and their money are soon parted, and fool me once shame on you, fool me twice–shame on me. Evidently there is a price tag on nostalgia.
Bob, right on!
At what point does Finch’s idiot of a campaign manager stop name-calling and tout Finch’s accomplishments? Oh that’s right, he has none. He keeps riding on what Ganim started. I’ll give you a couple of Finch accomplishments. He gave Tiago a six-figure job as way to pay off the office’s bar tab. He also has allowed the PD to shrink to dangerous staffing levels and crime is now rampant.