Ganim Comes Up Short For Primary Ballot Spot, But Petition Drive Continues To Challenge Lamont

Mayor Joe Ganim’s appeal to delegates at the Democratic party convention on Saturday came up short of the 15 percent threshold necessary to place his name on the August primary ballot to challenge party-endorsed Ned Lamont for governor. This means Ganim’s petitioning effort to make the ballot continues. Ganim needs more than 15,000 verified signatures from Connecticut Democrats for a ballot line, a process Ganim says will continue in earnest. He says the campaign has already amassed more than 10,000 signatures. The submission deadline is June 12.

In the initial round of votes at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford Ganim had 247 votes, backed by Bridgeport’s 90-strong delegation, representing 13.12 percent. After vote switches the final tally was Ganim 244, about 13 percent to Lamont’s 87 percent.

Ganim convention
Ganim chats with media after convention vote for governor.

“Bridgeport, I’ll be on your side every day,” Lamont announced in accepting the party nod. “When we’re united we win and Connecticut wins.” Susan Bysiewicz was endorsed for lieutenant governor with 59 percent delegate support while late-entry insurgent union activist Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman received about 40 percent, plenty to forge a primary. Her support base came from activists who wanted a Latino or African American on the ticket.

State Rep. Charlie Stallworth pitched delegates as a candidate for lieutenant governor, but came up well short of the support necessary to make the ballot with just a one percent tally. Stallworth must now wage  a difficult signature campaign to make the  August primary ballot running with Guy Smith who bypassed the convention for a petition drive.

Health Director Maritza Bond delivered passionate nominating speech for Ganim. Frank Gerratana photo.
Health Director Maritza Bond delivered passionate nominating speech for Ganim. Frank Gerratana photo.

Ganim, in a rare move for a candidate but one that provided a platform, seconded his own nomination in an appeal to delegates in the Connecticut Convention Center. Bridgeport Health Director Maritza Bond placed Ganim’s name into nomination issuing a passionate testimonial on behalf of her boss.

Ganim pressed a lot of delegate flesh in the convention hall with direct appeals to various town delegations.

Bridgeport delegation at convention.
Bridgeport delegation at convention. Frank Gerratana photo.

Ganim has launched a petition drive as Plan B with operatives fanned out across high-density housing areas in Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury, New Britain and West Haven. He needs more than 15,000 verified signatures from Democratic voters. The petitions will be submitted to the respective local registrar offices for verification before forwarded to the Office of the Connecticut Secretary of State for certification.

If Ganim qualifies for a primary the next paramount question centers on money. Lamont, a wealthy Greenwich entrepreneur who exploded onto the state political scene in 2006 defeating U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman in a primary, but then losing the general election to Lieberman, is self-funding with the ability to spend millions. Ganim is raising money the old-fashioned way, relying on large-dollar donations because his 2003 felony conviction precludes him from participation in Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly financed campaigns that ponies up $1.2 million for qualifying primary candidates.

Ganim punctuates his seconding nomination.
Ganim punctuates his seconding nomination.

State party leaders, in an attempt to speed up the endorsement process for the six constitutional offices, had town chairs of each Connecticut community enter the results of  the respective delegation support into a computerized data base rather than the traditional roll call by each town vocally announcing the returns. This was the first time such a system was implemented. The cumulative tally was shown on two large convention screens.

Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa at convention. Frank Gerratana photo.
Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa at convention. Frank Gerratana photo.

Convention organizers had several initial tabulation glitches to contend with in the format that required tally adjustments among roughly 2,000 delegates statewide.

For attorney general Stamford State Rep. William Tong won the endorsement. Bridgeport Attorney Chris Mattei and State Senator Paul Doyle qualified to primary.

Shawn Wooden, former president of the Hartford City Council, was endorsed for state treasurer. He faces a primary from Hartford lawyer Arunan Arulampalam and former Wall Street trader Dita Bhargava of Greenwich.

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and Comptroller Kevin Lembo were endorsed for another four-year term respectively.

Bysiewicz, Lamont
Lamont-Bysiewicz ticket. Image courtesy New Haven Independent.

Lamont statement:

The Democratic State Convention ended in a decisive victory for Ned Lamont, who earned the nomination for Governor with support from 87 percent of delegates attending. Susan Bysiewicz earned the party nomination for Lieutenant Governor, receiving 59 percent of delegates.

“I believe in Connecticut. It is that simple,” said Lamont. “The challenges we face are real, but if we all work together to build a movement one person at a time, I believe that our best days are ahead of us.”

The Connecticut Democratic Party emerged united as Lamont earned overwhelming support and the party’s nomination for Governor. Lamont said he is committed to hearing from residents firsthand about how to put Connecticut on a sustainable path, starting with an honestly balanced budget.

“Today the Democratic Party came together and supported a unified vision for our state. I am honored to have earned the party’s endorsement for Governor and I am excited for the work ahead. We are going to knock on every door, visit every small town and big city and ask people to believe again,” Lamont said. “We have a great group of Democrats. We have traveled the state and heard from community leaders about what their priorities are to move the state forward. What we’ve learned on the campaign trail and what this convention has shown is that as Democrats, we are united.”

From working to ensure women earn equal pay for equal work, to giving the students the right to dream and respecting immigrants’ rights, Norwalk City Councilor Eloisa Melendez in her nominating speech said Lamont will make the bold changes needed to move Connecticut forward.

“Ned believes in my future, he believes in our future,” said Melendez. “Ned will work to make college more affordable and fight for our ‘Dreamers.’ Ned will work to close the wage gap because Latina women in Connecticut only make 47-cents to the white man’s dollar. Ned will celebrate and respect immigrants, like my mother, so that they know they are welcome in Connecticut.

“I believe in Ned Lamont, because he believes in all of us. That’s why I’m proud to have nominated Ned Lamont as the next Governor of Connecticut,” said Melendez.

“Our party has always been one of opportunity. Together we are unbeatable,” said Sean Connolly. “With Ned Lamont at the top of the ticket, I know no one will be left behind.”

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said Connecticut needs a Governor who is committed to lifting up all students, investing in our transportation infrastructure and fully supporting the state’s cities so they can be the economic engines Connecticut needs to thrive.

“We need a Governor that we can depend on to fully fund our public schools. We need a Governor who will invest in our infrastructure. We need a Governor who will help us build our economy, so we can go forward. There is so much at stake in this election. The Republicans are coming for us. We need a strong ticket and a strong leader to face the rocky times ahead. I’m proud to be on Ned’s team,” said Harp.

“I know Ned Lamont, and I know his heart,” said Harp. “Ned is asking us to believe in Connecticut. Not because it’ll be easy, but because when we work together, when we unite, there is no one who can stop us.”

Susan Bysiewicz showed considerable support despite only entering the race for Lieutenant Governor less than a week before the convention. Lamont and Bysiewicz announced that they would be teaming up on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

“I’m so honored to have earned the endorsement of the Democratic Party for Lieutenant Governor. We all learned a lesson in 2016, the Democrats didn’t come together, and we are paying dearly for that now. Tonight, we saw Democrats from all across Connecticut speak with one voice. They are ready for the campaign ahead, they are ready to stand up for Connecticut values, and they are ready for change. Ned and I are going to work hard in the coming months to make sure that happens,” Bysiewicz said. “I look forward to engaging with voters on the important issues during the primary.”



  1. Meanwhile back on the farm it’s another cold and rainy weekend which will negatively impact Ganim’s petition drive.

    The vast majority of Ganim’s political operatives are delegates at today’s convention. Who is running his petition drive and what operatives are left on the ground going door-to-door?

    I never realized how much I could enjoy cold and rainy weather in the month of MAY. 🙂

  2. Bad move by Ganim, I said two days ago that Ganim should have said that for party unity that he going to support Ned Lamont in his efforts to improve funding for education and for urban cities but no Ganim is now making Bridgeport like spoiled brats.

  3. He will get the remaining signatures, how many are valid will be in dispute. If he focuses on the fact that Lamont and Byzabitch are against Bridgeport for the casino and are for electronic tolls, he could ruin their chances in Nov. GO JOE

  4. Wow, above it states, “Ganim, in an unusual move for a candidate, seconded his own nomination in an appeal to delegates in the Connecticut Convention Center. Bridgeport Health Director Maritza Bond placed Ganim’s name into nomination,” now that’s really sad, Ganim couldn’t get someone from another city or someone from Bridgeport to seconded his nomination and he had to seconded his own nomination. Where’s Mario Testa the king maker, you mean he couldn’t negotiate his 90 delegates to get someone to seconded nomination or change the final tally of Ganim 244, just under 13 percent to Lamont’s 87 percent.

    Joe Ganim couldn’t get one prominent black person to speak out in support of his run for governor, in fact he couldn’t one prominent Hispanic person to endorse him, that tells a lot.

    1. Ron Mackey,

      First, Joe Ganim seconded his own nomination intentionally simply because he wanted to talk to the convention. His speech was impressive. Maritzah Bond, who gave the nominating speech was also very impressive. The end result was not a surprise and the petition drive continues. Getting signatures has not been an issue and I am certain Ganim will deliver well over the necessary requirement.

      The only negative I will say is that whoever was responsible for signage or any marketing material failed and failed miserably. Otherwise, the Bridgeport delegation was very present and very engaged.
      Joe Ganim gracefully thanked all of the people that showed support . Delegates and spectators alike. After Ganims speech, so many people from other towns wanted sheets for the petitions but alas, who thought to bring 100 sheets. The good news is names and addresses were exchanged and we continue with plan B. Overall for all who attended we had a blast. I admire Ganim’s tenacity. I respect Ned Lamont calling out Bridgeport. I still maintain that the urban agenda will be the engine that runs the state. Joe Ganim for that reason alone is the only candidate. A wonderful Greenwich millionaire is not really in touch with urban centers and that is Ganim’s strength. Eva Mendez Zimmerman will appear on the same line with Ganim. They will ultimately make a great team. Politics always makes strange bedfellows. It was a great day!

      1. Steve, keep drinking the Kool Aid, Mario Testa couldn’t deliver anything for Ganim, plus you had to have a hint that Lamont was going to be the run away candidate on Friday. Ganim was supposed get a strong showing of black delegates but that didn’t happen so where is Ganim’s base coming from Steve? There isn’t one prominent black and Hispanic person who is speaking out supporting Joe Ganim. Joe is making things worse for Bridgeport by hanging around in this race. Steve you saw for yourself that Bridgeport didn’t have any clout.

        1. Ron Mackey, I take it that you don’t view Representative rosario and Santiago as prominent Hispanics persons. As for Bridgeport not having any “clout”, you can thank Senator Marilyn Moore. Ned Lamont offered her the Lt. Governor spot and she stupidly passed on it. Had Joe Ganim not entered the race, these events and opportunities would have never matured. Read my post below. Lets say that Lamon wins the primary and the general election but, both State Senate seats are snatched by Ganim/Testa backed candidates. Asumming that the State Senate control ends up with a split of 18 Republicans and 18 Democrats, Mario will have some influence. Imagine if Moore was the tie breaker as Lt. governor. That’s what I’d call “clout”. If Bermudez wins and Mario gets his two State Senators in while maintaining a majority or tie in the Senate make-up, Mario and Joe could still claim victory. Folks, keep you eyes on the bigger picture. I’m not sure if Joe and Ned are doing it or are simply not sharing it with us.

          1. Local Eyes understands the big picture.
            Just because someone’s Hispanic doesn’t mean they’re prominent, too. If you want to be prominent in Bridgeport politics, grab something like this: I’ll become prominent soon. The best way to become mayor of Bridgeport is to outperform the current one.

          2. Joel, I agree with your post below. The State Senate is already had a tie 18 to 18 so the Democrats need to protect that by Senate Moore keeping that seat. There is no way in hell that Mario and Joe can beat Lamont, they need to talk to Lamont and try to get some kind of agreement with him about Bridgeport’s concerns. One thing that this convention is doing that the Republicans never do is to deal with diversity, just look at how many candidates of color are seeking elected state wife positions. Republicans have no desire to court people of color.

  5. Enjoying dinner at Juniors in Times Square. Nice to be viewing the convention from afar. I’m looking forward to calling my old peeps in Bport if Ganim qualifies and ask the voters just what the hell is he doing. Been mayor for a couple of years and will do anything to get out of the job.

    1. You can best assist Lamont by changing the “Welcome to Connecticut” sign on the New York border to ‘Welcome to ConNedticut’ on your way back to Branford.

    2. Bob Walsh will they be the same peeps that came out in droves for Bob Keeley? Speaking about Bob Keeley has he gone mute after the election or is he still checking out colleges for his son?

      Ned Lamont, Do you support a Casino in Bridgeport??????? I noticed when he told Bridgeport he would be working for us everyday he didn’t mention he would support a Casino. We know that Mayor Ganim does. That will resonate- even with Jim Fox I am sure- I could be wrong.

      1. Hey Auerbach, why do you always go back to past events to attack others who don’t wear the same prescription rose colored glasses as you?

        A convicted felon/disbarred attorney does not possess the integrity or moral character to hold public office. When the only person advocating for him is a prissy old gas bag like you we all have to wonder if Ganim’s credibility can sink any lower.

  6. Enough with the 7 regular pundits. I do like Joel though. The other obese slobs should take a break.

    What’s the take away Lennie? What’s next? Are there people reaching out between campaigns? Or is it just collecting signatures.

    1. I think it’s time for Lennie to move on to the other races. No, i’m not talking about the race card. Soon, the DTC will be endorsing candidates for State Senator and State Rep. Considering the fact that Joe Ganim has dropped a turd In the Kool-Aid bowl (sorry Lennie no Punch) at the convention, Mario Testa must make sure that he gets both State Senate candidates of his choice elected. At this point, I don’t see Joe Ganim winning the primary but, he should do well in Bridgeport and his coat tail could be instrumental in pushing the State Senate candidates over the top. I’m predicting the biggest number of Absentee Ballots in history in the coming Bridgeport primary.

      Senator Ed Gomes had endorsed Harris for Gov. who ended up dropping out and endorsing Lamont. Which means that Ed Gomes is with Lamont like his cousin Senator Moore. Sure Ed Gomes is not running but, he endorsed his nephew as his replacement. Keeping it in the family.

      So Lennie, what have you been hearing as far as the other races go. I think the the Democratic primary shaping up needs or should I say Neds some flavor to spice it up. Perhaps Ned Lamont should run a few more candidates against those elected officials who didn’t support him at the convention. One reasons why they didn’t support Lamont is because they fear that the DTC would not endorse them if they didn’t throw their support behind Ganim.

  7. Joel, what is your obsession with Senators Moore and Gomes? Does it bother you that unlike most of Bridgeport’s Puerto Rican legislators they are independent thinkers who refuse to tow the Bridgeport party line? Mayor Ganim is the punch line of a bad joke whose lost his flavor among the Black electorate and now looks to Bridgeport’s Puerto Rican population for mass support and adulation. My hope is that he somehow gets those 15,000 signatures so that he can run and lose badly so that he’s prepared for the ass whipping he’s going to get when he runs for mayor again.

    1. Don, I can name two Hispanics right away who don’t tow the the Bridgeport party line and are independent thinkers, former State Senator Andres Ayala and retire Judge Carmen Lopez. Although Ayala was a elected Democrat he was opened minded in dealing with issues. As for Judge Carmen Lopez we all owe her a thanks for challenging the system.

        1. Don, thanks for pointing out my mistake, you are definitely right. Joe Ganim was going around acting like he was the best thing for blacks, what a joke and now we all know.

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