Ganim Endorsed For Another Term, Moore Campaign Taking It To Streets To Wage Primary

Ganim with 136th District Leader Wanda Geter Pataky

Mayor Joe Ganim by a 74-11 vote was endorsed Tuesday night at Testo’s Restaurant by the Democratic Town Committee over State Senator Marilyn Moore setting the stage for a likely September 10 primary. Moore’s campaign operation Wednesday morning will fan out across the city during a two-week window to secure signatures from five percent of registered Democrats in Bridgeport to qualify for a primary.

Ganim was placed into nomination by State Rep. Chris Rosario, an emerging leader in city politics, whom Ganim fired from his city job after winning the 2015 mayoralty over Rosario’s former boss Bill Finch.

Rosario credited his late friend State Rep. Ezequiel Santiago for bringing the two together to build a relationship. “He said give Joe a chance … I know the challenges (Ganim) faces … It’s been an honor to work with you and your staff. Let’s go … four more years of Joe.”

Ganim, with City Councilman Alfredo Castillo, Wanda Geter Pataky, State Rep. Chris Rosario and endorsed candidate for City Council Evette Brantley.

Ganim’s nomination was seconded by District Leaders Steve Nelson and Wanda Geter Pataky and former City Councilwoman Evette Brantley who was endorsed to return to her old seat in the West Side 132nd District.

The irrepressible Geter Pataky, a city employee who has a way of arousing a crowd, declared “Four years ago I worked hard for Bill Finch. Since then I have bonded with Joseph Peter Ganim. Joe Ganim has a genuine love for the people of Bridgeport … Four more years!”

Taking the microphone after his endorsement Ganim told cheering supporters “Are you with me for four more years? We will work every day to make the city the best we can be.”

Former City Councilwoman Donna Curran, a town committee member, with Marilyn Moore.

Moore’s name was placed into nomination by Donna Curran, a town committee member from Black Rock.

“While this body is comprised of 90 members, its majority does not necessarily reflect the tens of thousands of registered Bridgeport voters and that’s why Senator Moore is here. This space is hers too. Our city government has been a closed, stifling room with stale air for decades … let us throw up the shades and open the windows wide.”

Joy Cline, a town committee member from Black Rock, seconded Moore’s nomination.

“Her 17 years of fighting breast cancer as president and CEO of the non-profit organization the Witness Project has saved thousands of lives providing women with preventative and curative breast health care and related resources. I have a particular appreciation for this critical work given my own diagnosis of breast cancer two years ago. While I was going through my own treatment Marilyn graciously took the time to check on me and encouraged me with my own battle with this disease.”

East Side City Councilman Ernie Newton, a town committee member, abstained from voting. He stood up and asserted “No one asked me for my support.” Newton and his council partner Eneida Martinez were endorsed by the East End district for another two years.

Following the convention, Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa is interviewed by NPR’s Ebong Udoma

Town Clerk Charles “Don” Clemons and City Clerk Lydia Martinez were endorsed for another term, as were Dennis Scinto, Steve Nelson and Mitch Robles for city sheriff slots.

The Town Committee also endorsed incumbent Sybil Allen, school parent Albert Benejan and political newcomer Bobbi Brown for Board of Education. In the confusion of the evening, under the drone of roughly 150 people in Testo’s halved ballroom, a fourth name was placed into nomination, Deborah Bennett, in violation of the City Charter and state law. The party cannot endorse more candidates for which an elector may vote, in this case three. So party officials must sort that out. Update: Bennett’s name has been rescinded as an endorsed candidate.

Endorsed for City Council:

130, Matt McCarthy, Scott Burns

131, Denese Taylor-Moye, Jorge Cruz

132, Marcus Brown, Evette Brantley

133, Jeanette Herron, Michael DeFilippo

134, Michele Lyons, AmyMarie Vizzo Paniccia

135, Mary McBride Lee, Rosalina Roman-Christy

136, Alfredo Castillo, Maria Zambrano Viggiano

137, Aidee Nieves, Maria Valle

138, Nessah Smith, Karen Jackson

139, Ernie Newton, Eneida Maretinez

Tuesday’s endorsement while noisy at times was tame compared to the raucous party gathering four years ago when the town committee was split between Finch and Ganim who was seeking a return to the mayoralty following his 2003 conviction on federal corruption charges. Finch edged out the endorsement. The next day Ganim’s team hit the streets to secure signatures to qualify for a primary that Ganim won in historic fashion on his way to a general election victory.

Nothing really compares to the 1989 endorsement when a fight broke out between Mario Testa and Michael Rizzitelli. Check out video from 30 years ago.

While Democrats endorsed Ganim Tuesday night at Testo’s Restaurant, over at the Elks Lodge on Old Town Road Republicans tapped for mayor John Rodriguez, the GOP candidate for State Senate last year in the 23rd District. Will Republican announced candidates Ethan Book and Dishon Francis wage primaries?

Book wrote on his Facebook page:

A BUMP IN THE ROAD IN MY CAMPAIGN FOR MAYOR

At tonight’s meeting of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee, another Candidate was endorsed as the party candidate for Mayor.

Not surprising was that there were anomalies in the process. I arrived early at the Elks Club (on Old Town Road) along with a supporter Dionne Taylor to greet members as they entered the Club. While we know that Chairman Mike Garrett has had the practice that only Committee members be able to attend meetings, or those especially invited, I was told that I would be able to enter the meeting when Garrett gave me the okay. I waited and waited. After 40 minutes, I hadn’t received any okay to enter. So I just went into the meeting area. They were doing nominations for City Council. At that point, they had already nominated and voted to endorse John Rodriguez as the Republican candidate for Mayor. It’s pretty hard for me to expect votes when I’m not even allowed to be present when the nominations and voting take place.

The question therefore remains of whether I should seek signatures for a primary election. I would need to collect 250 eligible signatures in about two weeks (or 300 signatures to include a margin for ineligible signers).

This also raises the question of the political implications of a possible three-way Republican primary (i.e., John Rodriguez, myself and the candidate of the alternate Valentino Republican Committee).

For all of this, I keep in mind that I am an anti-establishment Republican who is loyal to Republican values.

“Fighting for the heart and future of our great City.”

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21 comments

    1. Hey Ron, did you miss this part?

      “While Democrats endorsed Ganim Tuesday night at Testo’s Restaurant, over at the Elks Lodge on Old Town Road Republicans tapped for mayor John Rodriguez, the GOP candidate for State Senate last year in the 23rd District. “

  1. Good going Ernie,you don’t owe Joe or Marilyn anything,Marilyn is making a mistake not asking for your help imo.Joe will eventually ask you because he has too,he needs the black&latino votes,but don’t fall for it,he’s using you.

    1. Harvey, C’mon Man, who else is Ernie and the 139th district leader Ralph Ford going to endorse other than what they have always done on the past? They will support Joe Ganim.

  2. Ron – is the Republican candidate not Hispanic? Thanks for bringing this up. I’m a big fan of identity politics. Almost like a sport to me. Sort of like analyzing a baseball lineup.

    1. Phil Blagys, , thank you, I did leave one word out from my comment, the word Democrat. I must say that I find it very strange that there is NO Hispanic DEMOCRAT candidate running for mayor, to be more specific not one Puerto Rican. I find this troubling to think that there’s is not one Hispanic who is a Democrat running for mayor, am I to believe that Joe Ganim has been that good of a mayor that Hispanic see no need to challenge Mayor Ganim.

      Phil, let’s look at some voting demographics and some past history about Bridgeport. From Bridgeport CT’s first mayor, Isaac Sherman, Jr. 1836 to Joe Ganim 2019 Bridgeport has had 25 mayors all were white men with one white female mayor. Blacks and Hispanics have been voting for white mayors in Bridgeport with no problems. As of the 2010 census, there were 144,229 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city residents was 39.6% White; 34.6% Black or African American; 3.4% Asian; and 4.3% from two or more races. A total of 38.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Again, of the 2010 census 39.6% White thereby making Bridgeport a majority of people of color but the power structure of Bridgeport is NOT 60% people of color. Blacks and Hispanics are still just getting the crumbs from the pie while there is a whole pie out there for them.

      1. What’s the strange part? You act like Blacks and Hispanics can’t vote for a Hispanic minority Republican over a “white” Democrat. If it’s just about the Port electing a Hispanic minority. It seems like the Rs and Ds are more divided than race. If that’s the issue why did you vote for Mary Jane Foster over a minority Republican, Torres, or for that matter, a black Tony Barr or Danial Democrat? Since you voted for a white person in the last election over several blacks and Latino. You know the answer to that question. So is it really all that strange. JS

      2. Ron- crazy thought, but move all those demographic groups over to the Republican Party and they’ll own this town. May cause a problem at the state and federal level, but as the great Democrat Tip O’Neill famously said , “all politics is local”. I say give it a shot. And I’m really not sure if a good argument can be made that these groups have been well served by the Democratic Party anyway. Actually, I am sure that it can’t.

        1. Phil, a real serious though, Republicans join the Democratic Town Committee, you have a much greater chance of gaining power than trying to elect a Republican in Bridgeport to any city wide position.

          1. All politics may be local but the national Republican Party(Trump,the spineless Congressional Republicans and worse yet the State Level{entire country}Republicans) have created a “Republican Party” brand that is anathema to anyone who may have called themselves a Democrat. The Bridgeport Republican Party is a mess as well as one reads the latest news here concerning Mike Garrett,BRTC chairman. The logistics of educating Black/Hispanic Bridgeporters to register as Republicans AND take over the BPT Republican Party/BRTC would take years and with no certainty of success. For the next couple of years,if any Bridgeporter wants to change the quality of governance in Bridgeport it would have to be through the BPT Democratic Party/BDTC,WFP,Libertarian or Independent.

  3. The leadership of the DTC is so dumb.

    Mario Testa appeared unsteady and a bit senile as he announced all the municipal candidates must file their candidate forms with Secretary of State instead of the Town Clerk. It was so bad.

    The meeting was unorganized and chaotic and it is clear Mario Testa knows nothing about Robert’s Rules of Order.

    Although the DTC planned for the BOE nominations, Lydia Martinez sat in front of me with a little piece of paper with the words ” BOE CANDIDATES.” Four names were on it.

    These 90 idiots nominated four Democrats for BOE when state statute, the City Charter and the Party Rules make it clear that no party can nominate more than THREE candidates for BOE.

    The 138th District Leader Martha Santiago appears to be demonstrating senility as she could not remember Nessah Smith’s last name, and turned to ask her what it was, and could not recall Karen Jackson’s last name. She got up to nominate them and couldn’t even recollect their names.

    Karen Jackson served as a proxy in the 13ith District and voted to endorse Joe Ganim and herself.

    Hernan Illingworth and Jessica Martinez voted to endorse Joe Ganim for another term. The Mayor that submitted four consecutive budgets without one dollar for our 20,400 students. Albert Benejan sat next to Jessica Martinrz as a proxy on the 137th Town Committee. The guy who cannot spell, punctuate, capitalize, write a proper or comprehensive sentence and utilizes atrocious grammar, was endorsed for the BOE. In his capacity as a proxy in the 137th District he voted to endorse Ganim.

    What school board member that truly cares about our 20,400 students would vote to endorse Ganim knowing full well he has severely underfunded our 20,400 students education, 88% of which are minorities, and causing us to make over $51,000,000 in devastating budget cuts?

    Those would be school board members that are bought and paid for.

    1. If OIB readers recall, MJF circulated petitions with 4 BOE candidates. Santa Ayala rejected all her petitions due to the error and refused to place MJF and her entire slate on the ballot.

      MJF had to sue in court and Judge Bellis granted her ballot access on the condition that no BOE members could run because the illegal takeover was already being dealt with in court.

      How could the leadership of the DTC make such a blatant error just 8 years later? I know how. They lack intelligence and flagrantly flaunt the law.

  4. Joseph Lombard, AKA Joseph Lombardi, who was appointed by the Board as unaffiliated to fill the vacancy created by Dennis Bradley’s departure, and was required to be registered with any party other than a Democrat, was endorsed by the Republican Party.

    Another individual bought and paid for.

    Any Bridgeport resident who reads OIB should know by now that ANY endorsed Democrat or Republican BOE candidate will be bad for children and completely in the pocket of the corrupt DTC.

    VOTE FOR BRIDGEPORT BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES NOT ENDORSED BY THE DTC OR RTC.

    The Republican Party in Bridgeport is not an opposition party. It is subservient to the corrupt DTC.

      1. I winder what is the status of Matt McCarthy as a hearing officer for traffic violations. Was rehired or is the CC nomination a form of “political compensation.”

  5. LOL @Steve firing people..,In other news, I noticed the small farm stand is back in front of 90 acres park selling corn,I expect Joe to go there for a photo op soon.

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