Ganim Makes Pitch For Forgiveness And Redemption, ‘A Bridgeport That Works For Everyone,’ West Side Resident

UPDATE: Does Joe Ganim possess redeemable qualities? That’s his pitch in a commentary first published in the CT Post. Last week Ganim also entered the confessional of radio hosts Chaz & AJ where the former mayor admitted the jury got it right convicting him on corruption charges in 2003. Ganim invites your thoughts about a comeback at In the last week, Ganim has moved from Easton into a condo on the West Side at 80 Cartright Street, according to multiple sources, another step toward a run for his old job. He also has registered as a Democrat with that voting address. Ganim commentary follows.

People are inextricably tied to certain places. I’m tied to Bridgeport. I’m tied to Bridgeport because of our history together–because I have always loved this city and believed in Bridgeport’s great potential.

Cartright Street
According to multiple sources, Ganim is renting a condo on Cartright Street on the West Side.

As mayor, my rise and fall played out in the most dramatic fashion on the pages of this paper and elsewhere.

Now, perhaps, it includes a second chance.

After much thought and discussion with residents throughout Bridgeport, I am seriously considering running for mayor.

I know this will generate all sorts of reaction–from positive to negative–but I would like to share with you my reasons for seeking an opportunity to once again serve our great city.

I am part of a family that started in this city over 100 years ago, selling fruit from an outdoor market in the city’s North End. I grew up in Bridgeport as one of eight children. My parents’ sacrifices enabled me to get a good education and pursue a career in law.

But I aspired to public service because I believed we could build a better Bridgeport that would improve the lives of the citizens of this great city. When I ran for mayor in 1991, Bridgeport was on its heels–having been one of the first cities in the nation to declare bankruptcy. Businesses were leaving and taking with them hundreds of jobs. Neighborhoods were littered by burnt buildings, crime was out of control and children suffered from attending underperforming schools.

But like you, I believed in Bridgeport and knew our city had tenacity and heart.

When I was elected mayor, my promise was hard work and a vision for a better future. I listened to people’s worries and worked to make a difference.

We engineered financial stability and better credit ratings.

Taxes were held constant over a decade.

Our community policing teams helped crime levels fall dramatically.

We replaced hundreds of empty buildings with trees, flowers and neighborhood parks with a beautification program. Our city’s recovery was called one of the greatest urban success stories of any city in the country.

My administration built Harbor Yard Park, and with help brought the Bluefish to Bridgeport.

We built the arena and brought Sound Tigers hockey and the Barnum and Bailey Circus back.

We created downtown’s intermodal train and bus terminal.

Our land use plans built Housatonic Community College as a centerpiece for downtown with State Police Barracks nearby.

The plans for hundreds of millions in school rebuilding projects were launched. It was under my administration that the city actually secured the existing developer and began the now-progressing Steel Point project.

Our list of redevelopment, job creation and fiscal successes was extensive.

Then something happened that changed everything. I made serious errors of judgment that broke the law. I breached the trust so many had placed in me. And for that–and what it did to our city–I am truly sorry. Those things I cannot undo or I would.

I can only ask you accept me with that as a part of my past, knowing that I have learned from it and write this as a stronger but humbler person who wants the opportunity to make things right.

With this opportunity and by working together, I believe we can build a better and stronger Bridgeport for everyone.

In order for this to happen, our city must have leadership with vision–leadership to create jobs and economic development in every neighborhood; leadership to reduce crime; leadership to improve our schools so every child can receive a world-class education; leadership to reduce the tax burden; and leadership that supports political and campaign finance reform. My strength stands with my years of experience in getting things done.

The ups and downs of my life have now taught me that hard work–with compassion and humility–make a difference.

I am far from perfect. But I am an optimist, a doer and a leader with a vision for a better Bridgeport who cares deeply about this city.

But today, you are the actual decision makers. I value your opinions and advice on our city’s future.

Please take a few minutes to write to my email below.

After reviewing your input and opinions of others around the city, I will decide whether to run in April.

Forgiveness and redemption are personal choices.

I want to contribute by working with you with transparency and integrity to build a Bridgeport that works for everyone.

Thank you for reading this and I hope together, we can build a stronger and more inclusive Bridgeport that works for every neighborhood and every citizen.



  1. How appropriate. Two corrupt politicians and a lawyer. If the people in this city re-elect Ganim, they will deserve every blast that comes their way. Go down State Street and find anybody who hasn’t been to jail and they are just as capable to be Mayor!

  2. Wonder if Toby Keith can change his song to “I love this blog.”
    Some of the same people calling Ganim a crook are wishing Newton well and vice versa.
    Newton had his second chance and it was “only” $500? C’mon. Ed Gomes who prides himself on being upstanding.
    Someone needs to lower taxes and fix the sinkholes in my street, make schools better for our children, and not rip off the city coffers and I’ll vote for you.
    I’m not asking for too much, am I?

  3. Joe, how do you propose getting Bridgeport to be a City that works for everyone? Everyone is not at the table at this time and has not been for sometime, for instance. That is a type of vision or mission statement. But what are some of the things you would incorporate into your first 100 days or two years, because Charter review and changes do take time, and who will be invited to participate?

    Everybody wants lower taxes which means they do not see the value of City services for the taxes they are paying as a minimum. But many want jobs, meaningful and sustainable I suggest. And most want better results from the school system overall. How do you do that in an OPEN way, with ACCOUNTABILITY to the taxpayers, and with TRANSPARENT process to the voters? You have had some time to think about this, right? Time will tell.

  4. NO!!! The answer is NO!!! He violated his oath of office and now he wants it back. There is NO trust in this man. Yes he paid the price for his behavior, but do YOU trust him not to do it again?

  5. The city was saved by Governor Lowell Weicker. He was funneling money every which way he could. And set Ganim on a good path and then the rest is history. Weicker would not help Moran because she ignorantly decided to back Rowland while the rest of her administration left to work for Weicker. Ganim, you will forever be introduced the way you were on the radio show and you would be wise to explore other venues. Nobody is gonna buy into your story of redemption. Save yourself, save your family, save the constituents you betrayed. We forgive you but do not insult us. A leopard never changes its spots.

    1. I love Caryn Kaufman, Fabrizi’s ex-publicist, comment in the paper when asked about Ganim running, she thought it was outrageous and so will most voters when $300,000 worth of three-color and TV media re-enacting the court, the media, the appeals etc. etc. etc.

  6. I will not be supporting Joe Ganim under any circumstances. For starters, his “pay to play” policy retarded Bridgeport’s economic growth at a time when places like Stamford and Shelton were booming. I could (and subsequently will) get into the other reasons I oppose Ganim, but for now that will do.

    I posted the above back in January. I would now like to add the following:

    I do not dislike Joe Ganim snd yes, I believe in redemption. I even believe Ganim should be permitted to practice law again.

    However, not only will I not be supporting Joe Ganim, I will be working my butt off for whichever person has the best chance of defeating him and right now I believe the only person who can do that is Mayor Bill Finch.

    I know my decision to support Finch will surprise (and quite likely piss off) some of my political friends but nonetheless it’s what I believe to be in the best interests of Bridgeport and that’s where I stand.

  7. Knowing the type of upscale existence Joe Ganim has had his whole life, I find it highly unlikely he will actually reside in the condo he’s renting. I remember awhile back when some councilman from Shelton (I think) rented a condo on the upper East side to enable him to run for office. I remember many people ripping that issue apart, will the same people do the same with Joe’s supposed relocation or will he get a pass? On another note–I could not believe when he said he came from a family who sacrificed to send him to law school! OMG–what brand of bullsh** is that? Does anyone really believe that? It’s an established fact the Ganims are all very wealthy attorneys who never struggled a day in their lives. Who does he think he’s kidding?

  8. Hey guys and gals, if Joe is living in Cartright, that’s my district. So now I have John Olson and my friend Howard Gardner living in one building, and Joe in the other. I love my constituents!

  9. I don’t think a lot of people right now in the Democratic party have any right to ride a high horse and pretend they are on any kind of high moral ground. Not from what I see.

  10. You’re right, Bob! On another note, I can’t help noticing how hung-up Godiva is on Joe’s residence. How does he/she know where Ganim was living “just a couple of weeks ago?” Doing a little riding around maybe??? This person must be an oldie but goodie because that was something the curious minds did a long time ago. Don’t get caught snooping!

    1. No, Lisa Parziale–I have better things to do with my time than ride around snooping as you call it. Fact is, I did business with one of his brothers very recently and he told me Joe was living in Easton. No snooping around was needed, it’s that simple.

  11. The rental of this condo unit reminds me of Marella’s rental at 120 Huntington Turnpike. The real owner of his unit does a lot of business with the city attorney’s office.
    Now we have Ganim saying he is renting a condo. The person who owns this condo is also dubious at best. So like Marella, I don’t believe Ganim will live where he states he will live.

    1. Andy, if Ganim’s gonna fake a flop he’d more likely do it at one of the family-owned apartments in the city. Joe can’t afford too many screw-ups. So looks like he’s negotiated a rental arrangement with Frank Gennarini, with whom he has worked at D’Addario Industries. There’s no upside to Ganim faking a flop. There’s no upside for Gennarini to allow it. Just grief.

      1. Oh come on Lennie, let’s see. I’ve known Frank Gennerini for 30 years. His apt door was two feet from mine at Nob Hill. Before working for D’Addario he worked for many years at Memoli and Memoli. He was connected by the hip by then-Real Estate agent Elaine Carvalho and her husband. Oh yeah, Elaine Carvalho currently the tax Assessor for the City of Bridgeport and oh yes Joe Ganim’s top fundraiser. Did I leave anything out? Frank Gennerini would definitely cover Ganim’s ass. Talk about six degrees of separation; and Lennie, you know all these players well.

        1. Yes Steve, you left out the truth about Elaine. Declaring Elaine was Joe’s top fundraiser is like saying you were Joe’s top fundraiser. It’s ridiculous. Elaine, like so many others, supported Joe. A major fundraiser she was not.

          1. Lennie, come on. Being Joe’s fundraiser and her husband delivering the Portuguese vote gave Elaine a nice cushy job, no? I on the other hand silly guy would never raise funds for Joe. 🙂 Here is how I see it. Finch may still have Ganim people in City Hall undermining him at every step the way they did with Moran. Politics, you gotta love it!

          2. Steve, Elaine Carvalho was appointed tax assessor by Bill Finch. While there’s nostalgia for Joe in some circles, there are lots of folks who supported Joe Ganim than who are not now supporting him.

  12. I beg to differ with you. Ganim renting one of the family-owned units would be to obvious. Renting or allegedly renting from the character he did rent from gives Ganim a good witness he does reside there.

  13. Andy, why the big deal? Joe is renting real estate in Bridgeport, period. If he didn’t make living arrangements in the City, he would be criticized for dragging his feet. I’ve done real estate business in both buildings on Cartright street (Joe is not my client) and the process for renting a unit at 80 Cartright Street is arduous; the Association is exhausting with its rules and guidelines. Trust me on this one Andy, anyone going through that scrutiny is definitely living there.

  14. People, the Ganim residency issue is just a sideshow. The real issue is why does a person whose past criminal behavior while mayor set back economic development in Bridgeport by God only knows how many years and totally destroyed what little respect the state and pretty much the rest of the country had for Bridgeport deserve another chance to hold that office.

  15. OK Lennie, I’ll take the bait. Yes I am concerned he could win. You know as well as I do, Ganim stands a real chance. The myth Joe Ganim “did a lot of good things for Bpt” persists. Ganim is a very intelligent politician and people love a good redemption story. And let’s face it, Finch does have some problems.

    However compared to Ganim, Finch is by far the better person to lead Bridgeport for the next four years. I’ll let others debate whether or not he is the absolute best person for the job but he is the only one who can beat Ganim and that’s why he has my support.

  16. Alright, alright, I hope those who had an opinion on Joe’s residency are satisfied with John from B.R.’s opinion it was just a sideshow. I really have come to look forward to the different opinions offered on this blog. I read with an open mind, and sometimes the judgments are harsh so I just scroll over. So far, nothing has changed my position as to who I believe will be the better mayor.

  17. So Ganim is renting a condo on Cartright Street in the city’s West End. Did it ever occur to anyone maybe he found Easton to be Hicksville? I did. Maybe, just MAYBE Joe Ganim prefers an urban environment. After all, we are hipper than the yokels living in Stratford, Trumbull, Milford, Easton, Weston, all around Our Town. And maybe he wants his old job back. There’s some national precedent here:

    On January 18 1990, Barry was arrested with a former girlfriend, Hazel Diane “Rasheeda” Moore, in a sting operation at the Vista Hotel by the FBI and DC police for crack cocaine use and possession. Moore was an FBI informant when she invited Barry to the hotel room and insisted he smoke freebase cocaine before they had sex, while agents in another room watched on camera, waiting for Barry to accept her offer.

    Barry was released from prison in 1992, and two months later filed papers to run for the Ward 8 city council seat in that year’s election. Barry ran under the slogan “He May Not Be Perfect, But He’s Perfect for D.C.” He defeated the four-term incumbent, Wilhelmina Rolark, in the Democratic primary, winning 70 percent of the vote, saying he was “not interested in being mayor,” and went on to win the general election easily.

    Despite his earlier statements to the contrary, observers of Barry’s council victory expressed beliefs he was laying ground for a mayoral run in 1994. Indeed, Barry fulfilled expectations when he formally announced his candidacy for mayor on May 21, 1994 and was immediately regarded as a serious challenge to the unpopular incumbent mayor, Sharon Pratt Kelly. Despite much opposition, including an abortive effort to recall his 1992 council election, Barry won a three-way Democratic primary contest for mayor with 48% of the vote on September 13, pushing Kelly into last place. The victory, coming after Barry’s videotaped crack use and conviction, shocked the nation, carrying front page headlines in newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe.

  18. While I hope Joe Ganim rebuilds his life, I do not support him for mayor.

    To JFBR, Mayor Barry fell prey to a chemical addiction and made horrible choices. Mayor Ganim was far more harmful. He stole money and more importantly, opportunity from Bridgeport.

    Yes, I support Mayor Finch and no, I do not agree with everything he has supported. (Very tired of the “Green” obsession.) But having a Finch/Ganim primary would make Bridgeport a national story for obvious reasons and just short-circuit any hope for growth.


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