Ganim Rallies Supporters For Statewide Exploratory Campaign

Ganim, Cusick
Ganim with Woodbridge Democratic Town Chair Karen Talamelli Cusick who’s weighing a run for Connecticut Secretary of the State.

Nearly 300 political supporters, friends, city employees and business leaders Thursday night attended Mayor Joe Ganim’s first fundraiser for his 2018 exploratory campaign for governor at an asking price of $100 per head at Testo’s Restaurant, the epicenter of city politics owned by Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa. Under exploratory rules the maximum personal contribution is $375.

Ganim exploratory crowd
The crowd at Testo’s.

One day after the State Elections Enforcement Commission ruled officially that Ganim is prohibited from receiving public campaign funds based on his 2003 federal public corruption conviction, something Ganim says he will challenge in court, the mayor pressed on and pressed the flesh in Testo’s ballroom, pulling in the low-hanging fruit from the usual supporters for this type of event. The early money is always the easiest dough. At some point, if Ganim’s fundraising progresses at a satisfactory rate, he’ll roll the exploratory money into a full-blown candidate committee.

He’d like, however, to participate in the state’s public financing program that calls for a threshold of small donations to achieve a large public grant. It’s a question Ganim will petition a court to decide. He’s been interviewing lawyers to take on his case. If he fails there he’s not precluded from running for statewide office, it means he’d have to carry on raising money the old-fashioned way through large-dollar donations.

Scinto and Valle
From left City Councilwoman Nessah Smith who’s seeking reelection, former city councilor Maria Valle, a candidate for her old seat and long time North End District Leader Dennis Scinto who’s preparing to wage a run for the city sheriff seat he lost two years ago.

Ganim, Testa and a loyal group of mayoral supporters pushed for a good showing for this fundraiser and got it. But running statewide is a grind and Ganim must expand his fundraising fortune beyond his local base that has already raised nearly $200,000 for his 2019 mayoral reelection year.

Testa exploratory
Town Chair Mario Testa was in good spirits for fundraiser.


  1. So many sleazy attendees.

    I was told Paul Vallas attended. Slime attracts bugs and pests. The vast majority of attendees were white and non-Bridgeport residents.

    1. Lennie could prob answer this better,but these “fundraisers” seem to be happening more frequent now.Joe and Mario alternate reasons for them now,they have them to raise money for Joe’s re-election for mayor,then wait a month or so,and have one for his governor campaign…And if you’re a city employee,you’re basically forced to go…it’s sickening at this point really..

  2. The “low hanging fruit from the usual supporters for this type of event” would be referring to the city employees that owe their livelihoods t the political influence of Mr. Testa.

  3. Ganim2’s #1 priority? Reach for statewide office. Milk the locals. Fog the details. Continue the closeup photo-ops with people of similar height because it makes you seem larger. Trounce on Open, Accountable, Transparent and Honest as you have with most campaign promises. Keep Bridgeporters entranced with your march to the egress? Time will tell.

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