Hennessy Endorses Foster, ‘Breath Of Fresh Air’–Trashes Machine

Hennessy, Foster
Jack Hennessy and Mary-Jane Foster campaigning in North End.

Contending “a machine runs Bridgeport, not the people,” State Rep. Jack Hennessy who represents the city’s North End has endorsed Mary-Jane Foster for mayor.

As politics go, Hennessy has historically cut against the organizational grain running as an outsider with a reformer’s touch. For several years Hennessy has tried to pass legislation in Hartford to enforce Bridgeport’s City Charter that prohibits city employees serving on the City Council. Bridgeport’s city attorney cites a loophole in state law that circumvents the charter. The bill passed the State Senate in the latest session but did not come up for a vote in the State House.

Hennessy did not endorse in 2011 when Foster was Mayor Bill Finch’s primary opponent. In the past few years Foster and Hennessy have shared common issues and candidates, both supporting the State Senate elections of Marilyn Moore and Ed Gomes as well as opposing the defeated 2012 City Charter ballot question that would have made the Board of Education a mayoral appointed body.

“A machine runs Bridgeport, not the people; it’s all about controlling people with city jobs,” Hennessy charged in a news release issued by Foster campaign. \”They do what they’re told or they’re out of a job, or their family members–it’s all in the family. The conflicts of interest in City Hall continue to control Bridgeport’s future. Mary-Jane Foster will be a breath of fresh air–exactly what Bridgeport needs. I am endorsing Mary-Jane Foster for mayor of Bridgeport. She is the leadership Bridgeport deserves, and she is the leadership we all need to turn this city around.”

Hennessy represents one of the higher turnout areas of the city, the Winthrop and Blackham voting precincts loaded with middle class homeowners. It is a major battleground area for Foster, Finch and former Mayor Joe Ganim.

Foster, like Ganim, is trying to petition onto the September 16 primary ballot against party-endorsed Finch.



  1. You know I really wish you’d get really aggressive … get your name out there … commercial … appearances … radio … all the concerts, everything and anything because right now all you see and hear is FINCH and Ganim and Bpt. really needs a change from them.

    1. I agree, Coach. MJF has shown a very lackadaisical approach so far. She let Ganim take the lead against the machine and has a lot of catching up to do. In my humble opinion.

  2. There’s a problem in Bridgeport politics that is infecting American politics overall.

    The U.S. House of Representatives, controlled by the GOP, is very hostile to the president, a Democrat and an African American. The Republican Party is more than a little hostile toward the president and his policies. It can be boiled down to the fact the GOP is by and large the political party of rich angry old white men. They do not like this African American to succeed at health care reform, civil rights, etc. The cultural backlash has grown violent.

    In Bridgeport it has more to do with class differences. The white folks in control of the mayor’s office and the DTC do not want to give up control. The dead and wounded from the recent shootings in Bridgeport are African American. According to a story in the Connecticut Post written by Daniel Tepfer, “Kendall Jamar Willis was one of the city’s original gangstas.

    “The 39-year-old Willis, who in the mid-1990s vigorously defended the drug trade in the Trumbull Gardens housing project, had been out of prison about two years for dealing drugs when police said he was found shot to death Sunday afternoon in a car on a West Side street.” He was a criminal, a product of Bridgeport’s public housing projects. He didn’t deserve to die the way he did. Mr. Willis chose that life, may he rest in peace. But he didn’t deserve to die that way.

    Nor did the victims of the mass shooting at Trumbull Gardens deserve to be wounded by gunfire. Bill Finch is out and about touting his record of cleaning up the city’s parks, reopening Pleasure Beach to the public and creating “thousands of jobs” for out-of-town laborers. Oh, and he took a moment to welcome a tombstone engraver to the local business community. I wish all the success to Jim Bria, owner of Artista Studios. The mayor’s interest is the photo op.

    Violent crime is up 152%, unemployment is up more than 40% under Bill Finch’s leadership, taxes have been raised four times. All he can talk about is parks and recreation while lying to the media that “taxes haven’t gone up,” “I’ve created thousands of jobs” (for out-of-town laborers) and “Bridgeport is the safest it has been in more than 40 years.”

    The Black Rock Community Council has scheduled a public safety forum for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Burroughs Community Center on Fairfield Avenue to “address recent criminal activities that have occurred in our neighborhood.”

    Mary-Jane Foster, another Democratic mayoral contender, will attend since she is a Black Rock resident.

    The Finch campaign is sending a few police officers over. How about showing up yourself, Mister Mayor? Afraid of a justifiably hostile response from the local residents?

    Bill Finch is a coward.

  3. As chair of the BRCC Public Safety Committee charged with organizing tomorrow night’s forum, I would like to correct comments made above though I do realize they reflect misinformation provided by a recent CT Post article. The “Finch Campaign” has nothing to do with police representation at this meeting. In fact, Captain McCarthy, West End Command, works directly with me and our committee on an almost daily basis and has been doing so for years. We certainly don’t rely on anyone’s campaign for this support. Additionally, the Mayor has been invited, but it is unclear to me at this point whether or not he will attend. And finally, this forum is not a political event and anyone who tries to make it into this tomorrow night will be asked to leave.


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