Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign has launched its first direct air strike against challenger Mary-Jane Foster contrasting the Bridgeport Bluefish co-founder’s business record with what he claims as his own successes as mayor.
Incumbents tend not to lash out at opponents in paid media unless something in polling data suggests the challenger is gaining traction. Foster has spent plenty of her own campaign dough drilling Finch for promises made as a candidate including a pledge for a $600 tax cut. She has also unloaded on Finch in the free media for his relationship with a political action committee. Now Finch is returning fire in a radio spot centered on her ownership in the Bridgeport Bluefish baseball team.
Foster and her husband Jack McGregor led an investment team that co-founded the Bridgeport Bluefish in 1998. The first two seasons produced a lot of city excitement with attendance averaging about 4500 per game, far more than what the Bluefish is averaging under current ownership. Mickey Herbert purchased majority control of the team in 2000 and in the years that followed attendance figures followed the same downward spiral as the economy. Foster regained control of the team for a couple of years until selling it to current owner Frank Boulton, founder of the Atlantic League in which the Bluefish play their games.
The Finch campaign ad features two women bantering about the campaign, Foster’s record as Bluefish owner and Finch’s business record as mayor, although the commercial does not specifically identify the new business Finch has brought downtown. Let’s see how Foster responds to the ad. See below:
Hey, have you been following the Mayor’s race?
Um, Not really, the summer has been busy.
Well, it’s a no brainer, vote for Mayor Finch.
OK … Who’s running against him?
Mary-Jane Foster. She telling people she’s a successful business woman.
Really? What has she done?
Well, as CEO and part owner of the Bluefish, she lost money nine years in a row.
That’s not good.
Things got so bad, she even took a million dollar taxpayer bailout.
So wait. Mary-Jane’s only business lost money and she took a taxpayer bailout? That’s not going to get my vote.
Especially when you compare Mary-Jane’s failure, with Bill Finch’s record of success.
Like that new development downtown, what’s it been, 25 years?
I know, with so many new businesses opening, we actually enjoy going down there again.
You’re right, it’s a no brainer. I’ll tell everyone I know to vote for Bill Finch on September 13.