Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa is sharpening a delegate list he’ll present Monday night to the 90-member Democratic Town Committee to represent Bridgeport at the Democratic convention in May to endorse candidates for state constitutional offices, including governor. It’s a wide open field. Let the gamesmanship begin to leverage a ballot spot for Mayor Joe Ganim.
Your host appeared on the latest episode (see video above) of Tom Dudchik’s CT Capitol Report, along with its crack committee, to discuss Ganim’s gubernatorial bid and odds to make the August primary ballot. Ganim needs 15 percent, or roughly backing from 285 delegates, to score the ballot slot. Without that, Ganim’s only option to play in August is a labor-intensive signature campaign.
What’s the plan? Bridgeport has the most delegates (93), after New Haven, to bring to the convention table. So Mario’s in discussions with political operatives from around the state to do some horse trading. You want Bridgeport’s support? How about a bloc of delegates in support of Ganim? The town chairman will shop this to various delegations around the state, particularly cities, in the cause of solidifying a Ganim ballot position.
First things first. Monday at 6:30, at his Madison Avenue restaurant, Mario will present his delegate list in consultation with district leaders to the town committee for approval. He’ll try to stack that list with operatives supportive of Ganim.
Ganim’s in a Democratic gubernatorial field that includes businessman Ned Lamont, former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and former state commissioner Jonathan Harris. So far, there’s no clear-cut leader. Connecticut has six constitutional offices: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, comptroller and secretary of the state. Only Comptroller Kevin Lembo and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill are seeking reelection. That allows Mario maneuverability to leverage Bridgeport delegates in support of Ganim, with a variety of candidates in pursuit of constitutional offices.
So you’re a candidate for attorney general in a multiple-candidate field. Mario’s gonna gravitate to the candidate who can bring him the most delegates in exchange for Bridgeport’s delegation support. Is 15 percent doable? It depends on the machinations and the number of candidates at the convention. If the state party operatives rally behind one candidate–so far that is not the case–makes it harder to collect 15 percent.
Without that, Ganim’s campaign must invest heavily in pens for many thousands of signatures from Democratic electors.