Taking It To The Streets, Ganim Gears Up Public Improvement Goodies For Reelection Season

Mayor Joe Ganim’s up for reelection in 2019, that means lining up capital improvement goodies in time for campaign season such as sidewalks, paving and street lights. Roughly $6 million from the capital improvement budget will be allocated to streetscape beautification.

The City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet Monday night, 6:30 in Wheeler Room A of City Hall for capital improvement authorization as well as other items.

Ganim’s gearing up for reelection with no formal opposition yet. That could change as supporters of State Senator Marilyn Moore are urging her candidacy. Will she get in? State Rep. Charlie Stallworth, according to pols, is considering a run.

Ganim will muscle the power of incumbency to advance his reelection chances. He’s expected to hold the line on taxes, making it three straight years of no tax increase after a scratchy first-year budget that included revaluation of taxable property that caused a spike in taxes in some neighborhoods including Black Rock that was hit hardest.

Although Bridgeport was the one community Ganim carried in his gubernatorial primary against Ned Lamont, Black Rock Democrats came out huge for Lamont signaling Ganim’s troubles in the neighborhood. Still, Ganim did not win Black Rock in either the primary or general election in 2015 during his comeback win. The Democratic establishment’s citywide absentee ballot operation alone will offset the Black Rock bleeding.

Playing Santa Claus in an election year will help ameliorate the anti-Ganim vote in some neighborhoods while buttressing his base support. Some of this depends on the strength of the opposition.

If Moore gets in she brings a state senate base into play that covers about one-third of the city including North End, West Side and Black Rock where it appears Ganim is weakest. No one will outspend Ganim who’ll likely have $400,000 to $500,000 to invest in a primary. The larger question is how much will an opposition candidate need to be competitive? Recent history shows that $200,000 with a credible candidate building an organized opposition can bring a primary into play.

Lamont Moore
Ned Lamont at a Bridgeport campaign stop with Marilyn Moore looking on.

If Moore jumps in she’ll be raising money during a busy legislative session that runs from January to June.

As a state senator Moore has raised money under the state’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races that allows a personal maximum contribution of $250. Public money is not allowed in municipal races. The maximum personal contribution for a mayoral race is $1,000.

Moore has emerged as a face of opposition to the political establishment. She’s not cozy with Ganim or Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa. She enjoys a strong relationship with Governor-elect Ned Lamont who approached her about serving as his running mate. She declined. A state commissionership would also be available to her, but that’s not something she’s considering.

Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa at Bridgeport rally for Lamont.

After some testy exchanges during the primary, Ganim and Lamont have what they both term a solid working relationship. Lamont also has an alliance with Testa dating back to 2010 when Testa supported him for governor during his primary loss to Dan Malloy. Bridgeport’s mighty general election plurality on behalf of Lamont also buoyed his relationships with Ganim and Testa.

Lamont made some campaign pledges to Bridgeport that–if he can deliver–would be huge for Ganim’s reelection budget such as fully funding education and higher state reimbursement to the city for its numerous tax-exempt properties.

So, is Ganim well positioned for reelection? Depends on the quality of the opposition, the budget, crime situation and the visible progress of developments underway such as the 5,000-seat concert amphitheater conversion at the former ballpark at harbor Yard.

Budget Committee AGENDA

General Discussion re: Review of the Monthly Financial Report.
Proposed Approval of General Obligation Bonds – To Fund Certain Capital
Improvement Projects.

Proposed Amendments to the FY 2019-2023 Capital Plan Budget for Approval of
Additional Capital Project Authorization.

Proposed Budget Modification to Fiscal Year 2018-19 General Fund Budget for
the Board of Education: Increase the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) Revenue Line
Item #01863000-44520 ($235,240) in order to comply with the State Minimum
Budget Requirement (MBR).

Proposed resolution requesting the Purchasing Director to provide information on
the Department of Public Facilities purchases.

Proposed resolution requesting the Purchasing Director to provide the City
Council with reports required under the Purchasing Ordinance.



  1. While I can’t see Chris running and beating Joe and personally I think he should focus his political career as a legislator, as a US congressman, it has a more long term prospect than the volatile executive elections as Bridgeport mayor . Finch seems dead in the water, considering his lost to Joe. Joe needing the “Black” vote. Moore seems to be the bigger threat in that regard, but according to Day blacks will not vote for a Latino person, so will Latinos vote for a black person? Considering they, Latinos, have a very large present in Bridgeport and are voting increasing numbers. And then there’s Maria’s favor Judge Lopes. The Question is what is politics in Bridgeport going to look like after Mario?

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to all. I have already contacted Senator Marilyn Moore and have pleaded to her to run to become the next Mayor of Bridgeport. We need to return to ethics and good governance emanating from the Mayor’s Office throughout all of BPT governance. That is not happening now. Joe Ganim.Mario Testa and all the other parasites need to GO! Ganim will probably raise more money but that IS HIS PROBLEM. It’s all about money with Ganim and Testa. Ganim may have an advantage with money but Moore will have an advantage with enthusiasm and truly dedicated supporters. Ganim’s support comes from money,jobs etc from Ganim and Testa. If Moore declares her candidacy, there will be an instantaneous group to start working for her. And we don’t need money to show our enthusiasm for Marilyn Moore to become the next Mayor of The City of Bridgeport.

    1. Lennie…Most respectfully. Your analysis is good but it seems to favor Ganim by a few more degrees than necessary. Your article seems to be warning Marilyn Moore about the perils if she decides to run for Mayor of Bridgeport. I may be wrong but…………………..

    2. Judge Carmen Lopez for Mayor 1000 %. There is no potential candidate that has done more to help Bridgeport and its residents than Carmen Lopez. She has always stood up for right vs. wrong, honesty over dishonesty, good over evil and transparency over murky governance.

      She has been working in this community for decades without a dime in compensation, or because she personally benefited from her efforts.

      Just a few examples are as follows:

      -The fire in P.T. that tragically killed a mother and her young children

      – The illegal takeover of the Board of Education

      – Exposing Paul Vallas and running him out of Bridgeport

      – Helping defeat the Charter Referendum that woukd have removed an elected school board

      – Her work on the WPCA

      – Her recent assistance with Bob Halstead’s issue with the Historic Neighborhood

      You could just go on and on.

      I had three people call me on Tuesday alone asking me if she is going to run. They all pledged that they would work incessantly to help her.

      You want to clean-up Bridgeport, especially the City Attorney’s office, Judge Carmen Lopez is the right candidate for Mayor.

      I love the idea of Marilyn Moore running. It hurtst Joe Ganim and helps Judge Carmen Lopez. Joe Ganim would have never won without the black community. Marilyn Moore will erode his black vote.

      1. I’m with Maria on this one. Carmen Lopez for mayor. Marilyn Moore may have legislative credentials, but she’s too close to the machinery that has been running Bridgeport into the ground.

        Judge Lopez is motivated by something other than self interest and greed.

    1. Hi Lisa. Happy Thanksgiving to you. This is the sentence from the article that set off my radar……”If Moore jumps in she’ll be raising money during a busy legislative session that runs from January to June.” It may be reality but my initial reaction was that M.Moore is going to have a difficult time.

  3. When considering challengers to the incumbent , never underestimate the power of artificial encryption-in this case, that’s the process by which information has been hidden in (unchanged) official documents. Electronic encryption can be detected-that’s called surveillance. Artificial encryption cannot be discovered-that’s called political foresight. It makes city records primary source validation and what could be cooler than that?

  4. Frank, we know why you and others want Moore to run, to get rid of Joe. That seems to be the running theme on the anti-joe here. I want to know the basis for Joe’s departure. What will Moore run on, against Joe? When did Bridgeport ever have ethics and good governance. PS what did Moore till you when you pleaded for her to run? I highly doubt an one will challenge Joe this round. If so, it create chaos for the city which is not beneficial for the it and its future. Considering we have a new governor, with the state addressing the legalization of pot and gaming that’s going to be address at the state level. Not to mention a Bridgeport casino development that puts Bridgeport on the map and solid financial ground. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgBIaIRRXKM


  5. If Moore runs, and that’s still if, she will need to raise money as well as an army of volunteers.
    Joe can buy his army with City employees as well as campaign funds.
    So, frankly speaking, start lining up volunteers today Frank. And don’t assume anything nor take anything for granted.

    1. As co-chair of the Bonding Commission Marilyn Moore has already enlisted the entire state as volunteers debt serfs. She claims to fight hard but it’s taxpayers who do the heavy lifting.
      People who fight hard usually have grass stains on their outfits and dirt on their hands. I picture Marilyn Moore sipping a soft drink by the pool. That’s why her adviser suggests volunteers.

      1. Local,
        If State bonding is a sign of the use of State income taxpayers as debt serfs, then why did you say nothing about hartford with the huge bailout this past year? Why has no one made a case for Bridgeport qualifying for inclusion? Is it because Ganim dislikes oversight and the City Council provides no practical oversight while the MARB panel would have the goods and ask questions?
        “Soft drinks by the pool” is a wonderful image, but aside from questioning the origin of most images you present to us for the purpose of accuracy, this seems to belie the “non-photo op” appearances of Marilyn on a regular basis to community groups whom she has learned about and supports. She stays at such meetings and talks with those gathered, not a the Mayor and others do. Any thoughts on this behavior LE? Time will tell.

        1. JML, I’ll respond to your last inquiry. Here goes:
          That kind of behavior masks a sinister result. The Bond commission is a cookie jar. Marilyn Moore caters to the ONE-PERCENTERS. The bonds she produces allow her to brag about specific goodies to her constituents. That’s the initial boost (sugar). But there’s a hefty demand for tax-free income and that’s where MM delivers! Most bonds have a 20-year lifespan and are frequently refunded (never-empty cookie jar)! Conclusion: Marilyn Moore gets credit for giving away that which is not hers and increases Connecticut’s debt for years to come. Her efforts please, pamper and protect the ONE-PERCENTERS, who thanks to her, enjoy tax-free income.

          1. Contrary to some observers, Marilyn Moore has no control over how bond money is invested. She only has control over how it’s spent.

  6. Bobby you are absolutely correct, while money is needed, in my humble opinion Senator Moore might be more inclined to run if and when she had a army of volunteers. Again, just my opinion.

      1. You must really dislike Joe. You been egging on Joe challengers.
        The Ned stuff was over the top but this was racist, I expect type of behavior form Bob. Stirring up the race pot I SEE. SMBH

          1. Rest to sure, there will be a Republican challenger, will there not? But that’s not where the games at. One things is for sure if you want to look at party there’s only one you can take into account with regards to Bridgeport’s plight. I sure your local eyes and vast knowledge of Bridgeport politics to see that’s at fact.

  7. With another Gold Coast guy in Hartford, we can bet, heavily, that there will NOT be a casino in Bridgeport until well after a change in administration, where we have a more urban/centrally-based (geographically) chief executive in Hartford… This will probably not happen for at least another generation… There will be no “casino card” playing in Ned Lamont’s GA… Bridgeport will get more workforce housing, new magnet schools for the workforce-housing families, and other “transit-oriented development” that will allow/encourage the shoe-horning of more high-end-tax-base/jobs-intensive development along I-95 and the Route 15 corridor in the Gold Coast (it won’t come farther up I-95 than Norwalk, and Stamford will get most of it…). In the end, all that Bridgeport will get is lip-service — especially if we don’t get a new mayor that isn’t interested only in Bridgeport. Presently, we have only mayoral candidates with very conflicted interests and loyalties and that have no inclination to take on a bare-knuckles political fight for this city (locally/regionally, and in Hartford/DC).

    Without a mayor in City Hall that has a Bridgeport-only!/Bridgeport First! mentality and agenda, and that is willing and able to engage in a successful, MMA-style, bare-knuckles political brawl on behalf of Bridgeport interests, we ain’t gettin’ no casino and we ain’t goin’ nowhere, otherwise — for sure! There are presently no electable candidates visible/on the horizon, that fit description… Truly, at the present time, the only electable Bridgeport resident that fits that description is Carmen Lopez.

    1. Jeff that Bridgeport First mentality and agenda sounds like Trumpism. I will not say Stamford/Gold Coast are not going to lookout for Bridgeport over themselves but this state has financial issue and gaming and pot will have to be part of jobs and revenue this state needs. Ned’s going to have to pick up where Dan left off, be it Ned has a better economy than Dan because or the 2008 global crisis. Personally I don’t see Mario part of any plan for a casino in Bridgeport. He made that clear long ago. So you don’t have to look far to find opposition. As for Joe, well without his law license Joe’s only source of influence, or relevancy is being mayor (politics). It’s more about Mario then about Joe, always was. JMO

  8. Robert: You can’t compare the assertiveness of a dying city in a dying state (e.g., Bridgeport city leadership having a Bridgeport First! agenda) with the leader of the richest, most powerful country in the world taking a posture of “f- the rest of the world and its problems — some of which our foreign policy created…”
    Until Connecticut becomes a state with a plan and policies to foster economic equity/fairness over the whole of the state and its communities, Bridgeport has to protect itself against the hegemony of the Connecticut Oligarchy and the general,
    de facto, dog-eat-dog, economic policy of Connecticut, fostered thereof…

  9. Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and gave lots of thanks and all that.

    This is typical of any sitting public official. Bolster the image with a largesse of civic improvements. How about long term business, Little Joe? How about expanding the tax base so that property owners in Black Rock and the North End don’t have to foot the bill for every politically appointed job you and Mario hand out? How about creating jobs instead of talking up a casino that will never be? How about cracking down on the lead-footed drivers that use Fairfield Avenue as a drag strip? How about cleaning up the litter and enforcing “broken windows” community policing? How ’bout it, Joe?

    Safe bet he’s going to make a shopping trip or two to Home Depot with cameras in tow.

  10. I will say this, I don’t think Moore is for casino, for that matter Mario too. To build up this city as a entertainment destination right there’s going to be some heavy lifting, far beyond Mario, Moore, or Joe. Jef’s right about one thing an MMA style fight to achieve it. A good part of that is cleaning up Bridgeport departments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar_s7w18Z_I

  11. The local GOP has no one to challenge Ganim’s re-election bid. Given the party’s national public face is a bloviating narcissistic gasbag that wears his racism, bigotry and xenophobia on his sleeve it’s a safe bet any Republican candidate for mayor of Bridgeport will be jeered at every campaign stop.


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