When was the last time it snowed on election day?
Could happen in this screwy-wabbit election season.
Negotiations are underway between lawyers representing Mayor Joe Ganim and John Gomes to date another Democratic primary, per court order, after Judge William Clark tossed Ganim’s 251-vote win citing absentee ballot manipulation.
It’s likely to be mid-late December, or perhaps put off until January.
Will Santa’s bag be stuffed with absentee ballots?
If Ganim wins it’s a special merry Christmas, another four-year term, according to lawyers. If Gomes wins, a tasty Christmas too but climaxed by another general election against Ganim that could be January or February 2024.
Why are we here?
A quick review of history.
John Gomes supported Bill Finch for mayor in 2007. Finch won. Gomes received a city job. Things happened. Gomes was fired.
Gomes ran for mayor in 2011 against Finch. Money and messaging challenged, Gomes dropped out and supported businesswoman Mary-Jane Foster who lost a Democratic primary to Finch.
Finch wins, Gomes lives to fight another day.
Fast forward to 2015.
Joe Ganim, popular in his mayoral day, exits the joint – after a six-year vacation for public corruption – for a comeback.
Gomes signs on with Ganim.
Ganim wins historic comeback.
Gomes is back on the public payroll.
Ganim, thinking everyone loved his comeback, runs for governor in 2018. Ned Lamont spanks his bottom.
Ganim refocuses on reelection 2019.
Gomes, still on the payroll, backs him again in 2019. Ganim wins a tight primary over Marilyn Moore on his way to another general election win.
Gomes is ambitious and restless, unhappy with his role in the administration. Heads collide, Ganim shows him the door.
Ganim cans others who were on board for his comeback too.
They all huddle. Let’s take out Joe. John’s our guy. Joe’s gotta go, right?
They finance Gomes momentously, more than $400K, counting independent expenditures.
Meanwhile, Ganim holstered his finest weapon: charisma.
On his game Ganim is superlatively charismatic. What happened to the guy who fixed the fence separating desperados from public housing units?
He decides, I don’t need to do that anymore…I’m mayor again, let’s take the cautious route.
Okay, so be it.
Gomes runs for mayor swiping a variation of Ganim’s 2015 comeback: mayor for all the people. He speaks five languages fluently with a strong immigrant story to tell.
He’s heavily financed and galvanizes a portion of the anti-incumbent vote.
During this election cycle, beyond the typical pitty-pat of city politics, most voters have no clue about history between the two.
Ganim hired him.
Gomes was let go.
Doesn’t mean one is right or wrong.
Just a different perspective.
National and state media outlets ask are all these election controversies exclusive to Bridgeport?
This contest is intensely personal between Ganim and Gomes. The core of Gomes’ inner-circle comes from former Ganim supporters.
The personality clashes extend to a variety of political players on both sides. Animosity runs deep.
When that occurs strange things can happen, like stuffing absentee ballots into drop boxes.
Both sides did it.
Gomes came up short in the primary, savvy election lawyer Bill Bloss took on his case and successfully persuaded a state judge to toss the results and order a new primary.
The general election went forward and once again Ganim won a tight contest.
The Gomes campaign understandably wants to maintain focus on election illegitimacy.
Meanwhile, Ganim must craft a narrative that makes sense to voters. Okay, we don’t like what happened but the direction of the city is more important.
If Ganim cannot do that, it’s advantage Gomes for the primary redo. It’s either that or pray for snow on vote day.