Ganim, Petitioning Candidate, Shut Out Of Forum For Governor

If you have a place on the ballot, you’re invited to the forum, if not you can be a spectator. Mayor Joe Ganim, who says he’ll be approved for the August primary ballot, is crying foul that event organizers are denying petitioning candidates not yet approved for the ballot participation in its gubernatorial forum scheduled for broadcast Thursday on Connecticut Public Television at the Lincoln Theater in West Hartford.

The deadline to submit petition signatures to local registrar offices is June 12. Once verified, the lists are shipped off to the Connecticut Secretary of the State for final certification. Ganim has sent a letter to Connecticut Public Broadcasting President Jerry Franklin and Leslie Smith, director of the Rell Center for Public Service at the University of Hartford, urging them to reschedule the forum or allow petitioning candidates participation.

“It is hard to understand how organizations dedicated to educating the voters about the primary process would schedule such a forum before the Secretary of the State’s office certifies all the candidates for governor in mid-to-late June,” said Ganim in a news release. “With the primary not until August 14, rather than only promoting candidates endorsed by party insiders, this event should either be rescheduled or petitioning candidates should be allowed to participate. Allowing it to continue as planned does a disservice to Connecticut voters.”

If you’re shut out of the process, Ganim’s next best chance for visibility from the forum is to make some noise.

Event organizers say the criterion for the forum was developed weeks ago to invite party-endorsed candidates for governor and candidates who secured 15 percent delegate support at the respective party conventions. Ganim came up short of the threshold. Ned Lamont was endorsed by Democrats, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton by Republicans. Former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Navy veteran Steve Obsitnik received enough support at the Republican convention for August primary ballot spots. Ganim is petitioning to primary Lamont. Ganim needs roughly 15,500 verified signatures from Democratic electors. The campaign reports it has already amassed about 25,000, leaving a large cushion to account for signatures invalidated.

News release from the event:

The Governor M. Jodi Rell Center for Public Service at the University of Hartford will offer Connecticut voters a candid and first-of-its-kind glimpse of all qualifying Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor on June 7, 2018 during a program broadcast on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) called A Job Like No Other: Interviews with Republican and Democratic Candidates for Governor of Connecticut. Based on the criteria shared with all candidates in advance of the state conventions, the four participants will be the Democratic and Republican endorsed candidates for Governor, Ned Lamont and Mark Boughton, and two candidates who qualified for the primary without petitioning, Tim Herbst and Steve Obsitnik.

The program will be held in front of an audience of up to 600 at Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford campus, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. It will be unscripted and broadcast live on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 7. The program will also be streamed live at

Criteria developed by event organizer, the Rell Center, and distributed weeks ago to all potential Democratic and Republican candidates, states that the event will be open to the party endorsed nominee for Governor as well as candidates who gathered 15 percent of their respective convention delegates on the final ballot, therefore qualifying for the August state primary without petitioning. The program will give voters an opportunity to learn about these candidates with the understanding that there will still be sufficient time to learn about candidates who might ultimately qualify by petition for the November ballot.

“This is not a debate, nor is it a typical candidate forum; rather it is something voters truly want to see, which is an unedited and unrehearsed look at the qualifying candidates for Governor and having them answer questions based around the premise of “Why should we hire you?” said former Governor M. Jodi Rell, who served as Connecticut’s Governor from 2004-2010 and founded the Rell Center in 2011. “Take it from someone who knows and who has been there; there is no job in the State of Connecticut quite like being Governor, and the best way for voters to get a close, unbiased look at the people vying for Governor is through a frank and open discussion. That’s what the June 7th program will be all about.”

“I cannot think of a more important time to show people the value of our open democratic process and to showcase the very best of our American elections,” Connecticut Public CEO Jerry Franklin said. “People are tired of seeing their candidates only appearing in the most comfortable and rehearsed environments. ‘A Job Like No Other’ offers voters a different perspective and will give Connecticut residents an unscripted look at those who are vying for the state’s top office.”

A Job Like No Other will be hosted by Chris Ulrich, an executive coach and body language expert who works with executives, salespeople, and small business entrepreneurs and who has appeared as a contributor on CNN, ABC, Fox News, MSNBC, ESPN, Washington’s USA Channel 9 and Fox 5 DC. It will be produced by Sara Conner, an Emmy Award-winning documentarian, producer, and on-air host based out of West Hartford. A Job Like No Other: Interviews with Republican and Democratic Candidates for Governor of Connecticut is made possible by support from Comcast.

The format of the live event will be:
— The order of interviews will be determined the evening of the broadcast with each participant selecting at random a number 1 through 4.
— Questions will not be submitted to participants in advance and will be job interview rather than political debate–style.
— Ground rules will be announced by the host at the top of show.
— Each participant will have an equal amount of one-on-one interview time with the host.

Tickets will be free and open to the public. Beginning Thursday, May 24, 2018, tickets can be ordered through the University of Hartford’s online box office, in person Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by calling 860.768.4228 or 1.800.274.8587. Tickets are limited to four (4) per person.

For more information about the event, visit the Rell Center event website, or contact: Leslie Smith, Director of the Rell Center for Public Service at or 860.768.4861 Rell Center at 860.768.4861. For information about the broadcast, visit



  1. I can picture Joe hamming it up for the press saying, “This is son unfair. Me, The Second Chance Kid, cannot get into the debate because of my errors of the past.”

  2. Joe you can put it on you tube with your commentary, or you can run to court and get an injunction based on discrimination. Your best option would be to appeal the decision to a federal court.

  3. Joe,you didn’t get 15% of the delagate support,the rules of the forum are you had to get the delagate support to be invited.Don’t sweat it,you don’t have a shot of being governor anyway.Put your focus on trying to get Lamont to promise to get your license to practice law back,you’re going to need it next year..

    1. *** Good advice to Joe there Harvey, its water under the bridge with the forum as-well. Joe is on the out-side looking in & needs to have a plan- B towards getting his licence & maybe running for Mayor again, no? ***

  4. If you are truly running a grassroots campaign you shouldn’t be wasting your time at debates: where folks who attend already know who they are voting for. Your fight is at every door of every Primary Voter until mid-August…

  5. Don’t listen to Gage!!!
    What’s he know?
    He managed Keeley’s campaign.
    Be out in front getting signatures. You need them. The SOTS has only qualified 350 of your signatures thus far.

  6. I heard Stevie A. Got Four signatures, from two people in the next booth at Vazzy’s on Twin Lobster night ($24.95 for the pair) they were both from Derby.
    And his Mother, she always liked Bill Finch over Joe Trump, but she signed the flucking thing anyway.

  7. *** Joe seems to be playing the poor ex-con, “not getting a break” card now! *** And a quick comment about the Torres debacle; many present, past & future city politicians, frist responders, etc.. have tryed to use the, I’am so & so or I know so & so or I used to be so & so “card” when dealing with the police. Nothing new; for some it might work & for others it may not, or just make things worst! Sometimes it works if your at the right place with the right officer & other times it could back fire. Race many times can also make a difference on which way the incident goes! For Torres, who is Cuban but seems to have always from what I’ve seen, played the White character role the phone call did not help. As JML would say, “time will tell”, no? ***

  8. You just don’t get it.
    “Debate dismissal” only excites Ganim’s newly-acquired base. His new audience thrives in an underdog role and they see a leader who acts like one.
    Once you sign up, you can’t let go. He’s getting one signature and two votes and when it’s all done, it will produce a new voter and be validated by the state of Connecticut. (applause)
    The best actors aren’t from Hollywood or Broadway-they’re from Bridgeport.

  9. *** Poor Trump, The entire Philly Eagles football team decided not to go to the W/H due to Trump’s past & present rants about not standing for the national anthem, etc… Soon viewers may even see the NBA & MLB players join in on the protest. Also, when is the DOJ going to stop picking on “45”? Every american knows that Trump is the best U.S president since FDR, no? ***NOT***

    1. Mojo, 45 and most Americans have no idea the true meaning of the national anthem and especially the third verse and who Francis Scott Key was. Here is the third verse:

      The third stanza of Francis Scott Key’s poem:
      “And where is than band who so vauntingly swore
      That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
      A home and a country should leave us no more!

      Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.

      No refuge could save the hireling and slave
      From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave;
      And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
      O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”
      What was Mr. Key writing about? From March of 1813 to September 1814, the British Navy occupied the Chesapeake Bay and its islands. On April 2, 1814, Admiral Alexander Cochrane proclaimed that any escaped slave who made it to British lines or a British vessel and was willing to enlist in the Royal Marines would be freed. Several thousand Maryland slaves risked capture from slave patrols to escape to the British. Seven hundred slaves enlisted in the British Marines and served with bravery at the Battles of Bladensburg and North Point.

      While watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a British ship, Mr. Key was told that the British dead and wounded at North Point included escaped slaves. Mr. Key, a slaveholder, was so happy he penned the above lines.

      The first three lines refer to the slaves who took advantage of the war to escape, but “their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.” There was “no refuge” for the “hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”

      These 700 men who had the courage to escape and offer and even give their lives for not only their own freedom, but the freedom of all enslaved in this so-called “land of the free” were true heroes and should be honored. The pity is they had to fight for the British, not the Americans. And this stanza is a part of the U.S. anthem and tarnishes both the song and our nation.

      Alan Cohen, Baltimore

  10. “It is hard to understand how organizations dedicated to educating the voters about the primary process would schedule such a forum before the Secretary of the State’s office certifies all the candidates for governor in mid-to-late June,” said Ganim in a news release…

    …“With the primary not until August 14, rather than only promoting candidates endorsed by party insiders, this event should either be rescheduled or petitioning candidates should be allowed to participate. Allowing it to continue as planned does a disservice to Connecticut voters.”…

    The timing and context of this forum does cause one to wonder whether the outcome of this contest is being steered by undemocratic forces… Really; their aren’t so many petitioning, independent candidates that they couldn’t have been accommodated in this forum…

    Guaranteed, the answers given to these “interview” questions will be predictable, tame/avoiding controversy, unoriginal, and probably mostly bordering on the irrelevant… And nothing exciting or informative will happen at this forum — unless, of course, a volatile Republican candidate decides to sucker-punch a convalescing Republican candidate, or some such thing… Or maybe some shoes will be hurled at the dais from the audience…

    The independent and locked-out candidates should put together their own forum, get it on video, and circulate it on the Internet and among the media outlets in time to run parallel to the coverage of the “insider” forum…

    In any event; the party offerings are absolutely uninspiring and likely to remain so. A renegade independent candidacy could definitely gain traction in this 2018 gubernatorial cycle. Running with the Parties, this time around, hardly seems a worthy option for an erstwhile, would-be Connecticut governor…

    The way this election is taking shape, on election day, the gubernatorial votes on submitted ballots may wind up with a high percentage of blanks or write-in substitutions…

  11. This real easy to understand, the Rell Center for Public Service at the University of Hartford has every right to decide what their policy for having their forum, it’s just that simple, there’s nothing hard about understanding this.

  12. I sit, listen and read everything from all of you…I agree with most, thank you for standing up for the taxpayers and the residents for this great state of CT. For one to run for governor, one should have a clean slate and not surround oneself with nefarious characters. I will say this, my case against the City of Bridgeport involves Mayor Ganim, John Ricci, Christopher Meyer, Dan Shamus, Tammy Papa and Danny Roach. I am saddened that the people I trusted and worked for deceived me. Its a matter of time before it all comes out in the press to show how incompetent all of the aforementioned truly are in their positions as City of Bridgeport officials. Sad, I sent numerous texts letting all know what illegal activities were taking place and NOT ONE stood up to rectify a wrong. But its okay, the State of CT has demanded hearings from my evidence and there are numerous contradictions amongst city employees; its quite a movie plot that can be added to Ganim’s come back video of all his fundraising activities for ousting Mayor Finch. I could not make this story up…Including testimony from Labor Relations officer, Phil White. He went on record that he found my termination practices “bizarre” and my password to my computer files even more bizarre…”Ganim Lied”. lol…I guess it shows my mindset before they terminated my Beach Supervisor position. Lies, all lies….Charlie Carroll has told me he NEVER SIGNED THE JOB POSITION FOR EMPLOYEMNT as Beach Supervisor, they FRAUDULENTLY USED CHARLIE CARROLLS stamp. Stay tuned.


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