July 2015 Look Back: Finch Wins Endorsement, Testa Backs Ganim, Game On

Finch supporters convention
Finch supporters at Testo’s for July endorsement. CT Post photo Christian Abraham.

July 2015 news highlights: 

Standing outside the main entrance to his Madison Avenue restaurant, Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa reflected on his scratchy relationship with Mayor Bill Finch shortly after the mayor received the Democratic Town Committee endorsement following a promise by Testa he would break a tie on behalf of Joe Ganim. Testa was in a mood the evening of July 21 as he was gearing up for a trip to Italy pondering how hard he’ll pound the pavement, in lieu of his tasty veal, for Ganim upon his return. He reminisced about the old days with Ganim. Why no love for the current mayor? “He shows no respect,” said the town committee chairman that evening.

Asserting Mary-Jane Foster “will clean up the political quicksand that chokes and prevents this city from redeveloping into what it could be,” freshman State Senator Marilyn Moore reaffirmed her endorsement of Mary-Jane Foster for mayor.

Kicking up the campaign rhetoric one day after Governor Dan Malloy endorsed Bill Finch for another term, former Mayor Joe Ganim has asked the governor to authorize state troopers  to supplement city police officers following an increase in gun violence.

Calling Mayor Bill Finch “A person we can trust,” Governor Dan Malloy endorsed him for a third, four-year term at the Black Horse Garage where the governor also announced a state grant to expand the workshop of the luxury car restorer in the East End, a pivotal battleground area.

Contending “a machine runs Bridgeport, not the people,” State Rep. Jack Hennessy who represents the city’s North End has endorsed Mary-Jane Foster for mayor.

Former Mayor Joe Ganim says his campaign has submitted more than 2,000 petition signatures to election officials in his effort to qualify for the September 16 Democratic mayoral primary against party-endorsed incumbent Bill Finch. Ganim needs approximately 1,900 certified signatures from Democratic electors in the city with more than two weeks left to qualify.

Following a violent weekend of shootings, Mayor Bill Finch announced a new Civil Service list he expects will lead to the hiring of 100 new police officers within two years. Former Mayor Joe Ganim once again criticized police staffing levels.

Democratic mayoral challengers to party-endorsed Bill Finch hit the streets, neighborhoods and homes over the weekend, and even in one case by supporters of Joe Ganim, a swimming pool to secure signatures to qualify for the September 16 primary.

There’s nothing like a pair of 79-year-old cashews blowing in the breeze. What’s going on in this world when a near octogenarian cannot air out his twins on the balcony of his Cartright Street apartment?

Former Mayor Joe Ganim hoped for a winning strategy that landed him 45 votes at the Democratic Town Committee endorsement with a tie broken by Town Chairman Mario Testa. Ganim came up four votes short to Mayor Bill Finch who was endorsed for a third four-year term at Testo’s Restaurant by a tally of 49-41.

It was bound to happen, eight weeks from an expected Democratic primary, a website devoted to Joe Ganim’s indiscretions, financed by the reelection campaign of Mayor Bill Finch, with regular blog entries.

From Ken Dixon CT Post: With egg on his face, if not motor oil, Motor Vehicles Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. has apologized for ordering driver-training schools to mislead their students on the source of a three-month delay for driver’s license tests.

On the eve of the Democratic Town Committee endorsement for mayor, Town Chair Mario Testa announced if need be he’d break a tie on behalf of Joe Ganim over incumbent Bill Finch, blowing his top over what he says is the state party sending down a legal observer to keep tabs on what could be a close vote.

I love you, I need you, I want you. They’re being schmoozed and boozed, urged, cajoled, worked, and some promised this and that. They’re popular today, perhaps not so Tuesday night depending on how the 90 members of the Democratic Town Committee cast their endorsement vote for mayor, Bill Finch or Joe Ganim.

Former Bridgeport Mayors John Fabrizi, Tom Bucci, and Leonard Paoletta announced their Democratic Primary support for incumbent Mayor Bill Finch’s re-election campaign.

From the Finch campaign: “Bridgeport is at a crossroads, and this fall the city must choose who is best equipped to keep it moving forward,” said Congressman Himes. “That’s why my choice for Bridgeport continues to be Mayor Bill Finch.”

City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez and former State Rep. and retired city firefighter Don Clemons will join Mayor Bill Finch’s ticket as city clerk and town clerk candidates respectively.

Mayor Bill Finch and former Mayor Joe Ganim are looking for an edge entering Tuesday night’s Democratic Town Committee endorsement session. For Ganim it includes a claim to party insiders the “business climate was at its best while Joe Ganim held office.”

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have thrown their support behind Mayor Bill Finch’s re-election campaign.

As a 31-year-old candidate for mayor in 1991, Joe Ganim pledged to hire 100 police officers in his first term with crime a major issue. Now on the comeback trail at age 55 with crime a central theme of his campaign, he’s promising to do the same.

Politics in the cop shop? No way. Police Chief Joe Gaudett, in a memo to “All Commands,” clarifies rules regarding political activities during work hours. Assistant Police Chief James Nardozzi says he believes the department’s rationale also comes under the Hatch Act that precludes some federal employees from engaging in political activities in the workplace.

Hoping history repeats itself with incumbent Fleeta Hudson as his city clerk running mate from 1991 and a new addition with Town Clerk Alma Maya, former Mayor Joe Ganim announced Monday afternoon on the steps of City Hall “a diverse ticket” that has “been in battles for the betterment of Bridgeport.”

Retired and active city police officers, contractors, lawyers and family members are among the major donors to Joe Ganim’s comeback bid for mayor, according to his monstrous 700-page campaign finance report filing at the Town Clerk’s Office for the period ending June 30 in which he raised more than $200k in a two-month stretch.

What will a Mary-Jane Foster administration look like if she’s elected mayor? The Democratic candidate on Friday issued a plan for her first 50 days in office.

In a jammed, steamy Captain’s Cove Seaport Wednesday night, Mayor Bill Finch kicked off his reelection campaign telling more than 500 supporters “I’m proud to stand here before you and say that our city is in the midst of a major comeback!”

Backed by members of the Bridgeport Police Union supporting his comeback effort, former Mayor Joe Ganim opened a police substation/satellite campaign office Wednesday afternoon servicing the crime-plagued Trumbull Gardens housing project area, saying “We needed a presence in this part of the city.”

A day after former Mayor Joe Ganim announced he’s opening a police substation/satellite campaign office at Trumbull Gardens, Mayor Bill Finch says he’s launching a police substation at 505 Trumbull Avenue.

High drama is hitting this political cycle as former Mayor Joe Ganim pledges to open a police substation/satellite campaign office at Trumbull Gardens, paid by campaign funds, to the protests of Mayor Bill Finch.

Former Mayor Joe Ganim, seeking a comeback following his conviction on federal corruption charges in 2003, on Thursday overwhelmingly received the endorsement of the Bridgeport Police Union Local 1159 that represents nearly 400 city police officers.

Sometimes, crime rates are all about how you interpret the numbers. Former Mayor Joe Ganim, responding to Mayor Bill Finch’s claim that crime is down, contends the number of shootings has doubled from last year.



    1. Andy, Lennie writes what’s happening in Bridgeport. If it weren’t for his blog, we wouldn’t know half of what’s going on due to dismal reporting by the only newspaper in town. Political images and banter are what we enjoy reading about; it’s always been that way. Lennie is factual, and that’s why readers are able to express their opinions and share what they feel are solutions. OIB has been a means for me to vent, sometimes over the edge (sorry) and a way to stay connected to what’s happening. Everything is politics, everything, so you keep going, Lennie. In my opinion, everything you write is interesting.


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