Supporters Fill Ganim Fundraiser–Testa: Campaign Against Ganim A Vendetta

Facing a key first quarter fundraising deadline March 31, Mayor Joe Ganim and allies rallied the troops Wednesday night at Brewport packing more than 300 supporters, banking about $35K for the event that campaign officials expect will grow his total reelection haul to roughly $300,000 more than five months from an expected Democratic primary.

For Democratic Town Chairman Mario Testa, never afraid to frame a contest in one word, Ganim’s opposition comes down to a “vendetta.”

Testa did not mention him by name, but the salvo was clearly directed at John Gomes, Ganim’s former assistant chief administrative officer who was let go last year from city service after a falling-out with the chief executive.

Crowd at Ganim fundraiser Wednesday night.

Gomes and a coterie of former Ganim supporters have ably manufactured a solid fundraising operation of their own that appears headed to eclipse $200K for the first quarter report due early April.

Instructively, many of the party insiders Wednesday night said they now see Gomes as Ganim’s closest rival, an intriguing segue considering State Senator Marilyn Moore, also a candidate, came so close in a 2019 Democratic primary.

Moore, however, has been quiet, and to boot many of her supporters from four years ago have gravitated to progressive newcomer Lamond Daniels, a Finch administration official.

Moore can blunt this dismissiveness with a stout fundraising report of her own. If she falls flat, however, or Daniels manages to fundraise evenly with her, it will bolster the shrug of her relevancy and whether she can qualify for a primary while boosting Daniels with the far left wing of the party opposed to incumbency.

Would Moore bag the primary process to run as a petitioning candidate in the November general election? Operatives for all of the camps have discussed Plan B strategies depending on various potential scenarios.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, left, Mayor Joe Ganim and State Rep. Antonio Felipe, right. In front of the mayor is his father, George.

Ganim’s Deputy Chief of Staff Tom Gaudett, also a Democratic district leader and event toastmaster, teased the crowd to what clearly is coming to win over voters for another term, tangible development progress he did not have four years ago covering several neighborhoods: the amphitheater Downtown, Honey Locust Square project in the East End, Boys & Girls Club building under construction in the North End.

A notable attendee, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, who is not seeking reelection, addressed the common bond he has shared with Ganim to lift up their respective cities in the face of a myriad of challenges including the budget, pandemic and public safety.

Bishop John Diamond, pastor of Cathedral of Faith, delivers invocation.

Based on the configuration of the crowd and public speakers, a clear message delivered was diversity, winning with a cross section of supporters as noted by City Councilwoman Mary McBride-Lee who was born in Alabama and was in the thick of the 1960s civil rights movement.

In early April, Ganim will also submit his budget proposal to the City Council with no tax increase.



  1. The math is not mathing. Even if every single attendee gave the minimum $100 that would be $30k. The minimum donation to be a friend of Ganim at fundraiser was $100 correct?

    Not surprising the math don’t work. Last cycle I woulda sold my friendship and vote for $7 million? (forget the amount right now)

    This year if Ganim wants to be a “friend” to education and gain this Board Members vote and support the price has gone up to $12 million dollars.

    Will Ganim finally be a friend to our 19,000+ students? I await his budget proposal.

  2. This room is the poster child of what an abusive relationship looks like. The evidence is clear, we have 3 decades of data on Joe Ganim’s body of work. The city of Bridgeport goes absolutely nowhere and does not inch any closer to creating livable wage jobs, attracting those jobs, or getting the necessary tools and resources coming into the city from federal and state resources until we remove Joe Ganim from being the face of this city. Our town neighbors, investors, and state officials are patiently waiting.

    He is causing immense distress every month he is allowed to practice governance with this administration. Again, the city of Bridgeport must get out of this abusive relationship with this mayor. It’s that simple. Pick your candidate and VOTE. My opinion is, only John Gomes based on community and voting support city wide has the infrastructure in place to mount a transformative campaign and actually win. That is not a knock on Moore or Daniels, as quality candidates, rather an assessment of who can win an election based on momentum, outreach, platform, and understanding of the local issues.

  3. As for this fundraiser, Pencil Box. You forgot the frenemy price. One Dollar. 🙂

    Kelvin, we have to define an “abusive relationship” though 🙂

    The problem with part of your assessment of the city/government, outside of its own employees. It doesn’t create livable wage jobs, businesses do. City/government assist in the process and sometimes and often those in government leverage that position for personal gain. Well, it’s why they get in in the first place. 🙂 That game isn’t going anywhere even with your current pick Gomes as the face of the city.

    I would have to say the other part about G2 being the face of the city and his ability to attract businesses, and investors, or getting the necessary resources/support from the state and feds would have played much better in 2015 in the G2 comeback election following his conviction. However, while that ship has sailed your boy Gomese was onboard-ish. Gonna need to chart a new course to conjure up votes. 🙂

    They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Is there any apprehension that Gomes choose to join that “abusive relationship to champion G2’s return? I would bet Gomes attended and contributed to G2’s fundraisers.

    Part of the Port’s development revitalization is having a vision for it. While many may not like it but entertainment going to be key to the city’s success. I am not saying management/city-wise is not part of that. That’s the main concept of Port politics. However, it’s often not about the city’s best interest but for themself/positions and what they can gain from the system/tax base money.

    While it is understood and part of the game is far too often Port’s Pols/players are too eager to cut the baby in half because it doesn’t benefit/belong to them/side. IMO

    I still believe that place is going to have to be raised and replaced with a nice decorum “spiral” parking garage to service any future development in that section of the Port. Perhaps a hotel and convention center on the land is now used for parking across the
    Amp and Arena. That’s pretty much downtown. Not to mention any development when the old power plant is raised and developed. JS

    P.S. Kelvin, Me, and John come to an understanding, though we may not always agree on what’s mystical. So if any of your statements is with the of using coded language that alters the meaning of the words at their face value, disregard my critique. BAM 🤣

  4. OIB readers,
    The PS from Robert Teixiera above is misleading by grouping Kelvin Ayala and me alongside him and using the word “understanding”. I can talk with Kelvin and do so. We do not need to agree on each and every viewpoint or conclusion, but we have some understanding of pursuing the common good, a duty of citizens to become informed and to act on this knowledge at election time.
    I sense that because there is such widespread unhappiness of where the City of Bridgeport finds itself today after Ganim’s initial corrupt regime corrected by Federal courts and seven years behind bars. But a “second chance” sympathy from City voters ( and very low election participation) placed him back in office with “hopes” for a different outcome. Has not happened!! Police department dysfunction? Personnel and employment mishandling from Civil Service head who was “Acting” for far too long? Human resource, Civil Service, labor contract, and employment practices that do not provide feedback to employees with an annual review required and offered, nor the opportunity to receive approval and direction to opportunities to become more proficient. Why does that continue? Control? Power? Low expectations? Waste of resources likely, or not? Time for changes or beyond such time? Is this the face of public injustice, a NO CARE MAYOR?Time will tell.

    1. John, what do you ever mean? I was just informing Kelvin you and I have come to an understanding of Nothing coded about your writings, nothing mystical in that. Though I feel differently, mystically, at times

      Perhaps you, Kelvin feel the same as John, perhaps you too came to an understanding of I. A coded language that alters the face value of the words spoken. I don’t know where you stand just wanted to give you my apology if I didn’t interpret something as your true intent. 🙂

      Perhaps John misinterpreted what I was conveying to you, Kelvin. If so John you owe me an apology.

      However, I just want to apologize to everybody, I am not good at coded words or even every non-verbal contexts, textually speaking. Good job, people 🤣

  5. John, why are you targeting the city-elected leaders/staff when this falls on BBOE elected officials and its staff? If you really looking for an OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT, and HONEST conversation shouldn’t we start by placing the blame where it lies, on the BBOE members and its staff?

    BOE member Joel/Pencil Box said they (BBOE) dropped the ball, Do you have any opinion on their responsibility for this overblown issue? Or is it the same as those you targeted in your response?

    You never comment on BBOE affairs, or at least I don’t recall. Will only when the white guy was in (Weldon) I believe. However, It’s funny or sad, how Pencil Box and many other elected officials give two shits about some old desks, books, and school supplies that come out of the woodwork for condemnation. Yet one of the most blatant eschews obfuscation travesties perpetrated on the Port students to devalue their education, particularly those at Wilber Cross goes silent. Imagine what you don’t see, Packet teacher-wise.

    My separate “Can’t Fathom” post was a correction to my original post where I wrote “Can Fathom. Such an error can change the entire meaning and create confusion. Don’t you think?

    As for items left behind being “Blown Out of Proportion”, that speaks for itself.

    To be fair let’s say for the sake of argument/discussion. This trivial issue is politically being Blown Out of Proportion.

    Perhaps we are not speaking on the same level because we value things differently. Especially in our words if coded language is used. I don’t have much time for that, and besides, I lost my decoder ring.

    With regard to city affairs, I state my position here at OIB fairly clearly, minus grammatical and sentence structure, outside of the many packet classes I had issues. 🙂

    When the editorial rights deem fit, Lennie. 🙂

    As you do, though you take it to a higher level at CC public speaking meetings.

    The fact the city students got a new state-of-the-art school and the furnishing to go with it and not harping or political pontificating on a bunch of crap that got left behind for the new property owner or the city to deal with doesn’t reach a level of much condemnation from me. I am happy to see the Port made strives on school capital invested considering the state of quality of the educational environment where it used to be and the level it’s at now is quite a compliment. As I stated before my first attempt to “reeducate myself” at HCC was on Barnum Ave in an induration building. JS

    That being said, I see no real value in most, if not all, of the stuff I saw left behind in that video. In fact, it would be a devaluation to furnish the new Harding school with its old shit. So you’re right I would throw away not only that 100-year-old building and equipment/desks/chairs for a new state of art school/building and new equipment for Port students/education.

    Outside of donating it, I don’t see much value in those old student desks/chairs and supplies left. Though perhaps that was even done on some level, donation/salvage items, I would think.

    .As for the sale of the building. AS IS 🙂

    On a much higher level, the land/property being scarce in the Port. The people of the Port should take interest in, not just the local NRZ. While the hospital wants a reduction in price for cleaning up the crap left behind if they get it. I wonder if they take into consideration how much the city/loses in tax revenue each year if a private developer develops the land instead for their tax-exempt expansion.

    While I have my take on the hospital acquisition. The Port already hosts two Hospitals at a tax base lost to service the surrounding community. I guess this is where the rubber stamp hits the road with pols benefiting through their position, politics being politics.

    I would have to assume that housing should be looked at That seems a more practical development to serve the city’s needs, considering the supply need for the city. Perhaps a new large senior housing center while the older senior housing in the city serves to accommodate affordable housing-rate and the new market-based development retain their value level to contribute to Port tax revenue. Three birds with one stone, state/fed financial support for a new senior housing complex while adding affordable housing supply, new market-rate houses contribute to the city tax base. Just a thought.

    Though is going to be interesting to see who benefits from this land deal and how well the city/people come out as a whole. I am sure there are a lot of back door dealing/conversations going on with that property. I am interested in knowing what proposal came in for the land. But at the end of the day, the power at be, through the democratic process and it elected officials, the mayor, and councils will rely on the outcome.

    P.S. You object. 🙂

    I don’t know what this means, John.

    “You have recently linked your identity as a writer, with mine without notice or request. Frankly, I object for the reason that you have resisted meeting me in person to discuss life, worldviews, living in the City of Bridgeport, and a great many other things likely. Why do you resist meeting? You do not ever say. It is likely something we can discover in person, together, and not waste time parading publicly’

    It would seem like a private meeting, behind closed doors and not wanting to “parade publicly” on any discussion of life, worldviews, living in the City of Bridgeport, and a great many other things would go against OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT, and HONEST. You wouldn’t want to do that, would you? 🙂

    You are a Yale man, right, Is this like a Skull and Bones meeting?

    Besides Don’t we have an in-person meeting set up at the G2’d headquarter grand opening, with coffee in hand? You have a doctorate LEVEL degree, right? 🤣

  6. So many words, too many to peruse with seriousness of purpose, from one who disdains to be in touch off Only in Bridgeport territory.
    Others write, with sense and words enough to attract some thumbs up of understanding. Others? Time continues to tell.

  7. We are definitely not in thumbs-up/coded territory regardless of the level or value of my words spoken or
    am I going to win any popularity contest in the pursuit of not cutting the baby in half? Though I am fair, good job people. 🙂


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