BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — He spent nearly a decade in federal prison on corruption charges but next week, former Mayor Joe Ganim could return to Bridgeport City Hall.
On Nov. 3, voters in Bridgeport will decide if Joe Ganim deserves the second chance he’s been campaigning for.
Joe Ganim hasn’t stopped campaigning since he won the September primary by 400 votes. His campaign has helped to register a lot of new voters and continued to do so right up to today’s deadline.
Mayor Bill Finch fizzled in his attempt to get on the November ballot and joined forces with another losing primary candidate Mary Jane Foster in a desperate attempt to keep Ganim from getting his old job back. “I think it’s a difficult situation that’s played itself out in Bridgeport and an unfortunate one,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-Connecticut.)
The Governor, a fellow Democrat, says Ganim has not earned his endorsement and is staying out of the race.
Foster says that a Ganim victory next week would taint the city’s reputation and make it difficult to attract developers and investors, “I think the perception certainly taints it and perception is reality.”
The Republican in the race, popular Black Rock neighborhood businessman Rick Torres, says he’s the logical alternative to both Foster and Ganim, “I think everyone deserves a second chance at life. You don’t deserve a second chance to take over the place where you stole millions of dollars.”
The Governor points out that since he’s been out of prison Ganim has not been able to get his license to practice law re-instated, “And didn’t have it reinstated in part through a legal process that found that he hadn’t told the complete truth about his application.”
But none of that seems to matter to many Bridgeport residents. “We’re very confident that if we have the type of turnout we had in the primary that we’ll have the same result,” said Ganim while greeting customers at the Home Depot in Bridgeport today.
The turnout in the September primary was exceptionally high, indicating that many of the new voters that Ganim’s campaign registered actually voted.
In addition to Foster and Torres there are four lesser known candidates on the ballot for mayor a total of seven.