Bridgeport mayor sues for access to public campaign money

- FILE - Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim (WTNH)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim has filed a federal lawsuit against the State Elections Enforcement Commission, seeking access to public campaign money as he explores a run for governor.

The commission ruled in June that Ganim can’t access a grant from the Citizens’ Election Fund because he’s a convicted felon.

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Ganim says Connecticut’s public financing law creates an “unfair and unnecessary barrier” to public office and violates his constitutional rights to free speech, equal political opportunity and equal protection of the law.

The 57-year-old Ganim served a seven-year prison sentence for steering public contracts in exchange for gifts before winning back his old job as mayor in 2015.

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Joshua Foley, a spokesman for the elections commission, said it has not been served with the lawsuit and has no comment on it.