Rugby has nothing on Bridgeport when it comes to blood sports. Connecticut’s largest city is known for giving up a few units of hemoglobin. After all city politics is the favorite game in town. And now that Joe Ganim’s seeking the job he lost in 2003, following his conviction on federal corruption charges, the political punches between he and Mayor Bill Finch will be in full force.
Thursday morning Ganim appeared on Chaz & AJ In the Morning, broadcast on 99.1 WPLR, 95.9 The Fox and 102.9 The Whale, to announce he’s formed an exploratory committee for mayor, a major step in what he hopes is the Democratic Party nomination.
Ganim says “Real progress for our city can only happen if we improve the quality of life for all the people of Bridgeport in every neighborhood.” Finch argues Ganim pushed back the progress.
Under an exploratory Ganim can raise a maximum personal contribution of $375. In doing so it allows him to go back to that same person to raise another $1,000 in a full-blown candidate committee for mayor. Finch has amassed a warchest of close to $400,000. Ganim and other Finch opponents have a lot of ground to make up. So look for Ganim to raise some quick cash, invest some of that into a public opinion poll, and raise his public profile in local media in an effort to immunize himself from eventual attacks that will come from Finch’s political operation. He will follow up with a full candidate committee.
When Ganim was mayor and Finch served on the Bridgeport City Council and in the State Senate they were not best of buds. Ganim, a political animal, had no appetite for Finch’s public policy wonkishness. The juxtaposition of solar panels to the sun did not warm Ganim’s political appetite.
Finch supports a bill in the Connecticut General Assembly that would ban corrupt politicians from public office. Does the bill have legs? If it passes will be it be retroactive or moving forward? Either way, it allows Finch to draw a contrast with Ganim as an opponent. It also allows Ganim talk openly about second chances, in a city loaded with folks who desire second chances.
Ganim has been schmoozing the 90-member Democratic Town Committee for support at the July endorsement session. Finch has a leg up there, but Ganim is trying to build an organization for a September primary battle.
The only sure-fire way of making the ballot is the party endorsement. The other way is securing nearly 2000 certified signatures of registered Democrats in the city, a labor intensive process that requires lots of boots on the ground.
Strap in. This race is gonna get noisy. And bloody.