Former Challenger Endorses Joe Ganim for Reelection in Bridgeport

Lamond Daniels endorsed Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim ahead of the general election

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BRIDGEPORT – On Thursday former mayoral candidate Lamond Daniels endorsed Mayor Joe Ganim ahead of the court-ordered do-over of the city’s November election.

Daniels, a Democrat, ran as a petitioning candidate against Democrats Ganim and Gomes and Republican David Herz on Nov. 7, earning about 13 percent of the votes. After both Daniels and Herz withdrew from the court-ordered general election redo last month, the two remaining candidates called on the fellow Democrat to back their continued runs for mayor.

On his campaign website, Daniels wrote that Bridgeport cannot afford more of the same leadership, maintaining that it is “time for change.” But at a Thursday press conference, he stood beside Ganim and endorsed the seven-term mayor for the Feb. 27 general election instead of Gomes, and encouraged the 1,836 people who voted for him to do the same.

While Daniels said he does not agree with Ganim on every issue, Daniels said he appreciates that the mayor sat down with him and agreed to four key governmental changes.

“I did not plan to make this endorsement,” Daniels said. “But in meetings with the mayor, I have been pleased by his openness to new ideas and other viewpoints, and his ability to move beyond politics for the sake of our city.”

Daniels said the mayor has agreed to move forward with studying racial and gender disparities in city government, increasing diversity in Bridgeport boards and commissions, kickstarting the Fair Rent Office and livestreaming City Council meetings at Daniels’ request.

Daniels said that because his goal is to unify the Democratic Party, he is willing to help the administration implement these changes.

“Mayor Ganim has given us his word that he is open to collaboration, and I’m eager to forge a partnership with him and his administration,” Daniels said. “And we will hold them accountable.”

Ahead of the original primary election, Ganim told reporters that he was the only candidate with enough experience to manage the city. But on Thursday, the mayor said Daniels is well-qualified for any position in city government, and said he looks forward to working with him.

While Ganim said has not offered Daniels a position in his administration, Ganim said he would continue these constructive conversations about transparency and inclusivity with his former opponent.

“Today, in so many ways, stands for and marks a better day for Bridgeport’s future,” Ganim said.

Regardless of vote counts, Ganim said Daniels was always the “better, stronger” opponent.

In a Thursday statement to CT Examiner, Gomes, a Democrat running on the Independent Party ticket, said Daniels had betrayed the people of Bridgeport.

“Lamond Daniels sold out,” Gomes said. 

Gomes, who forced the special Jan. 23 primary election and February general election with an absentee ballot fraud lawsuit against city officials, said Daniels originally promised to challenge the status quo. But now, he said, voters are left to wonder if his campaign was simply a move to divide the “anti-incumbent” vote to secure another election for Ganim.

Although Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee Chair Mario Testa called on state Democrats to endorse Ganim for mayor earlier this month, Daniels denied any claims that he supported the mayor under the promise of professional or political gain.

“Those who know me know that that’s not who I am, and that’s not what I stand for,” Daniels said. “This is my home, and I want to be a part of making this city great.”

Asked by a reporter why he endorsed Ganim given that Gomes is also fighting for changes to Bridgeport government, Daniels said his campaign wasn’t necessarily about change – it was about getting things done. He said Ganim has promised to do just that.

Daniels acknowledged that many of his supporters may question the endorsement, but said the decision came after many conversations with both his campaign team and other Democrats.