Lamont Joins State Democrats in Endorsing Bridgeport Mayor Ganim’s Reelection

Gov. Ned Lamont endorsed Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim on Feb. 20, 2024 (Courtesy of Ganim Facebook video)

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BRIDGEPORT – Gov. Ned Lamont endorsed Mayor Joe Ganim’s bid for reelection on Tuesday, joining the Connecticut Democratic Party in supporting Ganim ahead of the Feb. 27 court-ordered reprise of the general election.

Standing beside Ganim at a city event on Tuesday, Lamont told reporters that he supports the mayor’s bid against challenger John Gomes.

“I think the people of Bridgeport will be well-served to send him back for another four years. I support him,” said Lamont.

Lamont said he’s formed a “good, strong” relationship with Ganim over the last five years, and said there’s more work to be done in Bridgeport.

The endorsement comes exactly a week before the upcoming mayoral primary election, which serves as the fourth election between Ganim and Gomes in the last six months. Pointing to “shocking” evidence of absentee ballot fraud by two Ganim supporters, a Fairfield Judicial District Superior Court judge in November overturned the incumbent’s 251-vote win in the original Democratic primary election and issued a new set of primary and general elections.

Ganim has since won all three of the recent elections – the Sept. 12 primary, Nov. 7 general and Jan. 23 primary re-do – against Gomes. At the Tuesday “Beam-Signing” ceremony at Bullard Havens Technical High School, he thanked Lamont for his endorsement ahead of the fourth.

“I’ve worked with five governors. I’ve had the best working relationship, Governor, with you. You’ve been, frankly, the most caring and committed,” Ganim said to Lamont. “It’s my pleasure and honor to say thank you for your support and endorsement.”

Along with Lamont, the state Democratic Party underscored its support for Ganim in a Tuesday email to CT Examiner.

Asked for her position ahead of the final election, Nancy DiNardo, chair of the Connecticut Democratic Party, said Ganim’s 1,077-vote win in the January primary do-over cemented the party’s endorsement.

“Connecticut Democrats always support the candidate who wins a primary and appears on the Democratic line in the general election,” DiNardo said.

The state endorsements come a couple of weeks after Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee Chair Mario Testa called on Connecticut Democrats to endorse Ganim, noting that Bridgeport consistently helps Democrats to win federal and state elections.

But in a Tuesday press release, Gomes alleged a conflict of interest and expressed disappointment in Lamont.

“While I was disappointed in the Governor’s decision to cave to Bridgeport DTC Chairman’s Mario Testa’s demands to endorse the status quo in Bridgeport, I was not surprised given the Governor used the same Ganim political vendor Park City Consulting LLC for Get Out the Vote efforts in his 2022 re-election,” Gomes said.

The challenger’s comments mirror those made in a February letter to the editor by Gomes supporter and former Bridgeport State Rep. John Hennessy. According to the letter, Lamont, Ganim and other state officials use the consulting company for their campaigns. 

Hennessy said both Lamont and Ganim have paid the Park City Consulting LLC thousands of dollars through their campaign committees – $17,000 from Ned for CT in 2022 and $140,000 from Ganim for Bridgeport ‘23.

Regardless of the endorsement, Gomes called on residents to come out to the polls next week and fight the status quo.

“Let’s end the corruption next Tuesday and pass substantial election reform in the state legislature,” Gomes said.

Since Testa’s call to endorse Ganim, two other candidates who competed against Ganim and Gomes for mayor in November – Democrat Lamond Daniels and Republican David Herz – have also offered their support to the mayor. Last week, Daniels similarly stood beside Ganim and urged residents to re-elect Ganim under the promise that he would work with the mayor on specific changes to city government.