Joe Ganim Says Victory In Bridgeport Mayoral Race Is "Redemption"
Ex-convict Joe Ganim has declared victory in his bid to retake the Bridgeport mayor's office five years after his release from federal prison.
The Democrat defeated incumbent Mayor Bill Finch in the party primary and faced a total of seven other opponents in Tuesday's election, including independent Democrat Mary Jane Foster and Republican candidate Enrique Torres.
Ganim spent seven years in prison for a six-year scheme to steer city contracts in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in wine, clothes, cash and home improvements.
In announcing a victory, Ganim was joined on stage by the Connecticut Democratic Party chairman. Ganim's campaign was fueled by a wave of good will among many in the heavily Democratic city who fondly remembered his years in office, from 1991 to 2003. They recalled lower taxes, safer neighborhoods and cleaner parks.
Ganim supporters hoist banner at Testa's reading "Bridgeport Welcomes You Back Mayor Joe Ganim." #ctelections— Brian Lockhart (@blockhart1) November 4, 2015
Ganim won nearly 60 percent of the vote. He had campaigned on the idea that he deserved a second chance. In his victory speech, he thanked the city for giving him that second chance.
“And of course, there is an element of redemption in all this," he said. "In the true sense of the word. And it’s not a distant or philosophical or religious redemption. It’s real, and it’s human.”
Despite his conviction on 16 counts of corruption and years in prison, Ganim had support from Bridgeport’s police union, and from one of the FBI agents who helped convict him.