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Live updates: Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim wins another term after a marathon election

Published February 27, 2024 at 3:06 PM EST
Incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim (left) and John Gomes (right).
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
Incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim (left) and John Gomes (right).

Connecticut voters once again headed to the polls on Tuesday for the redo election for Bridgeport mayor and the fourth match-up between incumbent Joe Ganim and challenger John Gomes.

The polls have closed. Check back here for live updates on results.

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Joe Ganim defeats John Gomes, David Herz

Posted February 27, 2024 at 10:41 PM EST
Incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim was re-elected to another four-year term.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
Incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim was re-elected to another four-year term.

Incumbent Joe Ganim has been re-elected Bridgeport mayor, according to the Associated Press. He beat independent challenger John Gomes and Republican David Herz.

Ganim garnered more than 6,300 votes, defeating Gomes with more than 4,100 votes, and Herz with nearly 300 votes.

In front of about 150 supporters last night, Ganim thanked his supporters for sticking with him through four elections in five months.

“If it wasn't clear three times in a row, it's clear today, louder than ever: Bridgeport has spoken," Ganim said.

"The people of Bridgeport have, in a resounding way, answered the call for the fourth time in the middle of February, and said yes to progress in this city that we've started and are committed to continuing with your help.”

The city’s mayoral election has been plagued by reports of absentee ballot fraud, which led a judge to overturn the results of the first primary between the candidates.

Ganim called on his opposition to join him to make Bridgeport better.

“From all of us to those that may have seen a different way, we are committed to moving this city forward with you or without you,” Ganim said.

This will be Ganim’s eighth term as mayor. He was elected for the first time in 1991, but served 7 years in prison for federal corruption charges in between terms.

Despite defeat, Gomes vows to continue to fight for anti-fraud initiatives

Posted February 27, 2024 at 10:41 PM EST
Challenger John Gomes
Eda Uzunlar
/
WSHU
Challenger John Gomes

Bridgeport mayoral candidate John Gomes was defeated Tuesday night by incumbent Joe Ganim.

Gomes said despite the loss, this race is only the beginning.

The crowd at Gomes’ election party buzzed with pride. Though Gomes had just lost the election, staffers, volunteers and supporters were all determined to continue the campaign’s anti-fraud initiatives.

Gomes said his very next move was to bring the issue of absentee ballots to Hartford.

“We will continue on the mission to bring transparency, we will continue on this mission about equality, we will continue on the mission of those things that are impacting our lives,” Gomes said.

Ganim also beat Gomes last month in the Democratic primary redo that was court-ordered because of reports of absentee ballot fraud.

Gomes said this election is just one part of his future in representing Bridgeport. He stated his commitment to pushing for local transparency and equality in the community.

Gomes doesn't concede but says the "election is over"

Posted February 27, 2024 at 9:33 PM EST

Minutes after arriving at O’Manel Restaurant, where the rest of his campaign team waited, Gomes announced that the election was over, but he was not conceding.

“Conceding, no. Conceding is to give up," Gomes said. "We understand our journey has ended for this election, but the fight and the movement will continue.

Challenger John Gomes
Eda Uzunlar
/
WSHU
Challenger John Gomes

Gomes arrives, supporters remain hopeful

Posted February 27, 2024 at 9:10 PM EST

Approximately 40 supporters, volunteers and staffers for John Gomes’ campaign have gathered in a private room at O’Manel’s Restaurant, anxiously awaiting the remaining 75% of the votes to come in. Gomes arrived around 9 p.m.

Low conversations are subdued, but groups sitting around the tables are still smiling and laughing, with a few scattered cheers.

Dan Nelson, who helps handle communications for Gomes, said both the voters and members of Gomes’ team are “fatigued” after three separate election processes.

Others in the room have stayed hopeful, and equally proud of insisting on an election for mayor that isn’t fraudulent — even if Gomes doesn’t win.

Ganim declares victory

Posted February 27, 2024 at 8:53 PM EST
Incumbent Joe Ganim declares victory in Bridgeport's race for mayor on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
Incumbent Joe Ganim declares victory in Bridgeport's race for mayor on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.

Incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim has declared victory in Bridgeport's general election.

Ahead of 9 p.m., with just 25% of vote tabulated, Ganim has garnered 1,925 votes compared to independent candidate John Gomes's 1,424 and Republican David Herz's 120, according to the Associated Press.

“Bridgeport has spoken," Ganim said upon arriving to his election party. "The people of Bridgeport have, in a resounding way, answered the call for the fourth time. And said 'yes' to progress.”

The Associated Press has not yet called the race.

Bridgeport’s Democratic voters have been to the polls four times since September for this race — two primary and two general elections.

Both times, Ganim defeated Gomes for the Democratic nomination.

Gomes supporters trickle in, Ganim camp starts to party

Posted February 27, 2024 at 8:28 PM EST

The first supporters of independent candidate John Gomes begin to trickle in at O’Manel Restaurant as the vote tally begins. With a fifth of the preliminary vote in, incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim leads by at least 400 votes.

Bridgeport City Council President Aidee Nieves
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
Bridgeport City Council President Aidee Nieves

More than 100 people are waiting for Ganim at Gather Tap and Tavern on State Street, including City Council President Aidee Nieves.

Other Bridgeport Democrat sightings include State Representative Antonio Felipe and Senator Herron Gaston.

People are dancing, singing and hugging as results have just started to come in — and it’s already a celebration.

Polls are closed, Ganim supporters arrive at headquarters

Posted February 27, 2024 at 8:08 PM EST
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU

Polls are closed, but if you are still waiting on line at a polling center, you can still vote.

On a rainy evening in Bridgeport, more than 50 people have packed into Gather Tap and Tavern to support incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim, awaiting election results.

It's quiet at John Gomes' campaign party at O’Manel restaurant.

Battle for Bridgeport mayor

Posted February 27, 2024 at 3:23 PM EST

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim (D) and challenger John Gomes are facing off for what is expected to be the final time this election cycle today.

Bridgeport’s Democratic voters have been to the polls four times since September for this race — two primary and two general elections.

Republican David Herz is also on Tuesday’s ballot.

Results from the initial primary in September were overturned by a judge for absentee ballot fraud. Both Ganim and Gomes have accused each other of fraud during this election — they’ve also both denied involvement with fraud, though Ganim did take responsibility for September’s incident in December.

The race has gained national headlines. It’s also been cited by former President Donald Trump and Elon Musk as proof of widespread election fraud (that has been debunked by the Associated Press).

In the last week, Ganim has received high-profile endorsements from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Representative Jim Himes.

Voting in Bridgeport’s mayoral election do-over is underway

Posted February 27, 2024 at 3:11 PM EST
A voting site in Broome County
Vaughn Golden
/
WSKG
A voting site in Broome County

Voting in Bridgeport’s mayoral election do-over is underway.

Connecticut Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas said her office has received a few calls about disturbances at the polls, but that she was not especially concerned.

“At one of their polling places the fire alarm went off. But every polling place has an emergency plan. I think they were only out of the building for about 5-10 minutes, and ballots were secured,” Thomas said. “We also had a couple of hearsay, like sort of third party reporting, on something that they saw. So that went to SEEC.”

According to the Gomes campaign, 2,463 absentee ballots have been returned to the Bridgeport Town Clerk as of 3 p.m. today. 3,146 were requested.

Polling sites are open until 8 p.m. Anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be able to cast a ballot.