Former Bridgeport mayor Nicholas Panuzio died Friday night. Panuzio was mayor of Connecticut’s largest city from 1971 to 1974.
Panuzio was a Republican – a rarity in the Bridgeport mayor’s office these days. He was elected to his first term in 1971 on a razor-thin margin of nine votes, taking advantage of a political split among Democrats. It earned him the ironic nickname “Landslide Panuzio.”
He won his second term by a more comfortable margin. But he left the office in 1975. He served as deputy administrator of the General Services Administration under Gerald Ford and worked in Washington as a lobbyist for the City of Bridgeport for decades. He also served as chairman of the board of trustees of the University of Bridgeport.
Panuzio died in Maryland. He was 83-years-old.