Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch walked away with the city’s Democratic Party endorsement for a third term, quieting any speculation that party Chairman Mario Testa would play kingmaker for rival and felonious former mayor Joe Ganim.
Those of us on the outside looking in—into Connecticut and into Bridgeport—are having a hard time understanding why the voters of the Park City would even consider returning to office the guy who used it to enrich himself. Do they really trust him after his criminal activity landed him in the hooskow for seven years?
Mayor Bill Finch’s accomplishments for the city and the fact that he is “in it” for the right reason—his love of the city—should be plenty to get him reelected. His economic development efforts have produced results including at Steele Point, downtown and other areas of the city.
I’ve seen Finch’s passion firsthand. As a senior staffer for the Senate Democrats in the General Assembly when Finch was a state senator representing Bridgeport, there was no more forceful advocate for his or her district than Finch.
In fact, there were several times, when Finch thought Bridgeport was getting short shrift (and it was somewhat often), that he would have a mini-meltdown over something like the Beardsley Zoo not getting funding when similar projects in other districts did. I always admired Finch’s enthusiasm and fire for Bridgeport.
So while Finch is worthy of reelection, it still boggles the mind that Ganim is even being considered. Some media outlets have called out Democratic State Central Committee officials and Gov. Dannel Malloy himself for being silent on Ganim as the convict makes another mayoral run. The accusation that the Democrats would be screaming bloody murder had a Republican tried to return to the office that he left in disgrace is an accurate one.
There is no question that everyone deserves a second chance, as Malloy’s “Second Chance Society” legislation does. But the Bridgeport mayoral race is not about that. As has been said before, when a bank robber gets out of jail, he’s entitled to another chance. That doesn’t mean you make him a teller.
Ganim’s rather pathetic campaign stunt of opening his own “police substation” showed just what he’s all about—a modern-day P.T. Barnum trying to make a sucker out of each Bridgeport voter. The violence at Trumbull Gardens is a serious concern and needs serious attention not the hucksterism that is Ganim. Bridgeport’s fight against crime is an impressive one overall due in large part to Finch and his policies.
So while Finch is in the driver’s seat now, both Ganim and Democrat Mary-Jane Foster expect to force a primary by gathering petition signatures.