BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Bridgeport’s Mayor Joe Ganim has declared victory in Park City's mayoral primary election against former pollical ally John Gomes. The latter supported Ganim in 2019, however, now says that the city should move in a different direction.
As of Wednesday night, the website for the Connecticut Secretary of the State shows Ganim with 4,260 votes (52.13%) while Gomes has 3,912 votes (47.87%).
Gomes declined to concede and could possibly run again in the general election, but the Democratic nominee is expected to have a big advantage. Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city, hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1991.
In his statement, Gomes went on to say,:
“For far too long, the unwritten rule in Bridgeport has been, 'The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do.' The loss of faith in democracy in Bridgeport elections ends when we all stand up united and declare, NEVER AGAIN. This is a civil rights issue that affects every Bridgeport voter. We are grateful for the overwhelming support from residents, local business owners, community members, friends, family, neighbors who have joined our movement for change in Bridgeport. The fight for electoral reform and justice in Park City continues, stay tuned."
Gomes’ campaign leaders told FOX61 that he plans on running as an Independent in the general election.
Ganim is seeking another four-year term in office. He served as mayor from 1991 to 2003 but left office after a corruption conviction and seven years in federal prison, Ganim was re-elected in 2015 and has served ever since. He has touted the city’s economic growth, financial stability, and a better quality of life under his leadership.
Ganim previously faced a primary challenge in his 2019 re-election bid, when he narrowly defeated state Sen. Marilyn Moore by 270 votes.
In a message he posted on Facebook, the mayor thanked the voters for showing up for him.
“Thank you to the voters, the residents, everyone who came out to support me and the entire top-line democrats in the democratic primary,” Ganim said in the video. He went on to say, “It means a lot to me that you put your trust and your support in me as your mayor, now as the Democratic nominee going forward in November.”
Gomes served in Ganim’s second administration as the city’s Acting Chief Administrative Officer until he was demoted in 2016 and later as an Assistant Chief Administrative Officer until his termination in July 2022. Gomes has suggested publicly that his ouster was in retaliation for being rumored as a possible mayoral hopeful.
The state's largest city has a reputation for voting controversies and ballot irregularities. So much so that there is an ongoing state investigation into absentee ballot violations by three people connected to Ganim’s 2019 campaign.
Whoever wins the Democrat ticket could face even more competition in the November general election - not just by a Republican - but also from State Sen. Marilyn Moore and political newcomer Lamond Daniels, who didn’t get enough signatures to qualify for the primary but may be on the general election ballot.
Election results can be found here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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