Connecticut City Votes Felon Ex-Mayor Back Into Office

4 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Connecticut City Votes Felon Ex-Mayor Back Into Office.

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Five years after he was released from prison for embezzling taxpayer dollars, Joe Ganim declared victory in his new bid for mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut.HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says there will be a team of volunteer attorneys trained in election law ready to respond to potential problems at the polls, including in Bridgeport where there’s a hotly contested mayoral race. Ganim spent seven years behind bars for corruption, but he entered Tuesday’s election as the endorsed candidate of the hard-luck city’s most powerful party after defeating two-term incumbent Mayor Bill Finch in the Democratic primary. “Tonight, we not only made history, but we defined a new course for this great city,” Ganim said in a victory speech at Testo’s restaurant in Bridgeport, surrounded by supporters.

Ganim, 56, claimed victory on Tuesday night, citing numbers that had him beating his closest opponent, Mary-Jane Foster, vice president of the University of Bridgeport, by a vote of about two to one, with Councilman Enrique Torres, a Republican, in third place, according to unofficial results. He was the front-runner in the mayoral race, having secured the endorsement of the local Democratic Party and winning a a three-way primary in September.

He was sent to prison for steering city contracts in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive wine, custom clothes, cash and home improvements. Since his release, he has worked as a legal assistant at his family’s Bridgeport law firm, but he has been blocked by the courts from regaining his law license.

She said her office and the State Elections Enforcement Commission will have representatives in Bridgeport and across Connecticut responding to concerns, contending the current system is very effective. On the campaign trail, where he has tapped nostalgia for what some remember as a time of lower taxes and safer neighborhoods, Ganim said the support he has received shows people are open to supporting somebody who owns up to their errors. “I’m hopeful today, humbled by the response we’ve gotten from the neighborhoods,” Ganim told WCBS 880. “I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of it, and I just hope that we have the opportunity to see a great result today.” His opponents contend that his achievements as mayor have been overstated, and that he has not taken full responsibility for his misdeeds. I am committed to moving Bridgeport forward, and, as I have said, I will continue to put the best interests of the community first.” From the outside, Mr.

Foster, who been endorsed by Finch and the city’s largest newspaper, says the city of 150,000 people is still battling a reputation for corruption earned by Ganim’s criminal conviction. “Republicans are looking for someone with tried and true business experience. Ganim’s opponents said his return to City Hall would chill the city’s relations with businesses, the state capital of Hartford and Washington, D.C.

He also spoke of his accomplishments as mayor, including helping the city get out of bankruptcy during his first term and building the Webster Bank Arena in downtown Bridgeport. Foster said in an interview late on Tuesday at the Bijou Theater, across from her campaign headquarters. “I expected that I would be elected the next mayor of Bridgeport.” Mr. He sought to reassure voters that he would abide by the law this time around, even persuading an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who helped send him to prison in 2003 to support his campaign.

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