BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — After narrowly losing the endorsement of the Democratic Town Committee just last week, former Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim said he has collected the 2,000 signatures — more than about the 1,800 needed — to gain a spot on the Democratic primary ballot Sept. 16.
“I’m extremely proud of how my team pounded the pavement and collected more than the necessary signatures in record time,” Ganim said in a statement. “It’s inspiring to see so many volunteers motivated to get things moving again for Bridgeport.”
“We aren’t finished though,” Ganim added. “We will continue to meet with voters to collect more signatures.”
Less than a week after the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee vote, Ganim and his team took to the streets and collected more than the necessary signatures, his campaign said.
Last week, his campaign said, “Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch was outraised by Joe Ganim’s wave of grassroots support by over $50,000.”
Ganim’s campaign claims that 53 percent of all its donors are from Bridgeport. The average contribution of a Bridgeport donor was $140, the campaign said.
A total of 77 percent of Bridgeport donors were grassroots contributions of $100 or less, the campaign said.
Ganim, who was mayor of Bridgeport from 1991 to 2003, served seven years in federal prison on bribery and corruption charges. And the campaign to elect the incumbent mayor makes no secret of this fact.
The website thetruthaboutjoeganim.com recently went live. “Paid for by Re-Elect Bill Finch” says a phrase on the copyright notice at the bottom of the page.
While the Finch campaign frequently criticizes Ganim for his criminal past, Ganim often calls into question the current mayor’s approach to combating crime in the city.
“The police department is down over 100 officers, while others continue to retire,” Ganim said Sunday after the shooting death of a Bridgeport man at a restaurant . “Finch’s continued refusal to provide funding and police manpower is insensitive -- at best.”
Ganim added that he could call for and hire 100 new police officers and reinstate closed substations if elected mayor.
Finch announced a new list of police recruits at a press conference Monday morning.
"The city expects to hire, train and deploy 100 new officers in the next 18 to 24 months," the mayor's office said in a statement Monday.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.