BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Gov. Dannel Malloy announced his endorsement for Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch's re-election campaign Tuesday in a garage filled with classic cars and a crowd chanting “four more years.”
“Things are moving in the right direction,” Malloy said of Bridgeport, the state's largest city. “This is not the time to throw a roadblock. This is the time to build on your success.”
Malloy said the election was “winnable” for Finch, but he told the mayor “you have to run a strong campaign” to ensure that supporters turn out at the polls in November.
Finch praised Malloy during his speech and in an interview following the endorsement.
“He’s not just a leader of our state,” Finch told The Daily Voice on Tuesday from a playground across the street from Black Horse Garage, where the governor made his announcement. “He’s not just a national figure. He is a former mayor.”
Finch said Malloy knows the challenges and opportunities that come with being mayor.
“He grew Stamford tremendously, and we want to do similar things in Bridgeport,” Finch said.
Malloy served as mayor of Stamford for four terms from December 1995 to December 2009, the longest mayoral tenure in the nearby city’s history. He took office as governor in January 2011 and was re-elected to his second term last November.
Several other high-profile Democratic politicians have recently announced their support for Finch’s re-election campaign, including U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, The Daily Voice previously reported. Three former Bridgeport mayors — John Fabrizi, Tom Bucci and Leonard Paoletta — have also endorsed Finch. He also received the party's official endorsement from the Democratic Town Committee. A total of 49 of the 90 members sided with Finch.
Finch is likely to face a primary challenge in September. Challenger Joe Ganim, a former mayor who served seven years in federal prison, announced he has gathered enough signatures to make it onto the primary ballot after failing to gain the Democratic Party nomination.
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