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All Seven Bridgeport Mayoral Candidates Expected At Voter Forum

Gail Janensch, a member of the League of Women Voters, is the organizer of a forum set for Sunday with all seven candidates for mayor in Bridgeport.
Gail Janensch, a member of the League of Women Voters, is the organizer of a forum set for Sunday with all seven candidates for mayor in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The League of Women Voters of the Bridgeport Area has acceptances from all seven candidates running for mayor of Bridgeport for a voter forum.

The event is set for the Klein Auditorium from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Sunday Oct. 25.

The event, organized by the LWV, has coalition partners that include the Council of Churches, Greater Bridgeport NAACP, Bridgeport Education Association and the city’s Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.

In the forum, written questions will be taken from the audience. Each candidate will be asked the same questions, whether it's from the League or an audience member. Each candidate will also make an opening statement and a closing statement.

With only 1.5 hours and seven candidates, time for each segment will be short, organizer Gail Janensch said.

“This forum is not political advocacy. It is voter service. It shows that the citizens of Bridgeport care about this city’s future.” Janensch said.

Appearing on the ballot and expected at the forum are:

  • Joe Ganim,
  • Mary Jane Foster,
  • Enrique "Rick" Torres,
  • David Daniels,
  • Charles Coviello,
  • Chris Taylor, and
  • Tony Barr.

Ganim won the Democratic primary and is on line A on the ballot.

Torres is the GOP nominee on Line B. (There is no candidate on Line C for the Working Families Party.) Coviello created a new party called The Movement Party and is on Line D.

The rest are petitioning candidates, with Barr on Line E; Taylor on Line F; Foster on Line G; and Daniels on Line H.

Current Mayor Bill Finch lost the Democratic primary last month and then missed a deadline to be run for the newly created party The Jobs Party. Finch is not on the ballot for Nov. 3.

Janensch, a League member and Bridgeport resident, says she made numerous phone calls to other groups that might have come forward to hold such an event in partnership with the LWV and could find none willing to do so.

“The League’s main mission is voter education. The public has a right to see with their own eyes how the candidates compare on a variety of issues vital to our city," Janensch said. “The League has a reputation for being fair to all sides and holding events that are well moderated and the discourse is civil."

Funding for the event will come mainly from the League but also from contributions from voters.

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