Ganim claims victory in Bridgeport, Finch says 'too close to cal - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Ganim claims victory in Bridgeport, Finch says 'too close to call'

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Finch: Bridgeport democratic mayoral primary 'too close to call' (WFSB) Finch: Bridgeport democratic mayoral primary 'too close to call' (WFSB)
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

In addition to races in Hartford and New London, voters in Bridgeport headed to the polls on Wednesday.

Joseph Ganim, a former mayor who was sentenced to prison for corruption, is seeking the mayors spot again, however he is up against current Mayor Bill Finch.

Business woman and university administrator Mary Jane Foster was also in the race, however she conceded after the polls closed.

On Wednesday night, Finch said the race was still too close to call as all absentee ballots still had not been counted. As of about 10:30 p.m. there were still about 1,400 absentee ballots that still had to be counted.

However, Ganim declared a victory for his campaign as he is leading Finch by roughly 600 votes.

"We're going to defend this victory, victory for the people of the city of Bridgeport," Ganim said.

Officials said Ganim came close to securing an endorsement from the Democratic Town Committee, despite his criminal record. Instead, the endorsement went to Finch.

"Whether its taxes, crime, jobs or education, they see this as an opportunity for positive change and a direction for the city," said Joe Ganim, who said he heard the turnout was higher than normal and feels it could be good for the challengers. "Some very strong words of encouragement, some thank you for coming back. The last three people who talked to me said they want to give me a second chance, 'you did a lot of good things for the city, we need you back'."

Ganim served seven years on federal corruption charges and said he has learned from past mistakes and told voters that Bridgeport was never better than when it was under his watch in the 1990s.

However the Finch campaign pointed to development downtown and the waterfront steel point complex as signs that the city is moving in the right direction.

"Its going great. We have a good turnout, we're positive about the outcome. Most of the voters seem to be pretty satisfied with the way things are going. We think we'll have a good reason to celebrate tonight," Finch said.

Ganim and his supporters gathered at his campaign headquarters on Hudson Street. Finch's campaign gathered at the Bijou Theater on Fairfield Avenue.

Finch said he still plans to run in the November election. Both Finch and Ganim will face Republican candidate Rick Torres.

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