Bridgeport mayor exploring ways to get back on ballot after prim - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CAMPAIGN 2015

Bridgeport mayor exploring ways to get back on ballot after primary defeat to convicted felon

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Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and Democrat-endorsed candidate Joe Ganim. (WFSB) Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and Democrat-endorsed candidate Joe Ganim. (WFSB)
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

Bridgeport’s incumbent mayor picked up a third party endorsement after losing the primary to a former mayor and convicted felon.

Mayor Bill Finch said he hopes it’s not too little too late in the campaign against Joe Ganim.

According to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Finch was endorsed by the Job Creation Party, but it came too late to be included on the ballot.

Finch, however, said the fight is far from over.

"I think he should respect the thousands of voters that came out and voted in that primary and expressed their views, despite the result and allow us to move forward with the process between now and November,” Ganim said.

Ganim appeared on this Sunday’s taping of Face the State. He weighed in on the November election and Finch’s fight to get on the ballot.

Last week, the two-term incumbent lost by roughly 400 votes to Ganim, who served time on federal corruption charges.

Finch hopes to run on the newly created Job Creation Party line. He was endorsed by it on Thursday.

The party said it is petitioning to get him on the ballot.

According to Merrill, however, the party needed to send a letter endorsing Finch prior to Sept. 2.

The Finch campaign said it would challenge the ruling.

“This election is too important for Bridgeport and its future to be decided by red tape in the Secretary of the State’s office,” it said in a statement. “We’re taking this issue to court and we’re confident this matter will receive a fair and just hearing.”

Friday, Merrill released a statement of her own.

“Ultimately, the Secretary of the State’s office is bound to follow the law as written and we have no legal authority to grant any exceptions,” she said.

Merrill said the only way Finch can get on the ballot is to convince another candidate to drop out and give him their spot or be a write-in candidate.

“It’s open for everybody,” said Fred Richardson of Bridgeport. "I think Finch is a good man."

"A lot of people aren't used to write in ballots, but if it has to happen, why not?” said Carmen Vargas of Bridgeport. “Why can't he run that way? It’s happened before and they've won."

If Finch goes the replacement candidate route, that must be done by Oct. 9.

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