Ex-con Ganim returns to mayor's seat in Bridgeport - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CAMPAIGN 2015

Ex-con Ganim returns to mayor's seat in Bridgeport

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Mayor-elect Joe Ganim appeared on the Chaz & AJ morning radio show on Wednesday. (WFSB photo) Mayor-elect Joe Ganim appeared on the Chaz & AJ morning radio show on Wednesday. (WFSB photo)
Ex-con Joe Ganim is the mayor-elect of Bridgeport. (WFSB photo) Ex-con Joe Ganim is the mayor-elect of Bridgeport. (WFSB photo)
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

For an ex-con and former mayor of Bridgeport, Tuesday was about redemption.

Democrat Joe Ganim completed his political comeback and will once again govern Connecticut’s largest city.

He appeared on the Chaz & AJ morning show, which airs on radio stations 99.1 WPLR, 102.9 The Whale and 95.9 The Fox.

"The best way to get even, or to show people, is to do a good job," he said. "Just bring everyone together.”

Ganim said he is ready to get back to work and said his administration will be transparent and open.

"People have placed their trust in me to run this city again. They have high hopes as do I," Ganim said. "We will live up to that and I hope succeed, not only succeed but exceed, the expectations."

Ganim served seven years in a federal prison after being convicted of corruption. He took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks while in office.

"Certainly, it's a come back story, but I don't feel in many ways that I really ever left at least my concerns or care for the city," Ganim said on Tuesday. "Certainly, I wasn't at the helm, but now with the opportunity to pick up on some of the positive things we we were doing. I think we have real opportunity to move this city forward."

However, voters said he won them over again and took back the office he held for 12 years.  

"People have placed their trust in me to run this city again. They have high hopes as do I," Ganim said. "We will live up to that and I hope succeed, not only succeed but exceed, the expectations."

There will be the challenge of convincing the city and the state that his past is just that, the past.

"Any time there is an administrative change, they're faced with the political realities of whether the administration can work with state government, city contractors, certainly businesses and development," said Jonathan Wharton, of the Political Science Department at Southern Connecticut State University.

On the campaign trail, Ganim called on his record of lower taxes and safer neighborhoods.

"I think one place where this past administration has let the people of the city of Bridgeport down has been in the allowance of or lack of response to some of the public safety concerns and incidents," Ganim said. "Whether it is killings or shootings in the city. That's gotta stop!"

Mary Jane Foster, who was endorsed by outgoing Mayor Bill Finch, campaigned on moving Bridgeport forward and targeted Ganim’s criminal past.

“Of course, I truly wanted to be mayor of the city. I love so much, but it didn't happen. And so I'm going to move forward and the city will move forward,” Foster said.

On Tuesday night, the Foster camp said reports surfaced in a few locations of poll workers telling voters if they wanted to vote for candidates further down the ballot, they'd first have to vote for Ganim.

While Foster's camp is looking into the allegation, Eyewitness News was told they doubt they will find enough to file a complaint.

As for Ganim, he said he knows all eyes will be on him.

"There is an element of strong support, people have placed their trust in me to run this city again. They have high hopes, as do I. We will live up to that and I hope succeed and exceed the expectations of some of our goals," Ganim said.

Following Ganim’s victory, Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a statement.

"I am hopeful that Mayor-elect Ganim will live up to the huge responsibility that comes with leading our state's biggest city by building trust with not just with those within the city he will soon lead, but with leaders statewide,” Malloy said in a statement. 

Ganim won by a 2 to 1 margin among voters.

He will be sworn into office on Dec. 1.

For more election results, click here.

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