Ganim, Gomes race for Bridgeport mayor in uncharted waters as primary legal case looms

Gomes tells News 12 that he is feeling confident on Election Day due to turnout numbers. More people voting on Election Day as opposed to voting early by mail tends to favor Mayor Joe Ganim's opponents.

News 12 Staff

Nov 7, 2023, 10:09 PM

Updated 255 days ago


The mayoral race in Bridgeport has gained national attention with John Gomes running as an independent and incumbent Democrat Joe Ganim at the center of it all.
Just six days before tonight's election, a judge tossed out the results of the Democratic primary. Here's a brief timeline of the events that led up to that decision:
  • Sept. 12: Bridgeport holds its mayoral primary. Gomes loses by 251 votes.
  • Sept. 16: The Gomes campaign releases a video showing what appeared to be ballot stuffing.
  • Sept. 19: Gomes files a lawsuit to have the results tossed.
  • Nov. 1: The case is heard in court, with a judge ordering a primary citing what he called obvious cheating.
Bridgeport is in uncharted territory with the specter of a court-mandated second primary hanging over the Ganim camp like a dark cloud. The mayor has been elected six times since 1991.
“It’s going to be close,” Ganim told News 12. “I haven’t had a close election in a number of years, so if this one was any different, I’d be surprised at that.”
Gomes was leading Ganim 2,330 votes to 1,982 votes at 11 p.m. Tuesday. The Gomes campaign and supporters were wary though – they had been leading the Democratic primary but lost on absentee ballots.
Even if Gomes receives the most votes, the election may not be settled because of several legal questions surrounding the mayoral primary.
Ultimately, a judge will determine if Gomes can become mayor if he wins.
The Associated Press will not declare a winner until legal challenges are resolved. As such, News 12 will not declare a winner in the general election for Bridgeport mayor until all legal issues and challenges related to the primary election are fully resolved.
If Gomes does win, he plans to withdraw his ballot stuffing lawsuit and let the results stand.
"If John Gomes wins on the Independent Party line, the case is over. We'll withdraw the complaint, and that's the end of it. There's no new primary; there will be no new general election," says Bill Bloss, Gomes' attorney.

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