Judge orders new Bridgeport mayoral primary
A state judge has taken the unusual step of ordering a new Democratic mayoral primary in Bridgeport to be held after the Nov. 7 general election is completed.
The decision comes after surveillance videos showed a woman stuffing what appeared to be absentee ballots into an outdoor ballot box days before the original primary.
Superior Court Judge William Clark determined the allegations of possible malfeasance warrant throwing out the results of the Sept. 12 primary, which incumbent Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim won by 251 votes out of 8,173 cast. Absentee ballots secured his margin of victory.
Ganim’s opponent, John Gomes, whose campaign obtained the surveillance video and released it publicly after the primary, sued city officials and demanded a new primary, or for him to be declared the winner.
Gomes' attorney Bill Bloss says the key line in the decision is the shock the judge expressed in reaction to the videos.
"If Mayor Ganim wins, there would be a new primary sometime thereafter. If John Gomes wins on the Independent Party line on Tuesday, that would be the end of it because he would have gotten all the relief he could have had," says Bloss.
News 12 also spoke to Ganim on Wednesday.
"Aren't you disappointed that you may have to face a new primary? Sure, if the ruling stands, we would be after the general election, which I'm confident if everyone comes out and votes , we're going to win , it would be awkward at best and certainly to have to put everyone through a second primary, especially after we win the general if everyone comes out and votes November 7th."
Attorneys for the city say they've filed an emergency appeal to the State Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, state officials say the search for a special election monitor, who would prevent this situation from happening again, has only yielded a handful of applications. "Now that we probably won't have a permanent person in place by Election Day, we're starting to look at some sort of interim solution," says Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas.