Bridgeport, Connecticut, Mayor Joe Ganim filed paperwork with the State Elections Enforcement Commission in Hartford on Wednesday to launch his campaign for governor.
Ganim, who’s a Democrat, is trying to continue a political comeback that began in 2015 when he won re-election as Bridgeport mayor. He had resigned from that office a decade earlier in 2003 after being convicted on federal corruption charges for steering city contracts in exchange for private gifts. He says Bridgeport voters gave him a second chance and he’s hoping Connecticut voters will do the same.
“Let the people in Bridgeport who have given me a second chance, maybe statewide to do the same thing. And I’d like to say at the end to give Connecticut a second chance and move forward for a better future.”
Ganim began his political career in the late 1980s. In 1991 he won the city’s mayoral election and served as mayor of Connecticut‘s largest city for the next 12 years. That's when he resigned after being found guilty on 16 charges of federal corruption. Ganim was sentenced to prison and spent seven years behind bars.
In 2015 Ganim was re-elected as mayor of Bridgeport after campaigning that the city had done better in the 1990s under his watch.
Ganim is joining a crowded field of candidates looking to succeed Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy, who’s not seeking re-election. As an ex-felon, Ganim has an added disadvantage because he’s not allowed to have access to the state’s public campaign financing program to help fund his campaign.
This is Ganim’s second attempt at running for governor. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1994.