BRIDGEPORT — The JFK Campus in Success area of the city is eerily quiet with just a handful of people voting at a time. The machine count shows that roughly 180 out of 2,555 registered Democrats have voted so far. Six more hours to go until the polls close!
A look back via CTPost.com at the twists and turns Mary-Jane Foster’s campaign for mayor has taken, from the launch of her campaign to Friday’s decision by a Superior Court judge that Foster would be on the ballot for the Democratic primary against Mayor Bill Finch:
APRIL 13: After three months of exploring a run for mayor, Foster officially kicks off her campaign by announcing her run in front of a crowded room of more than 70 friends and supporters.
JULY 28: Foster spends a good part of the day sparring with Democratic Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala over whether the registrars’ office was required to allow candidates to nominate people for the school board election. Then, in a new twist to the election drama, fellow mayoral candidate Charles Coviello decides to withdraw his candidacy and join Foster’s slate — as a school board candidate.
AUGUST 8: Democrat John M. Gomes withdraws his candidacy for mayor and throws his support behind Foster, turning the primary race into a one-on-one match between Foster and Finch.
AUGUST 22: Foster’s chances for a spot on Bridgeport’s mayoral primary ballot are dealt a potentially fatal blow after her nominating petitions are rejected by the Democratic Registrar of Voters because of a flaw involving her slate of school board candidates.
AUGUST 24: Foster files a lawsuit in Superior Court challenging Ayala’s decision.
SEPTEMBER 9: A Superior Court judge rules in Foster’s favor and postpones the primary two weeks to Sept. 27 to allow the Foster campaign to recoup time spent in court.
BRIDGEPORT — Mayor Bill Finch made his first jab at his mayoral opponent Mary-Jane Foster Thursday with a radio ad criticizing her involvement with the once-struggling Bridgeport Bluefish.
In the ad, one woman asks another woman whether she’s been following the mayor’s race in Bridgeport. When the other woman says she hasn’t because her summer has been busy, the first woman goes on to compare Finch to Foster, who co-founded the city’s baseball team.
Of Foster the woman says: “She’s telling people she’s a successful business woman…Well, as CEO and part owner of the Bluefish, she lost money nine years in a row. Things got so bad, she even took a million dollar taxpayer bailout.”
“So wait,” responds the other woman, “Mary Jane’s only business lost money and she took a taxpayer bailout? That’s not going to get my vote.”
The two women then give the mayor credit for new developments downtown, including developer Phil Kuchma’s mixed-use complex, which was the first new development in more than two decades. “I know, with so many new businesses opening, we actually enjoy going down there again,” one woman says. The two then agree that voting for Finch is a “no-brainer.”
BRIDGEPORT — Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign is demanding a public apology from primary opponent Mary-Jane Foster for negative comments about adoption made by someone running on her slate.
In a comment on a posting on the Only in Bridgeport website, Joel Gonzalez, recruited by Foster for a position as city sheriff, asked Lennie Grimaldi, the blog author, whether Finch was the “bastard” he referred to in one of his postings.
“Lennie are you trying to say that Bill Finch is getting sued,” Gonzalez posted Sunday at 9:42 p.m., according to the blog time stamp. “He is the only ‘Bastard’ involved here. As far as I know everyone else involved can account for their real parents.”
Finch, who was adopted as a child, sent out a press release this morning demanding a public apology for the comment.
Foster’s campaign declined to comment because they had yet to see the release.
Here is the release, presented as a letter to Foster:
Dear Mary-Jane Foster:
We are writing you today to demand a public apology from you and your entire ticket for the cruel and offensive comment regarding adopted children made by the candidate for Sheriff you chose for your slate–Joel Gonzalez. These disparaging comments directed at Mayor Finch made on August 7 on a local blog are completely unacceptable, and to choose someone who would make such comments clearly call into question your judgment in character. While the public understands that we are in the middle of an election campaign, disparaging comments like these, that impact all adopted children in families across every neighborhood of this city, cannot and will not be tolerated.
Approximately 120,000 children are adopted each year in the United States. Adoption helps many of these children to grow up in permanent families rather than in foster homes or institutions. We do not know why the members of your slate think being adopted is something that should be disparaged, but I am proud of the fact that I was adopted and raised by two wonderful loving parents in Bridgeport and Dulce has adopted two children and is in the process of adopting a third. Many children in the City of Bridgeport live as foster children and many of them hope for the permanency and the stability adoption will bring them.
On behalf of all those in the adoption community, we hope that you will issue an apology and refrain from such derogatory comments in the future.
The comment made is below for your review and was posted on www.onlyinbridgeport.com
Joel Gonzalez // Aug 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm
Lennie are you trying to say that Bill Finch is getting sued? He is the only “Bastard” involved here. As far as I know everyone else involved can account for their real parents.
Bill Finch, Mayor, City of Bridgeport
Dulce Nieves, Coordinator for Children in Placement (she advocates for abused and neglected children who are misplaced or need to be adopted)
BRIDGEPORT — The deadline for submitting petitions to participate in either the Democratic primary Sept. 13 or the general election Nov. 8 was Wednesday and when the dust settled two things were clear: Mayor Bill Finch will face off with Mary-Jane Foster for the Democratic nomination — but not with former mayor Joseph Ganim.
For months, Ganim has been making the rounds, speaking out against Finch, handing out money to help the city’s youth, meeting with Democratic Town Committee chairman Mario Testa and even making a brief appearance at the DTC endorsement meeting last month.
Typical candidate behavior? Apparently not. He did not submit the required 2,100 signatures to run in the Democratic primary nor the required 126 signatures to run in November.
Foster, on the other hand, handed in approximately 3,500 signatures well before the 4 p.m. deadline. She was the only Democratic to turn in petitions for mayor, meaning she will go head-to-head with Finch in a few weeks if her signatures are verified.
Meanwhile, petitions were also turned in for a seat on the City Council, for the job of city sheriff and yes even for a seat on the Board of Education, should the many lawsuits now going through the court system overturn the recent state intervention. When those signatures are verified I will post the names (there are a lot!!). Stay tuned!
From my colleague Brian Lockhart:
There’s been speculation among fellow politics watchers about whether ex-Stamford Mayor-turned-Governor Dannel Malloy will endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary in Connecticut’s largest city, Bridgeport.
Today Malloy, after touring a Milford business, said he will not be involving himself in the increasingly-heated campaign between state Senator-turned-Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and Mary-Jane Foster.
Asked if he will back a primary candidate, Malloy said, “No. I’ll wait until the primary is done in Bridgeport.”
But he assured me he’ll support whichever Democrat is left standing.
Malloy made his comments not long after news broke that another Democrat eyeing Finch’s job – John Gomes – planned to drop out of the race and endorse Foster.
Malloy has worked with Finch, even though the latter endorsed Democrat Ned Lamont in the party’s 2010 gubernatorial primary.
Foster supported Malloy over Lamont.
It looks like the race (only one month away!) between Mayor Bill Finch and Mary-Jane Foster is heating up. This video, paid for by the political action committee A Better Connecticut ABC, was posted sometime Friday. Philip Benoit, of Rocky Hill, is treasurer of the PAC, which in March donated $750 to Mayor Bill Finch’s re-election campaign commmittee, Finch for Mayor.
Here is Mayor Bill Finch’s speech after getting the Democratic Town Committee endorsement for mayor – from former mayor John Fabrizi no less! -last night. In his 8-minute speech the mayor makes a host of promises, including a start to the Steelpointe project and the reopening of Pleasure Beach.