Bridgeport, Connecticut, Mayor Joe Ganim secured an unusual victory in a redo of the Democratic primary election on Tuesday night, as reported by the Associated Press.
During the evening, Ganim expressed confidence in the machine vote count, stating, “Overwhelmingly, we won on the machines! Almost a thousand more people heeded our call and came out.”
This redo marked the city’s third mayoral contest in five months and posed a threat to the incumbent mayor’s eighth term.
A state judge had overturned Ganim’s narrow victory in the Democratic mayoral primary in September after a video released by fellow Democrat Gomes showed Ganim supporters depositing what seemed to be ballots into drop boxes. Connecticut has strict rules regarding who can assist voters in returning their ballots.
Ganim, maintaining his denial of any knowledge or involvement in a ballot fraud scheme, defeated Gomes again in the general election in November. However, he was compelled to run once more this week to secure his eighth term as mayor.
Despite the redo, concerns about fraud linger. Bridgeport, a working-class Democratic city located approximately 62 miles from New York City, has faced allegations of absentee ballot fraud for years. Video evidence depicting alleged ballot box stuffing has drawn attention from figures such as former President Donald Trump and Elon Musk.
In the preceding week, state authorities expanded their investigation into potential electioneering charges in Bridgeport, examining whether voters were offered housing vouchers in exchange for votes.
In the latest development, a judge rejected a request from a Bridgeport attorney to sequester ballots. City attorneys argued that these ballots resulted from improperly handled ballot applications circulated by a Gomes operative.
Both candidates engaged in a heated debate on Monday, with Ganim and Gomes accusing each other of ongoing fraudulent activities. Ganim urged honesty, stating, “Let’s be honest with the people in the city of Bridgeport. The hypocrisy has got to end.” Gomes countered by accusing Ganim of inaction, alleging that individuals involved in his campaign were still carrying out criminal activities.