BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim called on John Gomes to concede in the mayoral race on Wednesday, stating that Tuesday’s primary was the second race he’s won.
“This morning, it’s clear that the voters of the City of Bridgeport came out and voted, and they’ve spoken,” Ganim said on Wednesday.
The general election came six days after a state judge ordered a new Democratic mayoral primary, citing evidence that Gomes’ team has called mishandled absentee ballots. In the primary, Ganim defeated Gomes by 251 votes out of 8,173 cast, with absentee ballots securing his margin of victory.
Both candidates have said that they won both elections.
“Now, my opponent expects us to throw out those voters because overnight, he doesn’t like the outcome,” Ganim said. “That’s not fair, and that’s not right. Yesterday’s decision as to who will be the mayor of Bridgeport continues to belong to the city and the people of Bridgeport, and they’ve spoken again and again.”
Unofficial election results show Ganim with a 175-vote lead in the general election. He declared himself the victor shortly after midnight Wednesday.
Gomes asserted on Wednesday afternoon that he thinks he’s the victor.
“Without a doubt, we did win,” he said.
Gomes has said that Ganim’s team “stole” the election.
“They have to own up to what they did, and they can’t continue to go in circles and blame us,” Gomes said.
Voters may return to the polls to re-do the primary election, which would then lead to another general election.
Even as Ganim argued that Tuesday night’s results should stand, the Gomes camp remained committed to staying the course on Superior Court Judge William Clark’s order for a new primary.
Speaking with News 8 on Wednesday, Attorney Bill Bloss, who represents Gomes, said he was prepared to take the case to the Connecticut Supreme Court if the Ganim administration filed an appeal.
“We will defend the appeal to the Supreme Court,” Bloss said. “That’s not going to be very complicated based on Judge Clark’s order.”
Bloss also called for “robust oversight” of the impending new primary. He added, “Leadership calling for all the players to play by the rules would help.”
Gomes asserted that he’s not giving up.
“If anyone needs to back down and bring justice and integrity back to this system of democracy in the city, it’s him and his cronies,” Gomes said.