BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) – A judge is holding off in making a decision regarding the lawsuit filed by the John Gomes campaign against incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim over allegations of misconduct in Bridgeport’s recent Democratic mayoral primary election.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) voted Wednesday to formally launch an investigation into Bridgeport’s Democratic mayoral primary election after a video surfaced of a woman allegedly stuffing ballots into a drop box.
A hearing was scheduled to begin in Bridgeport Court on Monday, but Judge William Clark gave attorneys for Gomes, city and state officials two weeks to go through a mountain of discovery. It includes more than 10,000 documents relating to the primary election, including absentee ballot applications and ballot envelopes, and 2,112 hours of police surveillance video. All of the discovery is expected to be handed over to lawyers this week.
Even though the general election is approaching, William Bloss, Gomes’ lawyer, said “this is a situation where we think that it’s substantially important to get it right than to get it done immediately.”
Bridgeport voters will still cast their ballots on Nov. 7, whether this case is still going on. Judge Clark can order a new primary and then another general election would follow.
Outside of court, Gomes said he wants a new primary election.
“The fundamental issue here is that civil rights were violated when we talk about the voters of Bridgeport. We want clarity, we want integrity back and the vote, every vote with the primary,” Gomes said.
Gomes sat down with News 8’s Dennis House about the controversy. News 8 also invited Mayor Joe Ganim to join the conversation, but he declined our invitation.
Ganim said that he didn’t realize the severity of the allegations until he saw the video and that based on the evidence presented to him, he believes there was “definitely fraudulent act, tampering act and the complete violation of the civil rights of all our registered voters in Bridgeport.”
Ganim was not in court Monday. He was issued a summons but was not required to appear. He issued a statement saying, “This matter is now in the hands of the courts. l have full confidence in the courts to conduct a thorough investigation and review. We look forward to the court’s ultimate decision. I also again call for official state election monitors as well as supervised absentee balloting for this next election as one additional measure to ensure the fairness and integrity.”
This is a developing story. Stay with News 8 for updates.