BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Candidates in the disputed Bridgeport Democratic Mayoral race have agreed on a date for a new court-ordered primary.
In a court filing submitted late Wednesday afternoon, representatives for incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim and candidate John Gomes agreed to hold the new Democratic primary on Jan. 23.
The January rematch will be the third time the two men have squared off at the ballot box since the September primary, which was marred by widespread instances of alleged absentee ballot misconduct. Ganim ostensibly won the September primary before a judge ruled that abuse of the absentee ballot process, some of which was caught on police surveillance video, rendered the results moot.
Ganim also appeared to win the November general election, but those results might also be rendered moot. A new general election would be held if Gomes wins the January primary. The tentative date for that contest is Feb. 27.
Should Ganim win the new primary, exactly what should happen next is unclear. A source close to the mayor tells News 8 that their camp believes no new general election would be necessary if Ganim wins the new primary since he has already won a general election with his name appearing as the Democratic-endorsed candidate.
Bill Bloss, the attorney representing Gomes, has told News 8 that he agrees with this interpretation. This interpretation, however, was not fully articulated in the agreement for the new primary and has never been tested in court.
The agreement for a new primary also included language requiring Bridgeport elections officials to clearly stamp ballots that were submitted via absentee ballot drop boxes. Those drop boxes were at the center of the alleged ballot misconduct and have been widely criticized by state Republicans and some Democrats as inadequately secure.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 8 for updates.