BRIDGEPORT -- Mayor Bill Finch has spent the last two weeks battling to get on the ballot and continue his run for re-election. In the Sept. 16 primary, Mayor Finch was beat out by former Mayor Joe Ganim.
Tuesday, Finch announced he would step aside and support candidate Mary-Jane Foster.
"I want to announce that I'm stepping out of the race for mayor," said Finch.
At the announcement, he discussed all the progress that Bridgeport has made during his tenure, including new projects like improving the train station, reopening Pleasure Beach and revitalizing Steelpointe Harbor.
"It is clear: Bridgeport is truly getting better every day," Finch said to raucous applause. "But I'm very concerned about tomorrow."
That is why, he said, he's dropping out to endorse Foster, whose positions and values Finch says align with his own.
Foster then discussed Finch's record, and her plans for the future. She will now face Finch's opponent, former Mayor Joe Ganim.
"It's not about the past, it's about the future," she said. "Together we will move forward."
Last Thursday, the Job Creation Party nominated Finch as the candidate to represent them.
"We had a chairman nominate him and we seconded it and now we're going to take the paperwork up to Hartford and file it," Gregory Blake, the party secretary, said at the time. "That's what politics is about, and as a voter, I want the right person, and so that's one of the reasons I stand behind Mayor Finch."
After losing the Democratic primary to convicted felon and former Mayor Joe Ganim, Finch picked the minor political party in an effort to get on the November ballot. Ganim, who was mayor from 1991 to 2003, served seven years in prison for corruption committed while in office.
The paperwork for the Job Creation Party nomination was filed Friday, but according to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Finch's name couldn't be on the November ballot.
"The deadline has passed for any third party to create or endorse a candidate for mayor," said Merrill on Tuesday.
Before Tuesday's announcement, Finch's campaign attorneys said their interpretation of state statutes allowed Finch to be on the ballot and they vowed to take the fight to court if necessary.
Meanwhile, Joe Ganim, the Democratic nominee, said it's about time Finch pulled out and vows to continue campaigning until Election Day. "Now we can move forward," said Ganim. "I'm excited about moving forward to November, talking about what's important and what we can do to make this city better."