Bridgeport’s Mayor Finch fights to get on the ballot, vows to take issue to court

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BRIDGEPORT -- Bridgeport's Mayor Bill Finch is not backing down after being defeated by former Mayor Joe Ganim in the Democratic primary.

However, he is scrambling after he and his reelection team missed or ignored the deadline for a party to endorse a candidate, meaning he can't run for the Job Creation Party.

The Secretary of the State Denise Merrill explained why Finch cannot run for re-election as a candidate for the Jobs Creation Party, complicating his efforts to appear on the November ballot:

As of the filing deadline of September 2, 2015, the Office of the Secretary of the State had not received a statement of endorsement pursuant to General Statutes 9-453o(b) from the Job Creation Party for the office of mayor and has received no such statement to date.  Therefore, pursuant to Connecticut election law, no mayoral candidate for that party will appear on the November 3 municipal ballot in Bridgeport.

Finch's campaign responded, saying they don't agree with the secretary of the state and they are going to file a lawsuit to contest the decision.

"We're confident that the Job Creation Party line will appear on the November ballot," said Maryli Secrest, Finch's re-election campaign manager. "This election is too important for Bridgeport and its future to be decided by red tape in the Secretary of State's Office."

After that disappointment, Finch moved on to plan B.

Enrique Torres, a former city councilman, is the Republican candidate on the ballot in Bridgeport. He told Fox CT Finch called him yesterday and “tried to make me several deals.”

Finch, a staunch Democrat, wanted the Republican's line on the ballot. Torres , who calls Finch's administration angry and out of touch with residents, would have none of that.

“He has angered me so much, with that sort of threatening attitude toward the poor, I said no I will not" give Finch the Republican line. Torres, who says he's an honest man, grew up in some of Bridgeport's roughest neighborhoods, and he said he could not, in good conscience, turn over his seat to an "extreme Democrat."

Ganim was apprised of Finch’s attempted maneuvering and spoke about his reaction. He's not respecting the 13,000 people that voted for the future and voted for change and is certainly disrespectful to the Democratic Party and I think to voters in general.”

It was a big surprise to many when Ganim won the primary despite his serving seven years in prison for for corruption during his former stint as Bridgeport's mayor.

Finch has until October 20 to file as a write-in candidate on the November 3 ballot. Michael Jarjura, a former Waterbury Mayor, actually won an election as a write-in candidate, but it's unclear if Finch will try to follow in his footsteps.

Another Democratic candidate, Mary-Jane Foster, announced Monday she’s withdrawing from the race even though she had a place on the November ballot as an unaffiliated candidate.