Joe Ganim has been elected Mayor of Bridgeport—Connecticut’s largest city---six times.
Joe first served as Mayor from 1991-2003. Over those 12 years, Joe brought diverse interests together to bring back Bridgeport from bankruptcy, balanced the budget for ten years in a row without raising taxes, attracted new businesses and jobs, built an entertainment and sports complex, drastically lowered crime, and created magnet schools.
But as Joe acknowledges he made terrible mistakes, broke the law, was convicted of accepting gifts from entities doing business with the city, and paid a heavy price—seven years at a federal correctional institution. When he returned to Bridgeport, Joe apologized for his actions and vowed that if he was ever given a second chance in elected office, he would spend every day giving back to make sure everyone has at least a first chance to succeed—let alone the second chance that he was given.
In 2015, the people of Bridgeport honored Joe by giving him that second chance when they elected him as their Mayor for the sixth time—beating a Democratic incumbent mayor in the primary and then winning the general election by an overwhelming margin. Since then, under Joe’s leadership, Bridgeport has continued to make strong progress. It’s attracted new industry and jobs, accelerated development of its waterfront, and Bridgeport has become a greener and cleaner energy efficient city. Like any city much more needs to be done, but real progress has been made.
To build a better Connecticut, proven leadership is needed that can work with many competing interests---labor and business—Democrats, Republican, and Independents---to get things done.
Joe Ganim has shown he can do that.
Joe Ganim is 58 years old and a divorced proud father of three children - one a recent college grad, one in college, and his youngest son a high school sophomore.
Joe grew up in the town of Easton, Connecticut. He graduated from the University of Connecticut, with a Bachelor of Arts in Government Studies. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Joe earned a law degree from the University of Bridgeport, now Quinnipiac University School of Law. After law school, Joe practiced law in Bridgeport at the family law firm of Ganim, Ganim & Ganim.
In 1988, Joe ran for office for the first time and lost a close race for a seat in the Connecticut House. In 1991, Joe defeated incumbent Republican Mayor Mary Moran and became the youngest person to be elected mayor in city history. He was re-elected in 1993. In 1994, Joe ran for the Democratic nomination for governor. Joe did not become the party’s gubernatorial nominee, but was selected to run for Lt. Governor. Running with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill Curry, they were defeated by Republican John Rowland. Joe was then re-elected Mayor by wide margins in 1995, 1997 and 1999.
In addition to being mayor, Joe is an adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport, where he co-teaches a course on American government. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Bridgeport.
Joe has completed marathons in Boston and Los Angeles, and local marathons in Bridgeport and in Southport. Over the years, Joe has coached youth baseball and football while also volunteering with nonprofit organizations.