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5 Years After Release From Prison, Former Conn. Mayor Wins Primary

In a Democratic mayoral primary race in Bridgeport, Conn., that pitted a former mayor who served a seven-year prison sentence for corruption against a two-term incumbent, Joe Ganim pulled off a surprising comeback Wednesday night.

"Ganim's message that everybody deserves a second chance earned the former felon the endorsement of the city's police union and the support of the FBI agent who'd locked him up," Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports from New Haven.

The primary win may propel Ganim, 55, back into office in mostly Democratic Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut, five years after he was released from a federal prison. Ganim was Bridgeport's mayor from 1991 to 2003, when he was convicted of numerous counts of corruption.

"Ganim was found guilty of steering city contracts in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts like wine and clothes," Davis Dunavin of member station WSHU reports for our Newscast unit. "He apologized for his actions."

In the primary race, Dunavin says, Ganim "said he took the high road against his opponents, current mayor Bill Finch and businesswoman Mary Jane Foster."

The former mayor also promised to work to make Bridgeport safer and to run a transparent government.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.