HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A federal judge is siding with the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission, agreeing state law bars Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim from obtaining public campaign financing for a possible gubernatorial run because of his felony conviction.

The Democrat had challenged the commission’s denial of funds, claiming it violates his right to free speech and puts him at a disadvantage against funded candidates.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shea says the commission’s restriction doesn’t impede on Ganim’s First Amendment rights because he can still run for
governor, but without the public financing.

Ganim served nearly seven years in federal prison for public corruption.

He’s formed an exploratory committee and says he expects to reveal in January whether he’ll ultimately be a gubernatorial candidate.

Ganim says he not yet decided whether he’ll appeal Wednesday’s decision.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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