Steady Democrat, clouded by the occasional scandal, with a sprinkle of Republicans or -- more recently -- Working Families Party candidates breaking through the polls.
When it comes to his 2015 re-election bid, Mayor Bill Finch is preparing for an electoral superstorm by battening down the hatches with bags of cash.
Two years away from any primary, the two-term incumbent has raised $119,400 to ward off the opposition.
"Staggering. Wow," said Mary-Jane Foster, who unsuccessfully challenged her former ally in the 2011 Democratic mayoral primary and won't rule out another try.
With no public campaign kick-off, the "Re-Elect Bill Finch Committee" from April through June raised $99,750 from individual contributors -- many doing business with the city.
It raised another $17,250 from other political groups and $2,400 worth of ads in programs for a few fundraisers. Of that amount, Finch had $104,134 on hand as of June 30.
The financial reports were recently filed with the Bridgeport Town Clerk. Rev. Kenneth Moales Jr., the chairman of the city's school board, remains the mayor's campaign treasurer.
"Mayor Finch remains focused on running the city -- ushering in new economic development, building new schools, improving the quality of education, making our city safer and more sustainable," Finch spokeswoman Elaine Ficarra said Tuesday. "He loves his job working for the residents of our great city and is taking the necessary steps to position himself to continue this important work."
Foster said: "I would imagine he thinks he'll be challenged. He wants to pre-empt the field by intimidating people."
Many writing the biggest checks to Finch are either longtime or more recent players -- attorneys, developers, architects, contractors, other business types -- who benefit from a continued relationship with the administration.
"That's business as usual ... That is the case everywhere," said Martin Dunleavy, a veteran Democratic strategist of state and national campaigns who likes Finch, but opposes his education policies.
The team behind Steel Point -- the long-stagnant harborside redevelopment where outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops intends to build a store -- contributed $6,500 of continued confidence in Finch.
New York-based McKissack & McKissack, a professional design and construction firm, scored a piece of the soon-to-be-opened $126 million Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet, Bridgeport's first new high school in 50 years. The family -- Samuel Daniel and Cheryl McKissack Daniel -- contributed $2,000 to the mayor.
Need a good lawyer?
There are plenty in Finch's campaign finance reports, beginning with City Attorney Mark Anastasi, who gave $500 and city bond counsel John Stafstrom, who pitched in $1,000.
Stafstrom's fellow attorneys at the politically connected firm of Pullman & Comley contributed a total of $2,600.
Brian McCallister, president of the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry, and family members cut $4,000 worth of checks to the mayor. The Finch administration recently abandoned opposition to the ferry's move from downtown.
In January, the city awarded a $55,000 contract to Democratic lobbyist Kevin Reynolds' firm to represent Bridgeport in Hartford. Reynolds gave $1,000 to Finch and partner Brenda Cisco gave $500.
Developer Sal DiNardo owes the city $10,000 in back taxes, but found $500 for Finch. DiNardo may soon need the city Port Authority's powers of eminent domain to seize property for one of his projects.
One city billboard boasts Bridgeport is now home to one of the world's largest fuel cells, and executives of initial project developer FuelCell Energy provided $800 worth of greenbacks to the "green mayor."