Thomas W. Bucci

Last updated
Thomas Bucci
49th Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut
In office
Preceded by Leonard S. Paoletta
Succeeded by Mary C. Moran
Personal details
Thomas William Bucci [1]

(1948-04-17) April 17, 1948 (age 71) [2]
Bridgeport, Connecticut [2]
Political party Democratic
Education Sacred Heart University (B.A.)
University of Connecticut School of Law (J.D.)

Thomas William Bucci (born April 17, 1948) is an American lawyer and the former mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Bucci served two terms in office and was succeeded by Mary C. Moran. He is a member of the Democratic Party.


Family and personal life

Bucci is the cousin of Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee Chairman Mario Testa. [3] [4]

Bucci graduated from Sacred Heart University and the University of Connecticut School of Law. [5]

Bucci was admitted to the bar in Connecticut in 1973 and is also licensed to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. [5] Bucci is a past president of the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association. [5]

Bucci is a founding partner of the law firm of Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. [5] He argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Connecticut v. Teal. [5] Other notable cases include his defense of Dr. Moshe Gai, a professor who was fired from the University of Connecticut. [6]

Mayor of Bridgeport

Bucci was twice elected mayor of Bridgeport and served out both terms.


In 1985, Bucci won a four-way Democratic primary for mayor, defeating 1983 Democratic mayoral candidate Charles B. Tisdale, City Clerk Leonard L. Crone, and former mayor John C. Mandanici. [7] Bucci then unseated incumbent mayor Leonard S. Paoletta, the Republican nominee, in the general election. [8]

In 1987, Bucci won the Democratic primary by a margin of 3-1, defeating State Representative Robert T. Keeley Jr. [9]

In 1989, Bucci lost his bid for a third term to Mary Moran by a margin of 54% vs. 40%, with 6% going to minor candidates. [10]

"Armpit of New England"

In 1987, Money magazine ranked Bridgeport as the nation's 37th-best place to live. In response, newspaper columnist Mike Levine of Middletown, New York which had come in 38threpeated a slur in his column (attributed to Paul Newman) that Bridgeport is "the armpit of New England." [11]

City's budget woes

In April 1988, the city experienced a $24.4 million budget deficit, and Bucci proposed an 18-19% tax increase in an attempt to help the city with its financial straits. [12]

In 1988, the City of Bridgeport agreed to let the State of Connecticut monitor city finances in exchange for a "bailout" of $58.3 million in state-backed bonds for deficit relief. [10] [13]


On June 6, 1991, the City of Bridgeport (then under Bucci's successor, Mayor Mary Moran) filed a Chapter 9 petition (municipal bankruptcy) in U.S. bankruptcy court. [13] The city faced a $12 million gap in its fiscal year 1991-92 budget of $304 million. [13] The Bridgeport Financial Review Board immediately passed a resolution blocking the city from seeking bankruptcy protection and adopted a $319 budget for the city, ordering an 18% increase in property taxes. Bucci warned at the time that steep declines in property values could occur in the city. [13]

Census of 1990

Bucci was mayor during the 1990 United States Census, where he sought to ensure that the homeless were included in the count. [14]

L'Ambiance Plaza disaster

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on April 23, 1987, 28 construction workers were killed when the sixteen storey L'Ambiance Plaza building project collapsed. [15] Bucci was quoted as saying "It's a sight out of Beirut, Lebanon." [16]

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  1. University of Connecticut (Class of 1973) Commencement
  2. 1 2
  3. Michael P. Mayko, In the end, Finch held all the cards in Bridgeport primary race, Connecticut Post (September 28, 2011).
  4. Bob Conrad, Old Hawk Spurns the Duke, The Hour (September 24, 1988).
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Thomas W. Bucci, Partner, Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. (accessed April 2, 2016).
  6. Paul Zielbauer, UConn Officials Consider Dismissing a Professor Accused of Threats and Bad Behavior, New York Times (January 12, 2002).
  7. Judd Everhart, Paoletta Wins Bridgeport Primary; Dagon Is Routed in East Hartford, Associated Press (September 11, 1985).
  8. Thirty years on, a Steel Point reunion, Connecticut Post (May 16, 2015).
  9. Legislator in Hartford Wins Primary for Mayor, Associated Press (September 16, 1987).
  10. 1 2 The 1989 Elections: Connecticut: New Haven Picks First Black Mayor, New York Times (November 8, 1989).
  11. "Essay Brings 'Armpit of New England' to Its Sneeze". Los Angeles Times. 1986-07-05. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  12. Bucci offers huge tax increase to cure crisis, Associated Press (April 6, 1988).
  13. 1 2 3 4 Connecticut to Fight Bridgeport mayor on bankruptcy petition, Associated Press (June 8, 1991).
  14. '90 Census Will Count the Homeless, Associated Press (January 29, 1989).
  15. Meg Barone (2010-04-23). "23 years later, L'Ambiance losses still sting". Connecticut Post.
  16. Connecticut Disasters: True Stories ... - Google Books. Retrieved 2010-12-24.