On Monday evening, democrats in Hartford decided who they want the city’s next mayor to be.
Two-term incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra is trying to hold onto his position, but he is facing stiff competition from someone who is considered an outsider and an insider.
The Democratic Convention started at 6 p.m. on Monday at Bulkeley High School where the vote was held.
However, at the convention Segarra left before delegates even started voting and said he will seek support from voters.
"I decline the nomination for mayor of the city of Hartford ---this should go to the streets...this will be decided by the people of Hartford," Segarra said. "This is something in response to respect the people of this city who acknowledge the work I have done, I will not accept a process that is closed."
Up until a few weeks ago there were several challengers but most have dropped out.
The race is really between Segarra and Luke Bronin.
The democrats endorsed Bronin with 49 votes on Monday night. There are 40 votes needed for an endorsement.
"We are going to work hard and for those who say 'take it to the streets,' I say welcome," Bronin said. "From the very beginning this is what I've been saying--- we need a mayor who will take responsibility, holds themselves accountable - what we saw tonight was a mayor walk out because he didn't have the votes."
Some said the mayor knew he wasn't going to win the democratic endorsement.
The issues in this mayor’s race will be about taxes, jobs and crime.
Segarra said he is doing good things and helping the city, but that isn’t how his opponents see it.
"I have a strong connection to the community - and I am up against the machinery -- they may want to support an outsider -- but I am from here,” Segarra said.
He added that there are good things happening in Hartford, like the new baseball stadium slated to open next spring, and a new college campus for the University of Connecticut.
However, his re-election bid comes when the city is being hit with one of the worst crime waves.
There have been 19 murders so far this year, and the state is now helping with extra manpower and resources.
Luke Bronin, an attorney, was at one time general counsel to Gov. Dannel Malloy.
He said he blames Segarra for short staffing the police department, and most of the candidates who have dropped out of the race are now supporting him.
"I don't know how you can be both called an outsider and embedded in the machine ---in one sentence. A week ago, Mayor Segarra was saying he was going to walk out the convention with the endorsement --- if I do get the endorsement I think it reflects a desire for change,” Bronin said.
There will be a primary election in September and Segarra will likely get enough signatures to be on the ballot.
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