With the democratic primary less than one month away, the race for mayor is heating up in Hartford.
Mayor Pedro Segarra is being endorsed by some of the state’s unions, and democratic challenger Luke Bronin is getting support from state legislators.
This year’s election comes as the city is experiencing a spike in crime and people are concerned about their safety.
Segarra agrees that the city has problems, but said the spike in crime is a national problem, however critics said he should have reached out for help sooner.
"What we need now is more police officers, especially in Hartford with all the crimes that are going on,” said Claudette Roberts, who is a Hartford salon owner.
Segarra asked the state for more resources, and he got it, but some feel the request should have been made when the problems started.
Segarra said it is a delicate balance, saying Hartford has to provide a lot of services to those getting out of prison, and while he wants to hire more police officers, he also doesn’t want to raise taxes.
“At the local level - for us to increase services, we basically have to go back to the same residents and get more taxes to support these new initiatives -- and it’s a really big pressure,” Segarra said.
He added that unemployment is down significantly and there are some big projects in the city.
Luke Bronin has been meeting with people in some of the toughest neighborhoods and this week he helped organize a community forum to address the violence.
Bronin is getting support from two Hartford legislators and he said he feels there needs to be a better relationship between the city and those at the state capitol.
"I spent a few years up at the capitol and I didn't see has much coordination between the mayor’s office and our legislative delegation as we need- that's one thing that will make us more effective,” Bronin said.
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