Bronin wins democratic mayoral primary in Hartford - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Bronin wins democratic mayoral primary in Hartford

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Bronin wins democratic mayoral primary in Hartford (WFSB) Bronin wins democratic mayoral primary in Hartford (WFSB)
Mayor Pedro Segarra and challenger Luke Bronin. (WFSB photos) Mayor Pedro Segarra and challenger Luke Bronin. (WFSB photos)

On Wednesday, two dozen communities in the state learned what leaders would be placed on the ballots in November, including Hartford.

The race for Hartford's mayor was one of the races attracting the most attention.

Mayor Pedro Segarra and challenger Luke Bronin both looked for Democratic nomination.

After the polls closed at 8 p.m., the votes started being tallied and it was showing a very close race between Segarra and Bronin.

According to unofficial results, Bronin took the lead over Segarra Wednesday night and he will be the Democratic candidate on the ballot in November.

"I think what got us here is the hard work of going door-to-door. First, I knocked on 5,000 doors; our team was out every single night," Bronin said. "Voters have wanted a change and we brought them a message for the city of Hartford that they believe in."

Segarra conceded just before 10 p.m.

"Your continued support means so much to me, and I feel so fortunate to be here with you all tonight," Segarra said. "While I am disappointed in tonight's results, this does not change my commitment to this campaign nor the people of Hartford."

Segarra received a total of 46 percent of the votes, or about 4,200 votes out of the total 9,600 cast.

In Hartford, official said there were a few hiccups at the polls on Wednesday. It was nothing like what happened last November when there were reports of broken machines and missing lists.

However, the candidates Tweeted to voters and asked them to be patient as the issues were resolved.

“There were a number of reports that ballot boxes weren’t working [and] tabulators not working, which is obviously very concerning to me," Bronin said.

Both Segarra and Bronin have spent considerable time on the campaign trail, even going door-to-door in an effort to get voters to the polls. They acknowledged that the biggest issue in the campaign is crime.

"The public response has been very great and I’m very confident and looking forward to closing out the election day," Segarra said on Wednesday before the polls closed. "Overwhelmingly there is a lot of support for this mayor and I am confident. The issue here has become whether money and the machinery can really tip those scales."

“[I'm] feeling great," Bronin told Eyewitness News on Wednesday before the polls closed. "We’ve worked hard for many months.  We’ve knocked on about 5,000 doors.  We’ve done everything we can do. Over the last few weeks we’ve felt a real sense of momentum and energy."

Hartford saw its 25th homicide last week, according to police.

"We need to stabilize our police force,” Bronin said. “We are facing a police staffing crisis. We're down about 80 officers from over the last three years."

"The state withdrew a lot of support for the shooting task force,” Segarra said. “So this meeting was specifically addressing the issue of getting back the resources the state took away."

Segarra touted what he's done to deserve four more years while Bronin said voters may be looking for something new.

“Residents all over the city of Hartford are eager for change and eager to get a City Hall that’s focused back on the priorities that matter most," Bronin said.

“Grad rates are up, the rebuilding of our city and the renaissance is ongoing and we need to continue that effort," Segarra said.

Segarra took office in 2010 following the resignation of Eddie Perez. He went on to win his own term in 2011.

Bronin, a newcomer to politics, served in the military and Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration.

On Wednesday, Segarra's campaign made a formal complaint against his challenger's wife, who is a professor at the UConn Law School.

The campaign accused her of using her state email for political purposes.

The email reportedly sent to the law school community said "Hi everyone, Putting on my Hartford resident hat, rather than professor hat for this. One of the Democratic candidates is seeking law student/attorney poll monitors." She encouraged people to volunteer and said "get some hands-on experience in election law."

Segarra said "I've put a very clear firewall between my office emails and the campaign because we should not use government resources to advocate or support a particular campaign."

The winner of the primary will face Republican Ted Cannon and Working Parties candidate Joel Cruz in November.

Even though Segarra lost the primary, he has raised enough signatures to run as an independent. As of Wednesday night, it is unclear if Segarra would petition as an independent candidate in November.

Other primaries being closely watched in the state include Bridgeport and New London.

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