Hartford's mayor to take a look at run for governor - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford's mayor to take a look at run for governor

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Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin originally committed to serving more than one term as Hartford's mayor. (WFSB) Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin originally committed to serving more than one term as Hartford's mayor. (WFSB)

The capital city's mayor will form an exploratory committee to look into a run for governor.

Luke Bronin said he officially filed the papers with the state on Thursday afternoon. 

Bronin said he has talked with "hundreds of people across Connecticut" over the past few weeks and they have explained the "challenges" facing them and their communities. 

"They’ve also shared their belief that Connecticut is a great place to live, and a great place to raise a family — and that with the right leadership and vision, we can get our state back on track," Bronin said in a statement on Thursday. 

Bronin said he is ready to run for governor "after tackling Hartford’s historic fiscal crisis over the past two years." 

"To get Connecticut working again, we need a shared vision for restoring economic growth and opportunity. We need to recognize that vibrant, culturally-rich cities can be the economic engines that help us keep our suburbs and small towns strong — and keep our young people here at home," Bronin said. "We need to break old habits, change what isn’t working, and try new things."

Bronin's decision comes after months of speculation.

"In the next coming weeks, I am going to lay out my vision for the state of Connecticut and lay out my record," Bronin said. 

Bronin joins a crowded field in the race for governor. There are four other Democrats who are officially running for governor and about 20 who are exploring such as Bronin.  

"This is a critical moment in our state and I will be sharing my vision in the coming weeks and talking to people to see if I am the leader that can move us forward," Bronin said. 

Bronin also told Channel 3 during his mayoral campaign in 2015 that he'd stick around Hartford for at least a full term and then run for re-election because "you can't turn a city around in four years."

That changed late last month after he said people close to him have urged him to run for governor. 

Hartford has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, a story Channel 3's I-Team cataloged in its recent series Capitol in Crisis. The I-Team looked at how Detroit, MI dove into bankruptcy and is now thriving.

However, bankruptcy has been something Hartford has been staving off with help from the state.

Officials once said the capital city would run out of money in months without at least $40 million aid that was eventually included in the state budget.

The chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party said Bronin is a "typical Democrat having failed in Hartford who now thinks he deserves a promotion." 

However, Hartford Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings said Bronin can help the city and run for governor. 

"I think we have very qualified department heads in the city," Jennings said. "I am not concerned about that."

Bronin also cited the following accomplishments:

  • stood up to protect women’s access to healthcare
  • advocated for compassionate immigration policies
  • stood strongly and proudly in support of our LGBTQ+ community
  • worked to build a second chance society
  • made environmental sustainability a priority 

"Now more than ever, we need to continue to hold that ground forcefully and uncompromisingly. So that’s what I think Connecticut needs: leadership that’s ready to face Connecticut’s fiscal crisis honestly and boldly, ready to put forward a strong vision for economic growth and opportunity, and ready to stand strong in defense of the values that truly make our state great," Bronin said.

Bronin didn't cause many of the city's problems but he did promise to help restore economic stability.  

"He was dying to be mayor saying blah blah blah everything negative," Hartford resident Faye Anderson said. "That's what he came here to do. He should finish out his term. Then is he wants to be governor."

Bronin explained why he would consider leaving with problems facing Hartford.

"I think we have made enormous progress over the past two years in dealing with what was an historic crisis and getting our city on a path," Bronin said.

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