Candidates running for Hartford mayor speak at forum

Election Day is still months away, but tonight we are hearing from the candidates running for mayor of Hartford.
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 8:27 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2023 at 11:30 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Election Day is still months away, but tonight we are hearing from the candidates running for mayor of Hartford.

A mayoral forum took place tonight in the capital city.

Eight candidates have announced they are running for mayor of Hartford.

The eight candidates running for mayor are:

  • Arunan Arulampalam, CEO of the Hartford Land Bank
  • Eric Coleman, Retired Supreme Court Judge
  • Renardo Dunn Junior, Pastor
  • John Fondara, Democratic State Senator
  • Tracy Funnye, lifelong Hartford resident
  • Giselle Jacobs, entrepreneur and activist
  • Nick LeBron, Hartford City Councilman
  • J. Stan McCauley, TV broadcaster

They all spoke at a mayoral forum hosted by the Upper Albany Merchants Association.

Last November, the current Mayor Luke Bronin announced he will not be seeking re-election.

In the months since the number of candidates vying for his position has grown.

All eight candidates discussed their vision for the city and why think they’re qualified for the job.

“We need to invest more in our young people. We have to invest more in our young people and get them off the streets,” said Giselle Jacobs.

“If we want to create safe communities, we’ve got to create places for kids to go so I propose keeping our neighborhood schools open every night after 3:30 and really investing in robots, sports, and recreation programs,” said Arunan Arulampalam.

“Your schools should be the center of the community, parks and rec should be in every single school, and the school should be open until sunset,” added J. Stan McCauley.

“Let’s show them opportunities. Let’s bring opportunities back to Hartford. Show that they can feel safe in the city,” Renardo Dunn Jr said.

“Training, after-school programs, and there’s not enough centers open. Parker, sometimes, but yes, everything,” Tracy Funnye said.

Tonight’s forum focused on the economic growth of small businesses and business revitalization.

“My candidacy is based upon economic sustainability in all of the neighborhoods and in connection with that plan, I would like to renovate and refurbish most of the commercial corridors in Hartford,” Eric Coleman explained.

“Creating jobs, creating a positive attitude so businesses can thrive, so people want to spend their money here is a key feature of any mayor of Hartford. It should be,” said State Sen. John Fonfara.

Candidates also talked about access to healthcare.

“What we have to do is press on those same dollars we gave to federally qualified health centers and push them to go even further and have them stop closing their doors at 5 o’clock,” said Councilman Nick Lebron.

More forums will be held between now and election day.

Hartford mayoral candidate forum