January 22, 2019

Citing city's 'momentum,' Bronin makes his pitch for a second term

HBJ Photo | Matt Pilon
HBJ Photo | Matt Pilon
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announces his campaign for a second term in front of City Hall.

Officially launching his reelection bid on Tuesday, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin touted his accomplishments and said a second term would help him continue what he's started.

"I feel the urgency of that work every single day," said Bronin, 39, as reporters, onlookers and a group of supporters standing behind him on the steps of City Hall shivered in 20-degree weather.

Bronin made reference to his successful push to have the state assume an estimated $550 million worth of the city's debt in the coming decades, calling it a "long overdue partnership" with the state that will make the Capital City "vibrant and strong."

"For the first time in a long long time, we've got a path, we've got a plan, we've got stability and we've got momentum, and we're gonna keep it going," Bronin said.

He also referenced a
$50 million donation pledge from Aetna, Travelers and The Hartford to help shore up the city's finances.
"Our biggest companies reengaged and reinvested in Hartford's future," he said

Bronin said he would continue to focus on economic development "not just in the downtown, but in our neighborhoods."

He also talked up his support of youth-employment programs, such as the Hartford Youth Service Corps launched in 2016 with the help of over $2 million in private funding, and the creation last year of a reentry center in City Hall to connect the recently incarcerated with services to help them reintegrate into their communities.

Chanel Wright, lead youth development specialist for the overseer of the Youth Service Corps program, said participants were out helping with snow and ice removal around the city during the press conference.

"While they are also getting a paycheck and earning an honest wage, at the same time they are working with a specialist to overcome the barriers they are facing," Wright said. "I've witnessed first hand the impact this program has had on our youth."

Also speaking in support of Bronin at the press conference were "Brother Carl" Hardrick and Bronin's campaign treasurer, former council president Calixto Torres.

Asked by a reporter about his exploration of a gubernatorial last year, Bronin said he was interested in higher office because he didn't see anybody in the race "talking about the issues that mattered to the city of Hartford or communities like Hartford."

"What I tried to do was put front and center the issues that matter here," he said.

Things changed, Bronin continued, after Ned Lamont entered the race early last year and talked about the importance of vibrant cities.

"I was proud to step back, get behind him, [and] support him," Bronin said.

Much of the mayor's stump speech is posted on his campaign website.

Bronin, who primaried former Mayor Pedro Segarra in 2015 to help propel him to his first term, faces a challenge from J. Stan McCauley, who announced his candidacy in November.

Two other candidates have filed to run, according to the Hartford Courant: Hartford Public Schools Board Chair Craig Stallings and Aaron Lewis.

The Hartford Courant and political blogger Kevin Rennie have also named former Mayor Eddie Perez and Rep. Brandon McGee (D-Hartford) as rumored potential contenders, though neither has made any official announcement.

Read more

Bronin's campaign kickoff scheduled for Tuesday

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