Third-term New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart announced Monday via Facebook Live that she will be exploring a run for governor.
“As I have watched the ever-expanding roster of candidates come forward, it’s become clear that we can’t afford to waste yet another opportunity to take back our state and set it on a new and better course,” Stewart said in her campaign announcement.
Stewart, 30, defeated incumbent Democratic mayor Tim O’Brien in 2013 and since has been widely speculated to announce a run for statewide office.
“I win elections because Democrats and Independents feel comfortable voting for me,” Stewart said. “If you are looking for a candidate who fits into a certain ideology, that’s not me.”
Among those supporting Stewart is eighth semester political science major, Mike LaPorte, who said that he is excited to see her step up to the plate.
“She’s done a fantastic job as Mayor of New Britain,” LaPorte said. “She’s maintained a triple-A bond rating, she’s lowered taxes and she’s made it a place where people want to settle down.”
Not everybody is backing Stewart’s campaign for governor. Chairman of the State Democratic Party, Nick Balletto, said he is troubled with her record as mayor and as a member of the Republican Party.
“Stewart has proven herself a loyal cutout of Donald Trump's Connecticut Republican Party,” Balletto said to The Hartford Courant. “With a track record of appeals to the party leaders when times are tough, she will have to do more than just stay silent when hard choices have to be made.”
Stewart, who has previously diverged from traditional Republican ideals, such as her pro-choice stance on abortion, said that she is not a typical GOP candidate.
“I’m a different kind of Republican,” Stewart said. “I’m not going to be put in a box by one party or one person. If you are looking for a candidate who fits into a certain ideology, that’s not me.”
Andrew Miano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.