Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin abandoned his bid for Governor of Connecticut last week, opting to remain at the helm of the capital city instead, according to a statement Bronin made to the press.
Bronin said he has decided to focus his energy on fixing Hartford’s financial struggles and bettering Hartford continues to remain his primary goal.
“I’ve kept my obligation and responsibilities to the city of Hartford at the forefront of my mind,” Bronin said. “I believe deeply that a strong vibrant capital city is vital to the strength of our state as a whole. And I want to be able to make that case as strongly, as effectively as I can and I think it’s more effective to make that case when you’re not a candidate.”
Bronin’s decision to bow out of the governor’s race comes just weeks after Hartford’s City Council approved a controversial bailout agreement with the state, absolving the capital city from its annual debt payments.
“I believe that this is a critical moment for our state, but it’s also a critical moment for our city,” Bronin said. “We’ve achieved tremendous progress in partnership with the state over the past few months. I want to make sure that progress doesn’t get politicized.”
Elected in 2015, Bronin is serving his first term as mayor of Hartford. While campaigning in 2015, Bronin vowed not to seek higher office during his first term as mayor, according to the CT Mirror.
University of Connecticut political science professor Ron Schurin told the CT Mirror that Bronin’s departure from the race was predictable due to the lack of support he was garnering on the campaign trail and his unfulfilled promises to his constituents.
“He was hampered from the beginning by that pledge to serve out his term and didn’t seem to light any fire on the campaign trail,” Schurin said in a phone interview. “I didn’t hear a whole lot of buzz for him. He is a big-city mayor and still has the image of being the Fairfield County guy.”
Chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party J.R. Romano told the Hartford Courant that he too believed Bronin had no chance of being elected governor because of his record as Hartford mayor.
“Luke Bronin has not gotten the job done in Hartford but somehow he [thought] he could be governor,’’ Romano said. “Only in the Democrat Party could you fail up.’’
Bronin said his current focus is to work with the people of Hartford to continue the progress made toward fixing Hartford.
“I think we’re at a moment when we have taken the city, together, from a place of crisis to an opportunity to turn stability into long term sustainability,” Bronin said. “But we’ve got a lot of work left to do and I’m looking forward to doing it.”
Andrew Miano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.