New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

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Gallbladder Delays Run for Governor Decision


The question of whether or not Mayor Erin Stewart will run for Governor or another State office next November will take a bit longer to decide than expected.

On Dec. 16 when the Mayor checked herself into the hospital for bad heartburn, which resulted in her actually needing gallbladder surgery, she needed time to recover. This resulted in missing many meetings to discuss her future, being postponed.

“My surgery set me back a little, but I have been calling around to people within the party to other candidates about their hopes, dreams and plans for the State,” said Stewart. “I am continuing to do my research and homework on the candidates that are out there to see if this is a viable option or not.”

Stewart said she cannot have these conversations over the phone. It will take another month for her to meet with people and decide what is best for her future.

“I’m in the process of rescheduling those meetings,” Stewart said. “Next week and the week after are scheduled with all the coffees in the world.”

Stewart, age 30, became Mayor of New Britain in 2013 at the age of 26. She beat out Democrat Tim O’Brien.

Last April, a very unpopular Gov. Dannel Malloy announced he wasn’t running for a third term. He is leaving the State in a fiscal crisis. Mayor Stewart began the office of Mayor during similar circumstances and took the City from a $30 million deficit to a $15 million surplus.

Hartford Democratic Mayor Luke Bronin is among those who has announced his intention to run for Governor. His City is also in financial crisis and has asked for help from the State.

Several Republicans including Danbury’s Mayor Mark Boughton, Trumbull First Selectmen Tim Herbst, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Businessman Joe Visconti and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney have expressed interest in the Governor position.

Several members of the New Britain City Journal Facebook group voiced positive opinions on the hopes of Mayor Stewart running for Governor.

“Connecticut is in the bottom on the 9th inning, down a couple of runs, and we need a new team captain who can motivate us and bring Connecticut back again! It’s time we go to the bullpen, and call on Mayor Erin Stewart of New Britain to lead Team Connecticut,” said John Board, a former intern for Mayor Stewart. “As a young dynamic Mayor, Erin has jump started New Britain’s economy, put New Britain’s finances back on track, and inspired a new general of leadership. “

“Mayor Stewart came into office and had to clean up a prior administration’s problems,” said Scott Clark. “So this would be something she would be used to.”

“Indubitably, she has done more for our city in less time than any other municipal C.E.O. has in a long time,” said Kenneth Haas. “Mayor Erin Stewart is a strong leader who is not afraid to crack the political whip and use the budget ax wisely.”

“She would be awesome,” said Donna Dabkowski Potvin. “She has a great head on her shoulders and her ability to work across party lines are what will make her a great governor.”

A few in the group said they would be disappointed to see Stewart run for Governor.

“Had Mayor Stewart opted not to run for a third term and instead focus on the campaign, I’d probably feel something like the excitement I felt when she first declared she would run for mayor. As a NBHS *alumna*, she’s more than a role model for all New Britain youths, she’s an inspiration and… almost a promise, I guess, to the young women growing up in this city. Her presence in the state Capitol would be a daily reminder that public school students (from New Britain!) aren’t inherently excluded from leadership,” said Faithe Gregory. “This is almost exactly what I was worried about last autumn. I haven’t seen many gubernatorial races in my life, but the idea of having my mayor preoccupied with campaigning for governor makes me uneasy.”

“I like Mayor Stewart and the work she has done for the city. I actually had a conversation with the mayor before the last election in which she assured myself and others at Main St USA that she wasn’t ready to leave New Britain yet as there was more work to be done,” said Suzi Singleton. “I’m aware she is being groomed for higher profile positions, but would be truly disappointed to see her move on at this point.”

If Mayor Stewart does decide to run for a State office, the election will take place Nov. 6.