New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart announced on Facebook Live Monday morning from her living room that she is putting out an exploratory committee to run for governor.
With 461 viewers online, Stewart said “Hello State of Connecticut.”
“I am proud to announce to all of you today on Facebook Live that I have officially decided to explore a run for governor of the great State of Connecticut,” she said. “As I have watched the ever expanding roster of candidates come forward it has become clear that we cannot afford to waste another opportunity to take back our State and set it on a new and better course. Timing is everything in politics and together we’ll learn if now is my time. I am ready for what comes next. There will be a level of scrutiny on me like I have never known.”
Stewart said “If you are looking for a candidate that is going to fit in nicely with a certain ideology that is not me. Then I am not your candidate.”
She said that she is a 30 year old Republican who is fiscally conservative and pro-choice. She has a gun permit and supports responsible gun ownership.
“I support the civil rights of all individuals. I am very passionate about the success of Connecticut’s cities. I believe that we are successful when we embrace policies that unite us rather than divide us,” said Stewart. “I win elections because Democrats and Independents feel comfortable casting a ballot for me in a City where Democrats outnumber Republicans 6-1.”
She said she is not a bread and butter Republican. She is a different kind of Republican.
“I am not going to be put in a box by a party or a person in Washington. I believe that the vast majority of people want a leader who is grounded in common sense,” Stewart added. “I am okay with being honest even when it may not be the most popular thing to say. Our State has a lot of problems right now. It is time to look in the mirror. It’s time to own up to who we are and stop blaming everyone else. We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
She said she wants to talk with people about what makes the State great and what can be done to restore pride.
She encouraged people to click on the link and visit www.erinforct.com to learn more about her.
Stewart, became Mayor of New Britain in 2013 at the age of 26. She beat out Democrat incumbent Tim O’Brien.
Stewart has led the implementation of a multi-point plan to turn the City’s finances around. Upon taking office, Stewart immediately faced a $30 million budget shortfall. She rescinded millions of dollars in bonding, reorganized City Hall, added dozens of new businesses to the City’s tax rolls, moved every labor union onto high deductible health savings plans, and made significant efforts to reduce spending through energy and efficiency projects and zero-based budgeting.
These efforts have led to growth of the City’s Grand List, a boost in the City’s bond rating by four notches to “A+,” and the creation of a business-friendly community where developers and new businesses are interested—and confident—in investing. From infrastructure improvements in parks and schools, the earning of a 2016 and 2017 “All-America City” award from the National Civic League, beautification projects, eliminating chronic family homelessness, boosting community pride, adding new activity and vibrancy to the City’s downtown Central Park, and the creation of more than 700 new jobs, Mayor Stewart has helped to usher in a new era for New Britain.
Last April, 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.
If Mayor Stewart does decide to run for a State office, the election will take place Nov. 6.