Mayor Erin Stewart said she has had a positive month traveling all over the State during her exploratory run for governor. She will make a decision by April 1st on if she will announce her intention to run for the office.
“I have been talking to Republican Town Committees and bringing my message of change. I’ve gotten so much positive feedback online and in person. Everyone is saying they want to see new leadership in Hartford,” said Mayor Stewart. “They want change and something different. I want to be that something different.”
Stewart, became Mayor of New Britain in 2013 at the age of 26. She beat out Democrat incumbent Tim O’Brien.
She has received a lot of financial support over the last few weeks which has made her closer to a decision on launching a candidate committee for governor.
“In order for me to determine if I am viable as a statewide candidate, it will depend on the financial support I receive from people across the State,” she said. “It’s been steady and promising, but it’s not enough.”
The first reporting period is April 1.
“I am on a really short time frame to have to compete with all these other candidates that have been in this race for almost a year now,” said Mayor Stewart. “The goal is $250,000 in $100 increments. I can get donations from $5 to $100, but not more than that.”
That means 2,500 people donating $100 would accomplish the goal.
“I’ve set an internal goal for April 1. If we meet that goal, I think we are going to show fundraising strength to the other candidates,” Stewart said. “I need to show everyone in the State that we are a force to be reckoned with. We need grass roots behind us.”
Stewart said she is hopeful to meet the goal. She can then decide to go all in or keep the exploratory committee.
Stewart entered the race the first week of February.
In a recent Tremont Advisors poll, Stewart was in the lead among Republican candidates and ahead of Democratic poll leader Susan Bysewiecz by almost five percent.
“It was a strong number,” said Stewart.
Last April, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced he wasn’t running for a third term and 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. She rescinded millions of dollars in bonding, reorganized City Hall, added dozens of new businesses to the City’s tax rolls, moved every labor union onto high deductible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.
Along with Bysiewicz, 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 he 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.
On April 4, a Republican debate is held at New Britain High School. Stewart hopes to be in attendance, but needs to be a declared candidate and have raised over $125,000.
“Time will tell. I want to be on stage. I need everyone’s help to get me on stage,”she added. “If you haven’t donated yet, I am making a plea to get me on that ballot.”
To donate go to erinforct.com. Then click on donate link or fill out a form and mail it in.