Mayor Erin Stewart officially announced she will run for Governor on Monday at a press conference at Central Connecticut State University, Founders Hall.
With a crowd of supporters in attendance, Stewart said, “There are several reasons I decided to dip my toe into the already cluttered room. One of the big ones is that the 2018 election is a tipping point for Connecticut. I have not been convinced there is a candidate for governor who would actually appeal beyond the traditional Republican area and build a broad and winning coalition.”
She said the State needs someone who can create jobs, improve public education, who can speak to young people and who understand the realities of the State.
“Today, I can confidently say that candidate does exist,” said Mayor Stewart. “I stand here today announcing I am seeking to become the next governor of Connecticut.”
Stewart said Connecticut needs a fresh voice and a new vision. She wants to bring people together.
“If you are looking for a candidate that will fit into a certain ideology, I am probably not the one for you,” she said. “On budget and finances I am very much conservative. On other issues my positions are more moderate or more liberal. It’s what I truly believe and I am not going to change that just to win a campaign.”
Stewart still needs to raise funds as the $250,000 needed for a public financing grant has not been met.
A Republican primary will be held in August as a large number of Republicans including Danbury’s Mark Boughton, Trumbull First Selectmen Tim Herbst, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Businessman Joe Visconti and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney are entered.
Stewart said her vision of Connecticut is to create a stable and a predictable environment where businesses, individuals and families can take pride. A State where young individuals could live out their own American dreams.
“We must embrace policies that will put us on a path to stability and predictability in our finances because as long as our fiscal outlook is volatile, we will not be able to compete with our neighboring states,” said Stewart. “We must abandon the position of divide and conquer politics. That has become an all too common goal in both Hartford and in Washington.”
Stewart said support has been enormous. The phone calls have been in the hundreds and she is deeply humbled.
Stewart, 31, became Mayor of New Britain in 2013 at the age of 26. She beat out Democrat incumbent Tim O’Brien.
The youngest governor ever elected was Bill Clinton at age 31.
In her term, Stewart has led the implementation of a multi-point plan to turn the City’s finances around. 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.
Those efforts 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. Her leadership led to 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.
“I’m committed to our State. I’m committed to our future and turning things around,” said Stewart. “I know I have the energy and enthusiasm to do it.”
She is hoping to participate in upcoming debates. She said although she is not at the $250,000 mark, there have been exceptions and she will ask for that exception.
For more information or to donate to her campaign go to Erinforct.com.